Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football
Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Remember the moment from Super Bowl XLV when Packers assistant coach Kevin Greene looked Clay Matthews in the eyes and told him that “it is time!”

It’s one of the more memorable moments from that Super Bowl victory and something Packers fans won’t forget any time soon.

NFL history is filled with instances when coaches say something memorable or inspiring to players during a key portion of a big game. The emotion and intensity of the moment makes for compelling drama that even the best Hollywood actors could never replicate.

You don’t hear about similar moments involving general managers. In fact, thinking about someone going up to a general manager in his office, looking into his eyes, and telling him “it is time!” sounds downright silly.

Even so, I think it would be perfectly reasonable for someone to do that to Ted Thompson this week.

Not literally, of course. That would just be weird and could lead to an arrest. Without getting right in his face, this week is the perfect week to get the message to Thompson that “it is time!”

Now is the time for Thompson to put himself in the history books as one of the best general managers of all time. He’s already got a Super Bowl. He’s already highly respected. He’s already guided the Packers franchise through the Brett Favre-to-Aaron Rodgers transition. He’s already had a great career and has plenty to be proud of.

But if Thompson wants to separate himself from the pack of very good general managers and join the group of all-time great general managers, it is time for him to make his move.

Thompson talked this week about the draft being his responsibility. Even when Thompson had John Schneider, Reggie McKenzie and John Dorsey by his side, I always believed the credit for a great draft, or the blame for a lackluster draft, should be on the general manager, the man in charge.

That’s not to say that input from Schneider, McKenzie and Dorsey — all NFL general managers now — didn’t mean anything. It’s always good to have as many smart people as possible helping you make decisions.

But the Packers success or failure in the personnel departments starts and ends with Thompson. That’s especially true now that Schneider, McKenzie and Dorsey are gone.

Thompson has put himself in a great position to leap to the next level of general managers. He’s got a franchise quarterback and a franchise pass-rusher, two of the most important elements of any successful modern-day NFL team. He’s also drafted plenty of young talent and has a good rapport with his head coach.

That’s all well and good, but it is time to take that next step and find another impact player or two that can get the Packers back to the Super Bowl and cement Thompson as an all-timer.

I’m sure Thompson realizes this. He doesn’t need some obscure blogger guy telling him this.

I’m also not saying that Thompson should be fired if the Packers don’t win another Super Bowl in the next couple of years.

All I’m saying is that “it is time!” for Thompson. When Green uttered those words to Matthews, he was saying that it is time to separate yourself from the very good players and do something that puts you in the great category.

Matthews did it. It is time for Thompson to do the same.

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • John Rehor at had a powerful post this week on the Boston Marathon bombing.
  • After reading John’s post, be sure to check out all the draft podcasts the crew is doing. Here’s a breakdown of the draft’s defensive linemen with Bleacher Report’s Michael Dulka,  here’s one with Shane Hallum of Draft Countdown on defensive backs, and here’s one on tight ends and running backs with Matt Waldman of Rookie Scouting Portfolio.
  • The next beer is on Clay Matthews. The Packers signed the linebacker to a $66 million contract extension this week. No word on how much of that money will go toward building a protective wall around Matthews’ hamstrings.
  • The 2013 NFL Schedule was announced this week. Now is the time where we all make predictions that will mean next to nothing after two games are played.
  • More NFL draft podcast knowledge here from CheeseheadTV’s Brian Carriveau on WBIZ in Eau Claire.
  • Packers restricted free agent Sam Shields did not sign an offer sheet with another team and will be back in Green Bay. Now the question is whether the Packers will sign Shields to a long-term deal now, or let him play with just a one year contract. I kind of like the idea of not signing Shields long-term right away. Of course, if Shields plays well, that strategy blows up in the Packers’ face, so my guess is Thompson will try to get a team-friendly deal done.
  • Did you know that Mr. T once tried out for the Packers? I didn’t until I listned to Mr. T on this podcast with Richard Deitsch from Sports Illustrated from April 1.

