1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

For all of you who claim it takes 4 or 5 years...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Bruce, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,078
    Ratings:
    +0
    For all of you who claim it takes 4 or 5 years...

    ... to build a team, and that you should not evaluate until at least several years into the process -- let me introduce you to Lovie Smith.

    In the 2 years preceding his hire, da bears were 4 – 12 in 2002, 7 – 9 in 2003, and were picked to finish last in the NFC North in both his first and second seasons (2004 and 2005). After his hire on January 15, 2004, Lovie Smith, demonstrating vision and leaderhip, set forth three clearly stated goals:

    1.) end the decade of dominance by the Green Bay Packers over the Bears,
    2.) capture the NFC North Division for Chicago,
    3.) and win the Super Bowl.

    To accomplish these clearly articulated goals Smith started cleaning house and entered his first season as Head Coach (2004) of the youngest team in the NFL.

    The team suffered the growing pains one might predict of a young team with a new staff embarking upon a youth movement – finishing with a 5-11 record in 2004 as Lovie coached his youngsters, while battling through a host of injuries that robbed the team of the services of several of its most takented players. He did however make progress on his first stated goal by defeating the Packers in one of their two tilts against their lont-time chief rival. Still, Lovie offered no excuses and declared that he and is players most perform better if they hoped to meet their goals and succeed.

    Entering the 2005 season the talking heads were calling da bears the worst team in the NFL and the Prognosticators were universally picking da bears to finish last in the NFC North.

    Surely Smith would fail to progress on his stated goals and would need time to achieve his stated goals – and it was too early to have any kind of expectations of this young rebuilding team -- right???


    Well, not exactly.

    Despite suffering early season injuries and starting 1 – 3, Smith rallied the Bears to an 11-5 regular season mark as Chicago became just the twentieth NFL team to qualify for the post-season after beginning the season 1-3 since the current 12-team playoff system was instituted in 1990.

    In achieving his 2nd stated goal (winning the division) he also sealed the deal on his first goal by sweeping the Packers and along the way collected the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year Award. Two years, two major goals accomplished.

    Now entering his 3rd year in the helm, Lovie will go to work on the third objective in 2006.

    Like Lovie Smith, I believe that goals are achieved through clear vision, honest evaluation, and strong desire to succeed.

    I am a patient man, and am willing to wait and hope for progress and growth, but if the Packers ever hope to turn things around, it will take much more of the above and far less of the excuses (and blaming of the predecessors) and certainly no more of the sticking of heads in the sand and claiming it takes years before you can even start to evaluate.

    I have yet to hear Ted Thompson articulate a clear vision and have not been impressed by his lack of candor nor his unwillingness to admit mistakes.

    If he as a first time GM, and his young staff and players are going to succeed they need to start looking in the mirror and being honest with themselves and show willingness to adapt and change in ways that reflect a strong desire to succeed.

    ***NOTE*** This is in no way a calling for anyone's head. Development does take patience, and with a 1st time GM, 1st time HC, two 1st time coordinators, and the youngest team in the division patience will be required. It does however throw down the gauntlet and declare that there will be no free passes or does of denial issued along the way if we hope to see that development in our lifetime.
     
  2. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,454
    Ratings:
    +6
    the patriots went 5-11 the first year with the team of Kraft/Belichek

    they won 3 superbowls in 4 years after that. patience will be required.
     
  3. Hammer

    Hammer Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    651
    Ratings:
    +0
    Also, they lost to Buffalo in the first game of their first SB season 30-0.
    Hammer
     
  4. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,454
    Ratings:
    +6
    so many correlations that its almost scary right hammer/.
     
  5. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    3,904
    Ratings:
    +1
    So let's see this is our second year. Are 2/3 the way there. You can turn it around in a year IF you have good management.
     
  6. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,084
    Ratings:
    +0
    Right, but they got Richard Seymoure in the draft that offseason. Without him, no Super Bowls (I don't care how good Tom Brady is). The key is to get true playmakers with our top draft pick after a bad season, that is how we'll turn it around quickly.
     
  7. spardo62

    spardo62 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    559
    Ratings:
    +0
    The only caveat I will add is that the Bears had been horrible for the better part of 10 years prior to Lovie coming to town. The cupboard was far from empty, as they had been drafting in the top 10 for many years. This core of talent was ready to make a move, and Chicago selected a good leader, who was able to take them over the hump. MM and TT walked into a situation where the Packers had not had a losing season in 13 years and was typically drafting at the end of each round. They had aging, depleted talent across the board. Thus far, TT has not shown the inclination or ability to trade to fill gaps and has relied on the draft. This approach will take more than 1 or 2 years to pan out.

