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Ted Thompson's second challenge

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by net, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. net

    net Cheesehead

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    The Packers are at a crossroads, and so is Ted Thompson. While the foundation to contend for a championship remains, TT faces the reality that he must move the team ahead this year, or it will fall behind. It won't be easy.
    Losing Reggie McKenzie will hurt. It means TT must reshape the front office. Mike McCarthy has had to reshape his coaching staff, as well.
    TT must look at whether Finley is the long term answer at tight end, given the price he could command on the open market. If you look at his injuries and attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't use the franchise attitude on him, though he likely will.
    Resigning Scott Wells is critical. Do you put a new o-line leader in there at this critical time? The dropoff from Wells is steep.
    Flynn is certainly gone, so finding a competent backup QB is necessary.
    A decision on Donald Driver will not be easy. Even with a pay cut, Driver could be taking up catches that could be going to younger receivers. His production has dropped off.

    But defense needs a makeover. Tough decisions need to be made on Woodson's future and the safety spot if Nick Collins can't continue, Hawk's continuing with the Packers, and the need to find a defensive end and outside linebacker.Mike Neal appears to me to be the new Justin Harrell. Something happened to the defense this year.

    TT has dipped his toe into free agency and hit a few times, blanched other times. But he needs to do so this year. He needs to find whatever cap room is available and go after Mario Williams.
    His pass rush would be essential to returning the Packers some defensive respect. Drafting the best rookie OLB would be a nice added piece.
    The draft is deep in corners, and a stud will be available in the second round.

    If Thompson sits pat, hoping for more production out of the current defense, it will be a failure.
    If the Packers defense had been middle of the pack, instead of dead last, they likely would have won the Super Bowl. Asking Aaron Rodgers to outscore the other team by scoring more than 30 points each time is a bit much to do.

    This offseason will be the most challenging for TT since he came to Green Bay. If he gets aggressive and steps out of his pattern, he could hit it big. But if he gets overly conservative and hopes to get more with the current players, it will be a failure.
    We will see.
     
  2. ExpatPacker

    ExpatPacker Cheesehead

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    Much of what you say I agree with, but Mario Williams may not be the answer. First, his price will probably go high. Second, there are other FAs who might be a more economical choice. Example, the Raiders just let go of their pro-bowl CB Stanford Routt. I also think that TT is wise not just to plan in terms of such a small window.

    Although I hope the defense will improve next year, it may be better to think in terms of 2 years. There are several holes to fill. We need a better ILB than Hawk. OLB and DE are big needs. DT, Pickett is an eleven-year vet and may have one good season left in him. Plus, Raji is really better CB, Woodson is 35 years old, SS, we hope Collins comes back. IF he doesn't we have a big hole to fill there too.

    I don't see it happening overnight, and signing a FA before we see what we can get in the draft may not be wise. The crop of OLBs and DEs is pretty good this year. I am still holding out hope that somehow we can move up in the draft and get Courtney Upshaw. He looks like the most complete, NFL-ready OLB who can bring it on the pass rush out there.
     
  3. Croak

    Croak Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Every General Manager faces these kind of decisions every year. I liked how you pointed out the positions in which there are potential needs. However, the Packers won't have the cap space to sign a big name free agent, and Mario Williams is probably the biggest. He'll command a price a lot higher than TT is able to pay. Expat is right in looking at next year as well the Packers have some very notable and expensive contracts that will be due. TT has to be frugal with expenditures on contracts this year. There's no way around. That's the whole point of a salary cap. A team with existing good talent can't be the Yankees of Baseball or the Heat of basketball and survive by trying to sign expensive free agents. The Packers have such good talent and they will be spending most of their cap money in house. If TT goes to free agency at all, it will be a modest contract.
     
  4. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    Do a search and replace for the following:

    Old/new
    Mario Williams/Julius Peppers
    McKenzie/Reinfeldt
    Woodson/Jenkins
    Driver/Kampmann
    Wells/Tauscher

    and so on.

