20

August

What’s Going On With Ted Thompson?

Cedric Benson

Former Bears/Bengals running back Cedric Benson,

How many of you were caught off guard with the Reggie Wells signing?  How about the Cedric Benson signing?  Me too.  Now for all of us who think we know Ted Thompson, we’d naturally think that in response to the spate of injuries (which is also unusually high enough for a training camp that head coach Mike McCarthy has had to tone down and shorten practices just to keep his players fresh), Thompson would go and sign some young guy we’ve never heard of, probably from a school that we’ve never heard of and also probably with only a few, if any, years of experience in the NFL.

The “standard” Ted Thompson MO has so far been low-risk/high reward, meaning that by signing young unknown players, he is minimizing the risk of his investment (i.e. the contract) since young unproven players can be had for much lower costs.  When Thompson hits he gets Tramon Williams, when he doesn’t he gets Maurice Simpkins (who?); either way the Packers can’t really lose.

So how about Wells and Benson, who are both players with 8 years plus playing experience in the NFL?  I would argue that the entire league knows what you are getting with both players; Wells has a ton of experience and multiple positions on the offensive line and makes a good emergency swing offensive linemen but isn’t exactly starting material and Benson is the no-nonsense, straight ahead runner that the Packers love, but has a very long list of off the field problems as well as a penchant for putting the ball on the ground.

Both presumably signed the veteran minimum (also presumably with no guaranteed money) so basically the cost is about the same, so why not pick a player that’s younger and has a chance to factor long term into the Packers plans?  Here are a couple reasons I’ve thought up, if you have any other ideas, please leave them in the comment section below.

 

9

August

Packers News: Team Adds Veteran Lineman Reggie Wells

Packers OL Reggie Wells

Packers OL Reggie Wells

After being forced to insert Herb Taylor as the starting left tackle in Marshall Newhouse’s absence, the Packers added some veteran depth to their offensive line by signing nine-year veteran Reggie Wells on Wednesday night.

After spending most of his career with the Arizona Cardinals, Wells had a brief stint with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010, and played with the Carolina Panthers last season. Wells has experience at both tackle positions, but his primary position is left guard, where he’s started 79 of his 91 career starts.

The depth on the offensive line has been tested this week after Newhouse left last weekend’s Family Night scrimmage with a concussion. Trying to fill Newhouse’s shoes protecting Aaron Rodgers’s blindside, the Packers have been forced to employ Taylor with the starters.

It’s too early to tell if the Packers are comfortable with Wells playing left tackle, or if they view him as more of an interior lineman, but we’ll soon find out once he joins the team on the practice field. At the very least, Wells adds some stability to the depth of the offensive line which had been lacking veteran experience.

Wells will wear No. 68 with the Packers.

The Packers also claimed wide receiver Andy Brewer off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles, and to clear room for the two additions, the team placed undrafted rookie Jaymes Brooks on the reserve/PUP list and placed fellow undrafted rookie Mike McCabe on injured reserve.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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