Non-Packers Links and Other Nonsense

  • Uh-oh. Someone farted in the bullpen.
  • As the NBA playoffs start, make sure you read this feature on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich from Joe Posnanski.
  • Do you like good music? Are you looking for a unique new rock/metal band to get into? Are you cool with Satan? Then check out Ghost’s new album.
  • This is a powerful read about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
  • Here’s a story about the Today Show and all its behind-the-scenes drama. I don’t know why I bothered reading the whole thing. I don’t care about the Today Show, or any of the late-night talk show wars between Letterman/Leno/Kimmel/O’Brien/whoever else, but there’s a lot of attention focused on that kind of thing.
  • Remember when I wrote about Out of the Park Baseball 14 last week? Its NBA equivalent was recently released as well. You can replay the entire history of baseball with Fast Break Pro Basketball 2013. I highly recommend it.

Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


27 thoughts on “Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

  1. Greene saying “It is time” reminds me of CMIII telling Picket to “Spill it.” What a great sequence. Not only did Clay make the play physically, but mentally as well.

  2. I agree with your ‘moment’ scenario. I think that this marks the beginning of the new draft team, one without McKenzie, Dorsey and the rest. We will see if this group has a new eye for talent or whether the eyes that left accounted for our draft success.

    The second and maybe more important moment that is here involves the window that this team has to make its mark. There are some talented teams that have surpassed us in the race for another Super Bowl. We have a great QB who is prime for a championship run. However we have holes on this team that prevent us from getting there again. The question is “will the moment pass before we fill those holes?”.

    Good work Adam.

    1. We had glaring holes that were to prevent the Packers from getting there in 2010 as well.

      But they got there, and they won it.

      Most NFL teams are flawed and have holes, that’s football in the salary cap era.. It’s not about having the perfect roster, it’s about finding the perfect way to overcome your shortcomings.

      Just food for thought.

      1. Winning a Super Bowl is as much about getting hot at the right time as it is about talent. Still, you need to have a D-line that doesn’t get shredded by the run, an O-line that doesn’t let your QB take a beating or knows how to run block.

        Getting past the first round is very much about the holes. If TT is to take advantage of the Rodgers moment, he must address the obvious weaknesses that keep this team from beating the best teams.

  3. This year will certainly be a test of TT’s philosophy. This is TT’s 9th draft and “Draft and Develop” should be fully operational by now. To date there hasn’t been enough developed to replace those who have left.

    With two players likely to eat up roughly 20 to 25% of the cap, it is absolutely critical that the concept operate at the level required. I see a lot of development going on, but to date, it has not been enough to replace some of those lost to transition or injury.

    Let’s hope the young guys from the last two years of drafting make that switch from developing to developed this year. With the signing of AR and CM3, Packer fans will be expecting no less than a serious run at the SB during the duration of those contracts. And they should.

    1. Draft and develop got us the SB. It was fully operational at that point. What more does it have to prove?

  4. Using the…”IT IS TIME” toward Ted Thompson sounds like an ultimatum and a joke at the same time.

    Ron LC says

    “This is TT’s 9th draft and “Draft and Develop” should be fully operational by now.”

    Lets not confuse the ‘Draft and Develop’ of Ted Thompson with the ‘Prep and Play’ of Mike McCarthy.

    Is this coming about because of the losses to SF and the back to back one and outs in the playoffs???Other than that,I see no reason for leaning to the failure side of the fence here.

    I have my concerns about a few players drafted by TT but,I have larger concerns with the preparation and handling in one and the sitting of players with some getting 2-3 weeks off in the other.

    I have been against the pick of Perry from day 1 and yet,I will wait to see his progress this camp and season to make a stronger point this way or that.Would he have been a difference maker against SF and Kaep..don’t know, but we sure will be able to get a better picture in week 1 this year..and his wrist injury IMO,will not be admitted as an excuse for his play this September.