    The point is, this happens every year. If anything, TT has it easy this year. The Packers have won more games in the last 20 months than any other team. They are a dominating force that all teams fear to play. Yes their defense sucks. There are corner stone pieces already there and there is more talent waiting in the wings. Why? Because TT has been systematically drafting talent and developing it on the roster rather than throwing the future away by knee jerk reactions like signing big name FAs.

    Do you thing Chicago is better having signed Julius Peppers? I'm very glad they did. His salary over the past 2 years will prevent them from signing one of their emerging players to a long term deal like TE Davis or RB Forte. Pepper's salary probably added to the fuel for the discontent established stars like Lance Briggs with their contracts. How do you think his attitude plays in the locker room? He put little effort forth this year when the season turned south. What impression did that make on the young players? I wonder what Jerry Angelo is saying to the other guys in the unemployment line about the merits of free agency?

    The panacea that is big name FAs in the NFL is an illusion. Let Chicago and Minnesota lead the paper title race. Me? I want a real championship team.
     
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  5. GreenBlood

    GreenBlood Banned Banned

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    Attitude? This B.S. again? Once again, there is nothing wrong with Finley's attitude. You don't know him, and neither do I, so I'll defer to someone who actually knows him. How about.... Mike McCarthy? Yeah, I think he knows him pretty well. So, Mike, what do you think of Jermichael Finley's attitude?

    Mike: "Jermichael... has a great work ethic. There's no one more into the practice on a daily basis than Jermichael. He is a very talented young man and I would emphasize young. He needs an offseason program like a lot of guys and I think he'll continue to grow and be an outstanding football player for us."

    Hmm... Seems the attitude problem is in the imagination of a few people who spend way too much time on Twitter, because it's certainly not in the locker room.

    As for injuries, he had knee surgery last year and just played through a whole season. No problem. BTW, the cretin they have over in New England just had ankle surgery too.
     
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  6. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    Once an idea gets out there it is tough to extinguish. His rookie season he made a bad play or two and blamed Rodgers for it. I think one was a fade pass that he said AR made a bad throw. Since then, he has greatly matured and you have to be impressed with his attitude. He clearly wants to be a great player and is a locker room leader. Packers would be greatly served if all the players had his attitude.

    Way past time to put the 'bad' attitude thing to bed.
     
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  7. BSchujasNYG

    BSchujasNYG Giants Fan

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    Mario Williams will be too costly for you guys. You guys are better off going for an Anthony Spencer, who is a great run defender and underrated pass rusher. Sure he benefits with Ware on the other side, but how big of a drop off is Ware to Matthews?

    In other words, Spencer is a system fit, and should considerably cheaper.
     
  8. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Thompson won't stand pat but he also won't be a big player if at all in free agency. He will try to improve the defense through the draft. That's the way he operates.
     
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  9. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    I like Anthony Spencer. He's definately an upgrade over Walden/Zombo/Jones. I would like the Packers to add at least one FA on defense. It is not feasible to think the Packers can fix all of their defensive problems in the draft. I'm not asking for a big name or big money, just a player who could come in and start at OLB, DE or NT.
     
  10. BSchujasNYG

    BSchujasNYG Giants Fan

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    Best NT in this FA class would be a guy like Sione Pouha, but he will probably (rightfully so) demand a lot of money. I can see him wanting to leave the Jets though. A sleeper at NT would be a guy like Antonio Garay from the Chargers. He was a flat out beast in 2010, and had a solid year this year. He will be cheaper then Pouha and he might even be a bit more well rounded then Pouha who is dominant against the run and an average pass rusher.

    DE, there are the top dollar guys like Calais Campbell and another very high value but cheaper guy, who is an ideal 5T in the system that Capers runs for your team, and that is Jason Jones. He wasn't as good as years prior this year because of an injury, but he will be healthy next year, and would be a force if utilized correctly on your team. Provides great interior rush.

