Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived
Remember the moment from Super Bowl XLV when Packers assistant coach Kevin Greene looked Clay Matthews in the eyes and told him that “it is time!”
It’s one of the more memorable moments from that Super Bowl victory and something Packers fans won’t forget any time soon.
NFL history is filled with instances when coaches say something memorable or inspiring to players during a key portion of a big game. The emotion and intensity of the moment makes for compelling drama that even the best Hollywood actors could never replicate.
You don’t hear about similar moments involving general managers. In fact, thinking about someone going up to a general manager in his office, looking into his eyes, and telling him “it is time!” sounds downright silly.
Even so, I think it would be perfectly reasonable for someone to do that to Ted Thompson this week.
Not literally, of course. That would just be weird and could lead to an arrest. Without getting right in his face, this week is the perfect week to get the message to Thompson that “it is time!”
Now is the time for Thompson to put himself in the history books as one of the best general managers of all time. He’s already got a Super Bowl. He’s already highly respected. He’s already guided the Packers franchise through the Brett Favre-to-Aaron Rodgers transition. He’s already had a great career and has plenty to be proud of.
But if Thompson wants to separate himself from the pack of very good general managers and join the group of all-time great general managers, it is time for him to make his move.
Thompson talked this week about the draft being his responsibility. Even when Thompson had John Schneider, Reggie McKenzie and John Dorsey by his side, I always believed the credit for a great draft, or the blame for a lackluster draft, should be on the general manager, the man in charge.
That’s not to say that input from Schneider, McKenzie and Dorsey — all NFL general managers now — didn’t mean anything. It’s always good to have as many smart people as possible helping you make decisions.
But the Packers success or failure in the personnel departments starts and ends with Thompson. That’s especially true now that Schneider, McKenzie and Dorsey are gone.
Thompson has put himself in a great position to leap to the next level of general managers. He’s got a franchise quarterback and a franchise pass-rusher, two of the most important elements of any successful modern-day NFL team. He’s also drafted plenty of young talent and has a good rapport with his head coach.
That’s all well and good, but it is time to take that next step and find another impact player or two that can get the Packers back to the Super Bowl and cement Thompson as an all-timer.
I’m sure Thompson realizes this. He doesn’t need some obscure blogger guy telling him this.
I’m also not saying that Thompson should be fired if the Packers don’t win another Super Bowl in the next couple of years.
All I’m saying is that “it is time!” for Thompson. When Green uttered those words to Matthews, he was saying that it is time to separate yourself from the very good players and do something that puts you in the great category.
Matthews did it. It is time for Thompson to do the same.
Packers News, Notes and Links
- John Rehor at Packerstalk.com had a powerful post this week on the Boston Marathon bombing.
- After reading John’s post, be sure to check out all the draft podcasts the Packerstalk.com crew is doing. Here’s a breakdown of the draft’s defensive linemen with Bleacher Report’s Michael Dulka, here’s one with Shane Hallum of Draft Countdown on defensive backs, and here’s one on tight ends and running backs with Matt Waldman of Rookie Scouting Portfolio.
- The next beer is on Clay Matthews. The Packers signed the linebacker to a $66 million contract extension this week. No word on how much of that money will go toward building a protective wall around Matthews’ hamstrings.
- The 2013 NFL Schedule was announced this week. Now is the time where we all make predictions that will mean next to nothing after two games are played.
- More NFL draft podcast knowledge here from CheeseheadTV’s Brian Carriveau on WBIZ in Eau Claire.
- Packers restricted free agent Sam Shields did not sign an offer sheet with another team and will be back in Green Bay. Now the question is whether the Packers will sign Shields to a long-term deal now, or let him play with just a one year contract. I kind of like the idea of not signing Shields long-term right away. Of course, if Shields plays well, that strategy blows up in the Packers’ face, so my guess is Thompson will try to get a team-friendly deal done.
- Did you know that Mr. T once tried out for the Packers? I didn’t until I listned to Mr. T on this podcast with Richard Deitsch from Sports Illustrated from April 1.
Non-Packers Links and Other Nonsense
- Uh-oh. Someone farted in the bullpen.
- As the NBA playoffs start, make sure you read this feature on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich from Joe Posnanski.
- Do you like good music? Are you looking for a unique new rock/metal band to get into? Are you cool with Satan? Then check out Ghost’s new album.
- This is a powerful read about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
- Here’s a story about the Today Show and all its behind-the-scenes drama. I don’t know why I bothered reading the whole thing. I don’t care about the Today Show, or any of the late-night talk show wars between Letterman/Leno/Kimmel/O’Brien/whoever else, but there’s a lot of attention focused on that kind of thing.
- Remember when I wrote about Out of the Park Baseball 14 last week? Its NBA equivalent was recently released as well. You can replay the entire history of baseball with Fast Break Pro Basketball 2013. I highly recommend it.