1) Introduction: I think the biggest mistake that fans make when criticizing front office personnel like general managers is using the same rubric and time frame as they use for for players. Take Ted Thompson for instance, whose first pick for the Packers was a quarterback deemed too short with a weak arm when the Packers already had the best quarterback in franchise history. Naturally, we’re having arguments now on whether Aaron Rodgers is better than Brett Favre (personally, I still think its Starr, but Farve and Rodgers should be legitimately in the conversation).
Thompson was also roundly criticized for picking a cornerback to play safety from a college no one had ever heard of or drafting another wide receiver even when the Packers had fantastic depth but Nick Collins, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have all been fantastic players who have made Thompson look like a very smart man. Overall, Thompson should not be graded per game or even per season, but over a span of 5 years or more.
- Age: 61
- Born: 1/17/1953 in Atlanta, Texas (There’s an Atlanta in Texas?)
- Height: 6’1″ (man, he was a short linebacker)
- Weight: 220
- College: Southern Methodist
- Rookie Year: 1975
- NFL Experience: 10 years as a player, 22 years as a scout and front office executive
3) Expectations coming into the season: High. In the last 5 years the Packers have won the Super Bowl, been in the playoffs every year and managed a 15-1 season. Added to that the Packers have always had one of the youngest and deepest rosters in football and always have had a very healthy salary cap situation. Thompson also has reportedly great rapport with head coach Mike McCarthy and his staff and Packer’s “system” of draft and develop has benefited all parties more often than not. The Packers were expected to win the NFC North again and make it to the playoffs.