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McCarthy Frustrated with Thompson, Change Coming?

Ted Thompson

There’s been quite a bit of frustration with and amongst the Green Bay Packers this season. It starts with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy being frustrated with each other, but it doesn’t end there.

McCarthy is also reportedly frustrated with his boss, do-nothing general manager Ted Thompson.

This comes from the Journal-Sentinel’s Bob McGinn, who probed Thompson’s failings as a general manager this season. While the rest of the NFL finds ways to make significant in-season moves, the Packers and Thompson just sit on their hands.

It’s no secret that members of the Packers’ personnel department have griped for years that their boss is almost never willing to make a move. For years, scouts across the league have told me that.

Now comes word that McCarthy’s level of frustration has intensified because Thompson is so set in his ways and refuses to take a chance.

It’s interesting to note (as we always do when we talk about Thompson), that Thompson is one of Ron Wolf’s proteges. Wolf used all means available to build a team — draft, free agency, trades, waiver wire.

Thompson pretty much just uses one — the draft.

What’s even more interesting is looking at the guys who have worked for both men and now run a team. Reggie McKenzie is the general manager of the Oakland Raiders, John Dorsey is the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs and John Schneider is general manager of the Seattle Seahawks.

How do those guys operate?

More like Wolf than Thompson.

All three of them have utilized free agency much more than Thompson ever has. Along with some shrewd drafting, they’ve managed to bring their franchises back from the dead the process.

Unlike the Packers, Seattle is a legitimate perennial Super Bowl contender.

We’re not suggesting the draft isn’t important. It’s crucial, but we’ve long abhorred Thompson’s unwillingness to acquire players in other ways.

That appears to be catching up to him.

Quite frankly, when you put so much emphasis on the draft, it only magnifies your failures there. If Thompson were willing to acquire players through free agency or trade he could mask some of those failures and the Packers would be better off.

We could go on and on about the shortcomings of Ted Thompson, but we’ve beat that horse to death.

Those shortcomings are glaring this year.

Now the question is, can a coach get a general manager fired? Or can a coach make the general manager change his ways?

We know the answer to the first question is yes. It happened in Philadelphia last year. The results were disastrous, but only because they also gave the coach control over personnel.

We have a hard time believing the Packers’ leadership, i.e. Mark Murphy, would actually make such a move. His leadership on the football side of the business is similar to Thompson’s player acquisition philosophy — maintain the status quo.

It certainly feels like something’s going to break this offseason though, doesn’t it?

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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52 Comments

  1. gort January 10, 2016

    I posted comments about this on the “predictions” page.

    A few of you talked about the root cause. Draft and develop only works if you have a strong draft. Your team talent pool diminishes quickly in the NFL if you don’t get enough impact players. I am not convinced that our recent draft picks are as good as we need. The most impactful talent drain for the Pack has been from folks who never line up for a single snap. The front office support staff, the assistants to Ted, have far outperformed him

  2. Kato January 10, 2016

    Draft results simply haven’t been there the past 5 years

    1. PF4L January 10, 2016

      Kato and gort have it dead on.

      I’ve posted probably 10 times, that if draft and develop is basically the only avenue that you utilize, you better score in the draft(s), or time will unveil your failings. Which we are now witnessing. Big Ted carries himself in a way it seems as though, because he won a Super Bowl, that his job is done.

      A lot of us on here, have blasted Big Ted over the last few years, and a lot of you TT lovers came at us with a vengeance. Where are you now (wolf) (phatgus)? Why don’t i see anymore “In Ted we Trust” postings?

  3. Kato January 10, 2016

    After their season ends today, I think a great article for this website would be to examine the downfall of this franchise since they won the super bowl and sports pundits anointing them “the next great dynasty.”

  4. V January 10, 2016

    Seachickens defense has led the league in points scored for the past four years. They not only drafted well, very well, but they built that defense on acquiring aa several key free agents. They also had the same philosophy on offense which has worked to varying degrees, however, the core of their offense seems to be in tact.

    I can’t understand what would prevent a guy from wanting to be the best at his job and taking shots on a year-to-year basis. I know if I was GM and had a franchise QB in tow, I would listen to my personnel dept and make changes or “churn the roster” throughout the season. Not one season, but each season.

