With the conclusion of the 2013 season, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson hit a milestone of sorts with a team: he just completed his ninth season at the helm of the Packers’ football operations.
Know who else made it that long as GM in Green Bay? Thompson’s predecessor and mentor Ron Wolf. Both men have won a Super Bowl but yet Wolf is held in legendary status with Packers fans and Thompson, to date, is not.
With the passionate debate about Thompson and his activity (or lack thereof) in free agency that consumed much of the offseason thus far until Thompson signed Julius Peppers, ow figures a good time to compare Thompson and his mentor and how their times as Packers general manager compare and contrast.
As the saying goes, “the numbers never lie.”
Regular season record:
Wolf took over a team that was in ruins with only three winning seasons in the past 24 years. The cupboard for talent was pretty barren and it wasn’t until Wolf traded for Brett Favre in 1992 and signed Reggie White in 1993 that marquee talent would stay in Green Bay. Wolf also didn’t have a losing season and had only one non-winnjng (8-8) season in 1999.
Thompson meanwhile inherited a team that had an aging but still gifted Favre at quarterback and talent on offense but disastrous drafts by Mike Sherman left the defense in disarray and a team that was getting older by the day. Thompson had to cleanse the roster and the 4-12 record in his first season as GM showed that. Thompson had been only one other losing season in 2008 (6-10) and an 8-8 season in 2006 with rookie coach Mike McCarthy leading a young roster.
This might come as a shock to some of Thompson’s detractors but he’s pretty close to Wolf here and not many fans would have fired Wolf.
Wolf: 9-5 (1-1 in Super Bowl) 6 playoff appearances
Thompson: 6-5 (1-0 in Super Bowl) 6 playoff appearances