Ted Thompson Defends His Job Performance
It’s Tuesday, January 3, following the Green Bay Packers’ New Year’s Day loss to the Detroit Lions. Though Green Bay “controlled their destiny” for making the playoffs, their furious second half comeback fell short. The six straight three-and-outs in the first half were just too much to overcome.
A two-person meeting is taking place in Packers’ president Mark Murphy’s office. General manager Ted Thompson fears the worst.
“Ted, the past 12 years have been a pleasure, but you are responsible for bringing championship-caliber players onboard. Instead, what we mostly have is a collection of mediocre no-talent scrubs. No need to talk about the defense – Dom Capers is an institution here – but the offensive side of the roster is made up of a bunch of losers. I remind you that I didn’t hire you, it was Bob Harlan who was responsible for that.”
“Please, Mr. President, Mr. CEO, Mr. Chairman, hear me out before you do anything drastic. Let’s just consider the past three years.”
“I drafted Jared Abbrederis, great fan favorite, coming into his own in his third year. Mike was high on him all preseason, but he didn’t play him when the season started and never played him and then, out of the blue, he forced me to release him – wouldn’t even keep him on the practice squad. Not my fault he’s not on the team.
“Then I grabbed Jeff Janis in the seventh round and he showed what he could do in the playoffs. But you’re a witness, Mike won’t play the guy unless there’s no other receiver available. Don’t try to blame me for that one.
“Ever hopeful, I went out in 2015 and got me another bargain: Ty Montgomery, from Stanford, third rounder. All this versatile guy has done when he’s gotten on the field is perform at a high level. Even after a 10-catch game against Dallas and another a week later against the Bears, you saw what happened. Mike put him back on the bench.
“A lesser GM might have given up, but I went out last year and drafted Trevor Davis – fifth rounder from Cal, so Aaron’s bound to give him some looks, right? McCarthy, Rodgers, everyone loved the guy in preseason, but – and I know this sounds familiar – he was all but invisible during the regular season.
“I almost forgot about the shrewd signing I made in the offseason: tight end Jared Cook. I got the kind of receiver McCarthy said he needed to open up the middle of the field. What happened? He hardly saw the ball the first two games, got hurt, came back and had a great game, then was again ignored the rest of the year. Same old story.
“You’re probably going to bring up the running backs fiasco. Hey, I found Brandon Burks. I snatched up Jhurell Pressley. I traded for Knile Davis. I grabbed Christine Michael before the Vikings got him. I bring these guys to town, McCarthy keeps them firmly planted on the bench. What’s James Starks averaging, two yards a carry? I’m not responsible.
“And let’s not forget another great find of mine: I scoured Division III to come up with quarterback Joe Callahan. What did Big Mike do? He tried to send him to the practice squad, where he was all but guaranteed to be picked up by some other team during the waiver process. You see what I’m up against here, Mr. Murphy? What – you say we just got Callahan back? I’ve told the staff to wake me when stuff like this happens.
“I could go on – does the name Geronimo sound familiar? But I think you get the idea. I just draft and acquire, then it’s out of my hands.”
Mark Murphy swiveled around in his chair, rubbed his brow, and finally responded, “You’ve made an impressive case for yourself, Ted, except for one thing: you’ve got another duty besides player acquisition. (Pause)
“Can’t think of it? Mike McCarthy reports to you, Ted. If you don’t like what he’s doing, you can either fire him or order him to do things your way.
“You’ve been grossly negligent in your supervision of the head coach, Ted. I have no choice but to make an immediate change. I’ve decided to do what Vince Lombardi would do. Effective immediately, coach McCarthy is relieved of his duties, and you are now the general manager and head coach of the Packers. Problem solved!”