    My plan would be to keep my core of offensive linemen, QB and defensive front 7 largely intact but have the skill positions amd coverage guys subject to interchangeable parts based on my desire to fill the roster out with Pro bowl level talent at each position. I would hope my drafts took care of fortifying the skill positions and perimeter defense as well as special teams studs. However, I’d be ready to listen more to my staff/ fan base and simply try harder.

    Bon McGinn is a great sportswriter!

  5. Danforth Cuntingdon-Smythe January 10, 2016

    Thompson has made some good picks: Rodgers, Nick Collins, Jordy Nelson, Finley wasn’t bad, but some absolute fucking howlers.

    Drafting the always injured in college Justin Harrell; Jerel Worthy in the second did fuck all, Khryri Thornton, a fifth round talent in the third was a useless slob and cut after one season; Richard Rodgers, a sixth-round talent in the third; was Mike Neal on anyone’s radar in the late second? From 2011, only Randall Cobb remains in GB and perhaps in the league, and Datone Jones and Nick Perry haven’t made huge impacts. Sherrod broke his tibia and fibia, so I’ll cut him on slack there.

    Thompson’s luck with finding some good free agent gems (Sam Shields) can’t cover his drafting and lack of moves in free agency. Time to find someone else.

    1. gort January 10, 2016

      What he done for us since his top assistants went elsewhere? Answer = diddly squat

  6. Woodbury January 10, 2016

    Picking Aaron Rodgers has given Thompson a long pass. Rodgers isn’t getting any younger. They are running out of time for draft and develop to continue working. They would need to hit a home run on every pick.

  7. Osseo, WI January 10, 2016

    Interesting piece. The last few years the draft has been very strong so there are great players available for all teams. If you don’t get 3 or 4 great players out of each draft, you’re just falling behind the rest of the league. It’s puzzling why the packers don’t invest more in free agency. A team needs to be supplemented from free agent players. Another downfall to their strategy is not drafting offensive linemen higher. The last time they picked o-line in the first 3 rounds was Marshall Newhouse. He blocked with his elbows. Pretty awesome

    1. PF4L January 10, 2016

      Its rare, if not impossible to get 3 or 4 great players out of each draft. You “try” to get one great (blue chip) and 3 good solid players.

  8. gort January 10, 2016

    Damn auto-correct f’d up my grammer.

  9. campack January 10, 2016

    Them two turds both need to go. It’s time for new leadership

  10. Mork January 10, 2016

    Don’t know how this team, before the season, a shoe in by many to the Super Bowl, could look so bad and fall so far from expectations for the season.

  11. disposable hero January 10, 2016

    Quick reality check, this is the organization that holds no one accountable. That being said, status quo will be the message until Rodgers’ contract is up and then MM and TT will bail.

    1. PF4L January 10, 2016

      Exactly….When Rodgers stops playing, upper management job security disappears.

  12. Shawn January 10, 2016

    So, you are several boneheaded plays from the Super Bowl last season, and now suddenly, you don’t have the personnel to compete? That makes no sense.

    McGinn was being critical of how TT specifically handled THIS season, and that is a low hanging fruit at this point. Guys at the bar have been making that argument for months now.

    Virtually every franchise follows the draft and develop philosophy now. TT sticks to it a little more than others. So, who are the big free agents that Seattle acquired this season? No, not three seasons ago, this season? No one. Cary Williams, who they then cut mid-season. I guess that didn’t work out. Money well spent there. And Seattle didn’t have the money to work out Kam Chancellor’s contract, which possibly cost them the bye this season. They didn’t have the money under the cap thanks to such brilliant moves as $19 million for Percy Harvin.

    So, who are all the big free agents that New England acquired this year? No, not last season, this season? No one.

    Yes, both teams have been more active churning out the bottom of their roster, and that is a valid criticism of TT this season. But suggesting that either team handles business grossly different than the Packers is just inaccurate.