    NOTE: this is not meant as a defense of TT or MM, rather just pointing out that the Packers are now paying for past success and the results would not be what we all hope for no matter who is running the show.
     
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,078
    Ratings:
    +0
    Good point made by all. I do not have time to address each of the responses, instead I will try to address raised issue to all in my response.

    I certainly know that Lovie Smith is not the GM and that Ted Thompson is not a coach, but they did step into situations that bare (no pun or play on words intended) some striking similarities -- and some stark contrasts.

    It is easy to forget that the Bears were picked to finish last in both of his first two seasons, he took a job with a team that was being declared to be in CAP Hell (it turned out not to be just as it turned out not to be in GB) and he started clearing out high paid veterans and players who did not fit with his system, making his the youngest team in the NFL (the Packers are the youngest team in the division, not the NFL)...

    Further, neither came into situations where the cupboard was bare. When TT was hired he Packers were coming off of 3 straight division championships, and had one of the top offenses in the league which was reflected by having 9 players (starters) on offense who had made Pro Bowl appearances. On defense they had three who had played in Pro Bowls (Sharper, Jackson and KGB) and two players who were named as alternates and seemed on the cusp of getting there (Harris and Barnett). The Bears had nothing similar when Lovie took over -- he had a few young players to build a defense around, but remember a squad that had lost 19 games in the two previous season -- and lost 11 games in his first season once their great young MLB went down to injury. At no time did Lovie Smith ever offer an excuse or give or take a pass from accountability.

    Even entering this season the Packers still have 5 players who have played in Pro Bowls on offense -- Brett Favre, Ahman Green, William Henderson, Bubba Franks, and Donald Driver (which is representatives in all of the skill positions).

    The basic premise of my post was not to compare TT and Smith, it was to contrast the difference between a clear vision and a no excuses approach to one that seems to have an ambiguous vision and one where we read lots of excuses, finger pointing and declarations that it not OK to evaluate or critic.

    I have not given up on our young GM (though he is giving me reason to question his competence) or our young Coaching staff (not one I would have hired, but ours none-the-less) or our young team, they all have football backgrounds and all have the capacity to learn and develop.

    The Green Bay Packers were embarrassed in an opener at home yesterday -- for that there can be no excuses. They are young and they were not ready against da bears, their legendary rival. Having said that, I am not ready to write off this season or the Packers near term future, nor should the coaching staff or players on this team.

    If they are to grow and develop, they must (like Lovie Smith has) approach this week without excuses, man up and own responsibility (which Harris did and Manuel would not) and learn from their mistakes. The NFL is not decided in the first game of the season, there are still 15 regular season games to play, a division crown to be competed for and two wild card spots that are months from being decided.

    The Packers have quite a hill to climb, but no one ever climbed the hill of success by wringing their hands and clucking like chicken littles. Fans are free to be drunk with unrealistic expectation or to jump on and off the bandwagon declaring "I told you so," regardless of the most recent change in the wind. I prefer to try to operate with an approach that is balanced and concentrating on the immediate challenge on the horizon -- in this case the New Orleans Saint-- viewing history as lessons for growth and development and the longer term future as guide posts to inform the present.

    Coaches and Players need to be focused on the task that is on hand, while front offices need to focus on the past, present and future of the organization. And while they need to be given room to grow, they never benefit from being allowed to avoid accountability by excuses, free passes or finger pointing (those are formulas for chronic losing).

    Each GM's, coach's, player's, scout's... evaluation starts moments after they are hired and should be expected to be accountable for their actions henceforth. Lovie Smith changed the atmosphere and climate in Chicago from years of futility to true contender, often with duct tape and by covering up vulnerabilities on his offense and defense. Unless the Packers are willing to follow a similar course it is hard to see a way out of this "wrong direction" this organization currently seems to be embarked upon.

    ***Note*** Lovie Smith was just a good (and current) example, I could have selected other examples of doing it the right way.
     
  9. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,943
    Ratings:
    +0
    Excellent reads Bruce,

    As always, they are well thought out and articulated well, thanks !!!
     
  10. Drich318

    Drich318 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    153
    Ratings:
    +0
    TT has one more year besides this one, after that, we better be in the playoffs in 2008, if not, he is FIRED.
     

Share This Page