    As for OLB, I really think you guys have to address that via the draft. I mean there are options for every position of need you mentioned, Poe could be a nice NT for you guys, Curry is a guy I think is gonna flat out ball in the NFL as an OLB in a 3-4/50 scheme, and if healthy, Jared Crick can play the 5T for you guys.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. fettpett

    fettpett Cheesehead

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    Only reason Williams would come to Green Bay is if he doesn't have any other option and is cheap. Since that ISN'T going to happen, I wouldn't worry about him.

    Draft or a really cheap FA is the way to go.
     
  12. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    I live in Dallas, and they too want to upgrade the OLB position, FROM Anthony Spencer!
    They love the guy on the other side like we do, in DeMarcus Ware and they think that with the attention that Ware commands, that it should be easier for the other OLB to get sacks.

    So while I DO think Spencer is an upgrade from our stiffs mentioned above, I don't think he's that great and I'd prefer taking my swing at Jerry Hughes.

    I won't complain with turning over many stones though!
     
  13. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    I love that guy too.
    But we need OLB and DE help.
     
  14. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I don’t have any idea how much Reggie McKenzie or Joe Philbin will be missed. I don’t think either is a critical loss since Thompson is the hub of talent acquisition and McCarthy is the de facto OC. But like I said I really don’t know.

    I don’t think this is even close to Thompson’s most challenging offseason. He took over a team in salary cap hell, with little depth, and had no choice but attempt to work with a HC who, according to Bob Harlan, was an *** to him. The HOF QB almost immediately told him how to his job while that same QB hadn’t even committed to playing in 2005. And no Packers fan needs to be reminded of the 2008 offseason. That certainly has to go down as challenging. This offseason will be nothing like those. On top of all that, the Thompson-led Packers are one season removed from winning a championship. No, while this offseason has its challenges, it is a comparative walk in the park.

    The Packers defense wasn’t dead last, it finished the regular season 19th but of course it has to improve. And if the defense was decent and the offense gave up three turnovers and the receivers dropped 6-8 passes, they’d have been home watching the Super Bowl anyway.

    - - - -

    Wouldn’t the signing of Mario Williams be exciting? No question about that. But if Thompson signs Mario, who goes? And not just this year but in the next few years. Greg Jennings deal is up after the 2012 season and so is TJ Lang’s. Both will probably be extended this season. But it’s the next year that will strain the cap and the cash reserve. After 2013, Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, and Morgan Burnett’s deals are all up. If Nick Collins comes back this season (fingers crossed), his deal is up too. If Marshall Newhouse turns out to be the real deal at LT, it’ll be important to keep him too and his deal is also up after 2013. And if James Starks and/or Mike Neal and/or Andrew Quarless end up being core players… So if Mario is a Packer, who goes?

    The one thing I’m certain of is Thompson won’t sit on his hands. I doubt he will satisfy fans pining for a Mario signing but he won’t sit on his hands. After winning the Super Bowl he brought in 10 draftees. And he added 15 UDFAs. Now of course no one will confuse any of them with Mario Williams. Some fans think the draft and UDFA just can’t be enough to recharge the defense with talent. But what if he finds a difference maker like Clay for the defense at #28? What if he finds a starting caliber DE or DB in the second round?

    I don’t think Thompson believes he or the team is at a crossroads. The team was at a crossroad in 2006 when McCarthy took over for Sherman. And again in 2008 when Rodgers took over at QB. The team has one of the best QBs in the league and a great receiving corp which combine for a prolific offense. The STs are fine. While the defense needs work, it is not bereft of talent. BJ Raji, Clay Matthews and an aging Charles Woodson all return. And hopefully Nick Collins too.

    BTW, I understand why profanity is censored but don’t understand why a synonym for “butt” or “donkey” is. The word that begins with an “a” and ends with “ss” is not profane IMO. Not a big deal, just saying…
     
  15. Bagadeez04

    Bagadeez04 Cheesehead

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    Mario Williams will get a $100 million contract. Ted is never going to shell out that kind of cash...and dude, everyone knows this. So why post about it?