    1. PF4L January 10, 2016

      “In Ted we Trust”

    2. MMTTDCSUCK January 10, 2016

      MICHAEL BENNETT . . . How is he working out so far? Chris Avril last year . . . How is he working out so far. Schneider FAR EXCEEDS TT “The Frugal GM” He was most likely (with Dorsey) why they did as well as they had back a few years ago in their drafts. The packers have not filled the void left by those two (Schneider, Dorsey) since then, and it is starting to show . . . For every one you bring in, you roll the dice, but you roll it with a usually proven commodity! Not some fucking undrafted free agent! Geesh . . . the same can be said about TT “The Frugal GM” getting rid of players prematurely. I believe Jone could have been the “X” factor last year in the Packers red zone failures . . .

      1. TyKo Steamboat January 11, 2016

        LOL. DiCkSUCK… Jones signed a 3-Year 11.3 million dollar deal with the Raiders.
        Thank God you’re not our GM

        Go chat with your internet girlfriend & call for your mom to bring you another hot pocket from upstairs as you balance the virtual cap there, Judas.

        BAHAHAHA. another solid comment

        1. MMTTDCSUCK January 13, 2016

          Flyboy Steamcunt, Jones would have signed for less, he even said so. My POINT ASSHOLE was Bennett and Avril. Fuck you you fucking fuck. Go troll somewhere else. You have no idea about football except for following the crowd you cunt. I love it that I am under your skin you weak sister! BWA HA HA. TT had enough money to sign Jones BTW. Or are you that fucking dumb? I believe that you are MR. Bandwagon. Tyflo sleezecunt.

    3. Big Gay Clay January 11, 2016

      New England is a terrible example to use. Remember they acquired Revis last season? How did they end up finishing?

  13. Bobby D January 10, 2016

    It’s about time somebody’s called this fucking freak out…let him go back to his home for the socially awkward and play with his AJ blowup doll. Most overrated piece of shit in sports

  14. 13time1265 January 10, 2016

    Ted needs to go. Period.

  15. 13time1265 January 10, 2016

    Replacing Ted would boost this team. Someone more progressive.

  16. Jschizl January 10, 2016

    Nice post Shawn first tell I agree with you all year. Fucking garbage free agents last few years. No story here do I wish we signed Bennet either or Revis or Te from the Broncos maybe this story is garbage we hit on one receiver or Lineman I think it is a different game.
    Make no mistake I don’t know why we are 20 MIL under the cap Steve Smith maybe but a lot of over the hill stars to waste money on.
    Funny how this story comes out this year and not after a record setting last year

    1. MMTTDCSUCK January 10, 2016

      I bitched about that fuck not offering Jones a contract last year, or for that matter Woodson a contract the year before. Green Bay FUCKING STRUGGLED last year in the red zone! If “The Frugal GM” would have had Jones last year, I am quite certain they would have done much better in the red zone. Which may have gotten them into the SB last year. This fucktard is over rated. He is diminishing the “core” of this team every year with his Draft and Develop only philosophy. I am also under the impression that the NEW personnel people have not filled the voids created by Dorsey and Schneider leaving for new teams. Just continue preaching the “Blind Faith” in TT “The Frugal GM” . . . for fucks sake. In the mean time I will continue to be a Packers fan . . . but not a TT fan! Fuck that fucking fuck.

  17. jtmax January 10, 2016

    The most anoying thing about TT is that he is too extreme of a contrarian. He goes out of his way to avoid getting obvious players to fill needs whether in dradt or FA. Not mad genius. Just loopy. Time to retire. TT is over the hill.

  18. CO Bob January 10, 2016

    Not sure if there’s enough cap room for other team’s decent players (that they’re willing to let walk) 11mil right now? I don’t really know. Nelson, Cobb, Rodgers, Matthews, Sitton, shields, Lang, Peppers..eating up more than half the cap space. What do we do? 2nd tier FA’s? Still expensive…seems like draft is better option at this point. Lacey and a few others coming up shortly to eat up more space. I don’t know, and don’t claim to. Enlighten me. Seems like we’ve got decent players locked up at quite a few spots. Draft might be the only feasible option.

  19. Matt January 10, 2016

    Have to disagree with Shawn. I’d say the Jimmy Graham trade/acquisition by Seattle was a fairly big offseason move by them. I’m not saying it really worked out amazingly for them since they didn’t use him a ton of in the right way and then he had his injury, but I don’t think you can say they weren’t making moves. I for one long would love to see us with an athletic pass catching tight end.

