The first quarter of 2013 has been a rough three months for Packers fans.
It started out well enough, with a solid playoff win against the Vikings at Lambeau Field.
Unfortunately, things have gone south after that.
First, there was the embarrassing loss to the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Donald Driver, the team’s all time leading receiving leader, retired after 14 seasons, including a final season which saw him barely on the field.
Just over a week after Driver’s retirement, they released Charles Woodson after seven seasons.
They tried to, and failed, to sign free agent defensive lineman Chris Canty, after medical concerns.
They lost out on the Steven Jackson sweepstakes.
Greg Jennings took the (less) money and ran to Minnesota to join the hated Vikings.
And on the same day that Jennings bolted, word came out that fan favorite Tom Crabtree signed with the Buccaneers, after an apparent lack of interest in the Packers resigning him.
That is a lot of ache for fans to process in such a short period of time.
More than a handful have aimed their frustration and anger at General Manager Ted Thompson for his inactivity thus far, his only actions being a restructuring of a bloated AJ Hawk contract and resigning backup linebacker Robert Francois.
Thompson decided to address this on Sunday, the day before the NFL Owners Meetings begin.
I don’t think fans are unruly or harmful or mad at me. I think they want the Packers to do good. It means so much to the state of Wisconsin and Packers fans everywhere for the organization to do well, and I think they want us to do right by the organization and right by the players and we try to do that. … I don’t think you can get too worked up about being criticized.
In an NFL world of exciting off seasons, the world Ted Thompson guides Packers fans through is as exciting as watching paint dry. And that’s OK.
Free agent signings in March and exciting draft picks in April don’t win championships. Just ask the Eagles. Or the Redskins.
The thing that people need to keep in mind is that despite Thompson’s lack of action, EVERYTHING he does is in the best interest of the Packers. While it may upset fans, and cause head scratching and head shaking, he was hired to do a job and is doing what he believes is best.
Sure, I wish Ted was more active in free agency, and would just once make a splash, even if just a small one. But free agency should be used to add that missing piece, not financially cripple a team for years, especially with some very important re signings coming up sooner than later.
It does concern me that he has stuck to his build the team only through the draft policy he arrived in Green Bay. Not every draft pick is going to be a slam dunk-you are going to take lumps with some of the players drafted (Justin Harrell). It can be a scary way to run a team, especially when other teams have caught up with the Packers talent wise. But until the Packers completely bottom out and go 4-12, there is no reason not to trust Ted and what he is doing.
The off season has stung. The mystique of winning the Super Bowl a mere two years ago has been replaced by Super Bowl heroes departures and question marks about the direction the team is heading in. The man expected to calm the madness has helped fuel the fire by doing nothing in the eyes of fans. But I am here to tell you it will be alright. It is March. There is a long way to go before Training Camp, many questions yet to be answered. Rest assured by the time early September rolls around, Ted Thompson will have done everything in his power to make the Packers a Super Bowl contender again.
It’s still OK to trust Ted Thompson.
John Rehor is a staff writer at PackersTalk.com and co-host of Cheesehead Radio. To contact John follow him on Twitter @jrehor or email firstname.lastname@example.org