    What we need to hope for is that teams are going after other positions in the draft, and a solid pass rusher winds up being good value when we pick. At least a couple teams (Bills, Dolphins) are switching to a 4-3, which is a good thing for the Packers draft-wise.

    But as Packer fans we should all know what TT will do in FA...nothing. He will hope that guys like So'Oto, Lattimore and Neal make big improvements in the off-season...and he will add guys in the draft. I think Ted has done a great job as GM overall, though I don't quite understand why he seems to detest free agency. I don't believe it's worth it these days to shell out $100 million contracts to guys, or to severely overpay for guys...but there are deals to be had out there IMO (Chris Canty for instance a couple years ago)...and he just doesn't seem interested.

    But he's the guy who's got the Super Bowl win under his belt, and I trust him to do business the way he sees fit.
     
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  16. Bogart

    Bogart Duke Mantee

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    Houston is not going to let Mario Williams walk, and even if they do I don't see TT going after him.


    This team proved potential by winning the Super Bowl in 2010, but I think everyone gets ahead of themselves. They proved they can be champions, but the defense really needs some major adjustments and fixes. Rodgers can't win it all on his own while the defense just pisses games away and gives up 35 points and 400 yards.

    I look for next year to be a rebuilding year for the defense, unless they want the same thing to happen, win a bunch of games on an easy schedule, and get blown out in the first round cause you got no defense.
     
  17. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Wow you wrote a lot of good stuff here Bagadeez. I agree with 90% of it all. Williams will command money, maybe Houston will get the friendly discount, but if not TT won't sink the salary cap on one guy. I hope he doesn't.

    The only point of contention that I have is about TT not going after anyone. TT will go after people but he is VERY bargain conscious. When the stakes get high TT backs out and I have zero problem with that approach. TT did go after Randy Moss when Favre wanted it, but once the bidding started TT pulled away. Smart move. I believe that was the same situation in the Marshawn Lynch situation during 2010. He'll get the Woodson's and the Pickets when he sees value that others don't see. When someone is all the rage, you can bet your hat that TT won't be the winning bidder. It's not his style and I believe that's where too many GMs go awry. They get enamored with a player and then overpay during the bid-up. TT is like a good gambler. He takes down the pots that he knows he should win, and folds his cards when the crazies toss around the big chips. It's hard to argue since TT keeps getting us to the final table each year. Sometimes it's just all about the cards and luck in terms of whether you get to play head-to-head!
     
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  18. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Its being said that Williams will be the highest paid defensive player in the league.

    How would that go over if Ted signs him and has to top that to keep clay happy? We would have a HUGE portion of our cap tied up in 3 players. Seems rather insane.

    When will fans learn that the solution for every year they dont win the SB, is not going out and getting the biggest Free Agent on the market?!?!?
     
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  19. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    I also work under the assumption that Thompson gives guys currently on the roster a home-team advantage over FAs. He handicaps players like the wise guys handicap games. And if two teams are matched up neck-and-neck, handicap goes -3 to the home team. Simple home field advantage. I figure Thompson assumes a home-team advantage for his guys because of chemistry, familiarity with the staff, and familiarity with the system.
     
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  20. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Both great points:
     
  21. Croak

    Croak Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Waaaiiiiitttt for it.....RANDY MOSS RANDY MOSS RANDY MOSS, (ad nauseam). ;)
     
  22. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    The only reason at this point Moss should be signed by the Packers is to piss of the gunslinger :)
     
  23. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    The odds on us signing Mario Williams or Randy Moss is greater than the world ending on December 21.
     
  24. Croak

    Croak Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Maybe the Mayans will sign him....
     
  25. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    I think Thompson will sign someone during this free agency period. But you can bet it won't be a guy that will break the bank. My guess is that there's a young guy out there that was on his draft list at some point but got snatched up by another team. He will think the guy still has a good chance to be a player. Thats who he will go after and there won't be a lot of $'s involved. Ted will value shop.
     
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