  20. Nick January 10, 2016

    Well said! I’ve heard a lot of commentators recently with the ‘tension’ talking about how winning changes everything. Same applies. Every good year we don’t see these articles, but an off 10-6 year and everyone calls for radical chnages. Short memories…
    Thompson might be conservative in free agent. But when he does go after big name players, Woodson and Peppers have been difference makers. Every perrenial super bowl contender will make one or two big splashes in FA/drafts, but largely draft and develop. If anyone can recall Tom Bradys RB from every Superbowl win without Google’s help, I’d be surprised.

  21. Larry January 11, 2016

    Go back to the early 90’s when Ron Wolf made a couple of moves that resulted in a trip to New Orleans in the Super Bowl. The first was acquiring Bret Favre from Atlanta and the signing of Reggie White, which showed other NFL players that going to Green Bay wasn’t all that bad.
    In today’s win now attitude, you have to use all the tools available to field the best teams possible.

  22. Larry January 11, 2016

    Just a note. The window of opportunity is closing for the Rodgers era and we have been spoiled by having Favre and then Rodgers since the early 90’s.

  23. Ryan January 11, 2016

    I agree that TT needs to go. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks because he’s too stubborn to use free agency and trades more. New England is a prime example of a team who utilizes the draft and free agency as well as trades. They understand they have a once in a lifetime QB and they try to improve the team around him constantly. (Rodgers is only getting older) For instance, signing Revis, Amendola, Talib, Jabaal Sheard or Trading for Akeem Ayers, Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth. Some of these moves may have been busts, but who cares if it was for a late round pick, which rarely pans out. Half the time the team finds better undrafted players than the late picks anyways. TT values 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks way too much and it causes the Pack to miss out on talented players who can contribute when it counts most in the playoffs. At one point in time, TT could have had Lynch for a 3rd round pick from the Bills…. a 3rd pick. Instead he wastes those picks on players like Khyri Thornton… Are u kidding me? I don’t give me that crap that it will hurt the cap to do that when the Packers have more than enough cap space. Don’t get me wrong, I think the draft and develop philosophy is great, but free agency and trades need to happen occasionally because not all picks pan out (i.e. Harrell, Carrol, Thronton, Worthy, Alex Green, Datone Jones, Davante Adams, Carl Bradford)….I think John Schneider needs to come home to Green Bay… that rumor about a clause in his contract to come to GB if the GM spot is open could be true. Out with the old, in with the new I say! Go Pack! Beat the Cardinals!

    1. Packers fan January 24, 2016

      If he does not sign any free agents this offseason, file a petition to get him fired.

  24. LD January 11, 2016

    All of the angst about TT in this article/”discussion” seems pretty reactionary. If we had soundly beaten DET and CHI at home this year, would we still be having this conversation? What if we had trounced the Cardinals a few weeks ago–would we still be this angry about the draft and develop philosophy?

    I’m not saying TT and MM are perfect by any means. I’d love to see TT pick up a good FA more often than he does. But I’d rather be a perennial contender with a solid salary cap situation than one of those teams that swings for the fences on a couple of big FAs who don’t pan out and drive the team into salary cap hell.

    It took McKenzie several years just to get the Raiders out of their salary mess from signing too many FAs who turned into busts, and they’re just now starting to look like a decent team. I love Andy Reid, but how much better have PHI/KC been than GB over the last several years in terms of season records, and playoff success? Schnieder and the Seahawks have done well for a couple years, but in the big picture, I don’t think they’re leaps and bounds ahead of GB in terms of talent or salary cap health. And you can’t compare TT and Wolf. Wolf was operating in a different era with different rules.

  25. DJ January 11, 2016

    What would TT & Murphy do if tomorrow MM became blatantly one dimensional all the time, every game, every play, regardless of score, situation, time, personnel, or what was at stake? They’d be offended by his ego, his intransigence, & his inflexibility. They would reject his negligence towards balance & the common good. Then they’d fire him on the grounds of not doing everything possible to win & pat themselves on the back for doing the right thing. And they’d still be the biggest fucking hypocrites in the league!! This soon to be flame out season is 100% on them….TT for doing nothing & Murphy for not making TT act. They did NOTHING when it was obvious the team needed help & they had the resources & time to do something about it. Yet nothing got done. End of season. End of story.

