Several reports came out this weekend stating that Ted Thompson has again rankled some feathers within the Packers organization. This isn’t anything new. Rumors were abound last year about Mike McCarthy being fed up with Thompson’s approach, or lack thereof, to free agency. Now, the cat is apparently out of the bag involving players and coaches alike expressing frustration for letting T.J. Lang walk.
In this age of instant information access and hyperconnectivity, every NFL fanbase is essentially an arsenal of armchair general managers that know how to run the team far better than the actual front office or coaching staff. I could visit a handful of bars tonight in my quaint Wisconsin town and would have no trouble finding several guys who would guarantee the Packers would be hoisting the Lombardi next year if they had the job of Thompson, McCarthy, or Dom Capers. When stories like this latest Lang one come out, the fanbase turns into a pool of piranhas with a wounded animal just tossed in.
So, some people employed at 1265 Lombardi Ave. are upset with Thompson. They have every right to be. I made my case for keeping Lang earlier this year. In eight months’ time, Thompson has let two All-Pro caliber guards walk. Neither was old in NFL years. Any sane person would keep two high quality guards on their football team to help protect their Hall of Fame quarterback. Like I said before, you protect your Ferrari by keeping it in a locked garage. You don’t park it underneath a lean-to in a neighborhood known for auto theft.
Plenty of pundits are coming to Thompson’s defense, and they also have legitimate reasons. He did draft Rodgers, has re-signed plenty of players to keep the homegrown talent, and made decisions that made business sense but broke hearts (releasing Charles Woodson, sticking with Rodgers when Favre wanted back in after “retiring” in 2008). Thompson may have no heart, but a good GM shouldn’t have one anyway.
So, what’s going to come from these latest rumors? Nothing. Ted Thompson is made of Teflon when it comes to noise from the outside world. “Teflon Ted” he should be called. He knows where his bread is buttered, and it’s not from the armchair GMs or “stockholders”. Some players and coaches may be upset, but they know where their bread is buttered too. Replacing T.J. Lang could very well be a seamless transition. When it comes down to it, every position is expendable but a franchise QB.
________________John Piotrowski is a UW-Eau Claire alum, spending most of his life in western WI. He makes the trek east to Lambeau whenever possible. Follow him on twitter at @piosGBP.