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?