  26. Tom Julio January 11, 2016

    As a Packer’s fan I am embarrassed these comments. What a bunch of spoiled whiny fans.

  27. Michael January 12, 2016

    Its time to move TT out and bring Schneider back to his home town. Make him an offer he cant refuse. Everyone wants to go home.

    1. Packers fan January 24, 2016

      Schneider or Elliot Wolf should be the next GM.

  28. Hovannes January 12, 2016

    You know with all the stubborn behavior comes a very good packers grown club. Sure we don’t have big names but then we make big names out of projects. Sure sometimes it’s key to bring in help, in Julius peppers, however things are starting to click and now our plain old players are becoming stars. One thing about packers that resonates is patience and persistance. With time everyone on this club adapts and hungry players emerge beyond other stars. Do we need a more aggressive free agency perspective? I don’t know, becuase these kids that are learning the system are to be traded for a do or die one to two year project.

  29. Hovannes January 12, 2016

    Wrote too fast and submitted without reading over what I wrote. What I mean is for example bring in a dez Bryant and see if it works out versus work on a davante Adams, abberderis, and a Janis? Doesn’t seem wise to me

  30. Thad January 12, 2016

    Packers ARE perennial Superbowl contenders…people love to use the Seahawks as the new model on how to build a franchise but we gave up the championship game last year to them in the final seconds or we would have been back in the superbowl and then again this year the Seahawks are still alive in the post season because the vikings missed a 27 yard field goal…how is our team that much different?? Or in such bad shape? Consider this also…of the 7 playoff games McCarthy has lost, 4 of those post season losses have came on the final play. Making the Superbowl is incredibly hard, returning for multiple is even harder. Thompson has his issues but let’s not blow this out of proportion like we’re the fucking Browns, he’s still a pretty damn good GM

  31. Dominantdefenseplease January 12, 2016

    Do you trust in your president the same way you trust in Ted?
    DTA: Don’t Trust Anybody!
    Naive, you are! (Yoda)

  32. Dominantdefenseplease January 12, 2016

    Hey Tom Julio,
    I want to see pure domination. Not crappy playing, that the youth sees today and thinks it’s alright to emulate.

  33. Dustin January 13, 2016

    I see everyone here is a general manager. Everything Ted does is to help the team and protect the salary cap. How does going to 7 straight playoffs and a Super Bowl mean you are failing? Everyone who thinks that other teams are drafting better players needs to do their research. Linsley was the steal of the draft last year and it was in the 5th round!! And Bakhtiari, Mike Daniels, TJ Lang, James Starks, all picks after the 3rd round. All are starters. It also speaks volumes that the packers havent picked lower than 21st in the past 5 years. But hey, all of the casual fans are experts here, right? Stick to madden and leave this stuff to the professionals.

  34. Rich January 14, 2016

    Get Calvin Johnson to sign for less money to play for a contender, and some O-line help and next year everyone will forget this conversation ever took place

  35. Packers fan January 24, 2016

    Sign Ladarius Green!

  36. JB February 8, 2016

    fire McCarthy
    made plenty of poor conservative decisions
    and called bad or too many run lacy into the grd plays during the stretch run

  37. James February 12, 2016

    I totally agree bro. Guy needs to go. The Packers need a new GM who will take some chances and have some real energy. This guy is a corpse. I say fire Thompson and Capers and replace them. Capers should have been gone three years ago. Our defense doesn’t play in the fourth quarter so we need a coach who can fire his guys up on the sideline to play. Not sit in the booth. Back to this topic. Ted needs to go.

  38. James February 12, 2016

    Fire Ted because he is a walking corpse. We need a younger guy who takes chances and has energy. Fire Capers because we need a coach who can fire up the defense on the sidelines and be close to our guys. Fuckin Capers coaches up in the booth. We’ve needed a defensive coaching change for quite awhile since we don’t play any defense in he fourth quarter, at all. Ted needs to go, it’s such a glowing problem that it needs to be done. Next year, we will lose because of our defense again. Just watch.

  39. James February 12, 2016

    Yeah let’s keep losing every single year in the fourth quarter. Lets blow another for-sure Suoer Bowl trip. Let’s find another cornerback who will drop three interceptions in the most important game of the year.

  40. Packers fan March 8, 2016

    Agree with the coach