Since January 14, 2005, Ted Thompson has been the driving force behind the reincarnation of the Green Bay Packers. At times he has been reviled by a huge portion of Packer Nation, and recently has been lauded as the eccentric genius architect of the deepest and most talented team in the league. To encapsulate his triumphs and failures of the past 6 years I have created a top ten list of hits and misses (coming soon).
1. Drafting Aaron Rodgers:
This draft pick caused me and my friends to scream and throw our draft guides at the television. “Get Brett Favre some weapons! Our window is closing! Why does The Albino hate us?” we shouted between moments of rage filled couch punching. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league, which is the most important position in all of sports.
2. Hiring Mike McCarthy:
It took some guts to bring in the coordinator of the worst offense in the NFL to be your first hire. As my screen name may indicate, I was an extreme doubter of McCarthy and may have even called for his head on a platter on this very website. Two things have become very clear after the Packers beat the Steelers in the Superbowl; Thompson found the right man for the job, and I good sirs, am an idiot.
3. Trading Brett Favre:
There seems to be a theme here, Ted Thompson’s greatest moves were also his most controversial. This moment in Packer history will be discussed for years to come. In the end it was the perfect time to make the franchises biggest change in two decades.
4. Signing Charles Woodson:
Thompson has been very selective in free agency is like saying Gilbert Brown was slightly overweight, but Charles Woodson is the second greatest free agent signing in Packer’s history. I will give everyone one guess as to who is #1 on that list.
5. Drafting Clay Matthews III:
Trading up in the draft is not something that Thompson appears to be comfortable with, but he left his comfort zone and moved up to draft one of the most feared young defenders in the NFL. Matthews was the least known of the three USC linebackers drafted in 2009, but he has been a force from day one.
6. Drafting Greg Jennings:
When Ted Thompson chose Jennings with the 52nd pick of the 2006 draft most people said, “Who?” It became quite obvious in Jennings’ first preseason that Thompson knew exactly what he was getting in Jennings.
7. Signing Tramon Williams:
Perhaps Thompson’s greatest strength is his ability to find value in the scrap pile of players on the periphery of the NFL. Williams has developed into a top 10 cover corner in the NFL.
8. Drafting B.J. Raji:
It seems like a no brainer on the surface. The Packers needed a nose tackle and Raji fell into their lap with the 9th overall pick in 2009. But there were plenty of people wondering if Michael Crabtree might look good in a Packer uniform. Raji is the best young nose tackle in the league
9. Trading Javon Walker:
Trading the extremely talented but malcontented Javon Walker for a second round pick in the 2006 draft to the Broncos seemed like a fair deal at the time. It sounds even better when you realize Thompson drafted Greg Jennings in the second round of 2006, and the last time Walker made a headline he was getting beaten, robbed and left in an alley in Las Vegas.
10. Not Bowing to Criticism:
Throughout his career as a Packer, Thompson has never waivered from his plan of how to build a successful team. Whether it was his future Hall of Fame quarterback constantly lobbying for free agents, or moronic fans like myself who screamed to anyone that would listen that Thompson is a complete moron. Thompson stayed the course and has built the most talented team in the NFL from the inside out.
Have at it one and all, I expect nothing less than your most scathing review of my first guest post for Mr. Jersey Al Bracco. The more controversial list of Thompson’s Top Ten
Misses will be on its way soon…
Dan “FireMM” Blakley is a frequent commenter on AllGreenBayPackers.com, for which we are grateful. He has a knack for leaving intelligent comments with a decent dose of humor and self-deprecation. (See his screen name, which first appeared after the Detroit loss last year) We enjoy his contributions.