    Ted Thompson has certainly took ‘his swings’ at the ball in a Ron Wolfe reference and TT has hit it out of park a lot more than whiffing when in scoring position.

    So this phrase “IT IS TIME” being directed at Ted Thompson is IMO off the mark as he has ‘Been on and in Time’for the larger part with his play.

  5. To be clear, I’m not arguing that TT is a failure if he doesn’t win (or make another serious run at) another Super Bowl. His teams could go 0-48 the next three seasons and TT’s career would sill be a successful one.

    When Greene told him Matthews “IT IS TIME,” he wasn’t saying now is the time to prove you’re a great player. He was saying, “Clay, you are already a great player. Everyone knows that. Now it is time to show you’re a special player, an elite player. An all-timer.”

    I know that sounds hokey (or silly, as you say), but I believe it to be true.

    Now is the time for TT to take that next step as well.

    1. “His teams could go 0-48 the next three seasons and TT’s career would sill be a successful one.”

      To still be considered successful if he went 0-48 the next 3 years,kind of states he has made it already and would just be downgraded a bit.

      Unless expectations are for Ted Thompson to be the ‘Greatest’ of all time and that will only be determined years after his done.

    2. I think Greene was referring to that being the time to make a play to win the SB. The game was close and it was entering the 4th qtr. It was time for someone to make a play, to win the game! Matthews recognized the formation as a strong side run at he and Pickett. He told Pickett how to play the run and Matthews made the play. It was about it being time to win the game.

      In the heat of the moment, players/coacher are thinking only of winning the game, not some kind of leagacy. That come AFTER you make a play. It was about winning, pure and simple.

        1. I don’t care if he wrote the article. I was responding to…

          “He was saying, “Clay, you are already a great player. Everyone knows that. Now it is time to show you’re a special player, an elite player. An all-timer.”

          Players and coaches aren’t thinking about a becoming a “special” player when the game is on the line. They’re thinking about winning the game.

          1. Dude, what Adam was implying (correct me if I’m wrong, Adam) is this:

            “Hey, Clay, we need you to make a big time play, the kind of play that elite players make when they are playing on the biggest stage.. Be a game changer, make the kind of impact a star player makes in the superbowl.”

            Good lord, man. We’re not a bunch of simpletons.. It just may be your lack of ability to differentiate between literal and figurative, not our lack of understanding, that leads you to believe that nobody here knows squat about football.

            Just sayin’.

            1. Have I said you don’t know football? Maybe he worded it wrong, I was responding to his comment that clearly made it sound like Greene wanted Matthews to make a play for his legacy or something to that extent. His comment said nothing about making a play to win the damn game. Which correct me if I’m wrong is what will help define him. If he makes a play and the team doesn’t win nobody gives a damn, and neither would Matthews or Greene for that matter.

              1. Making a play to win the damn game(s) is ultimately what builds a legacy. They’re kind of the same thing.

              2. In the end it can mean the same thing, but it was the middle of a football game and players don’t think about legacy when the game is going on. They think about winning and if they get a legacy after the fact, that’s great.

  6. “To date there hasn’t been enough developed to replace those who have left.” – Ron LC

    I guess I just don’t see the evidence to corroborate that statement Ron. The Pack have made a postseason appearance for 4 consecutive seasons (how many other teams can say that?), with a trophy to show for it. The Pack have the best record in the NFC over the last 3 years.

    It would be swell if they won the SB every year, but that’s just not realistic. Injuries have been the biggest culprit of our postseason exits of late, not draft picks.

    GBP 4 LIFE

    1. There’s a bunch of people who share Ron’s sentiment, and they usually point to the fact that voids in the roster left when players like Cullen Jenkins, Nick Collins, and now Charles Woodson depart, they have not been replaced with players of similar caliber to date.

      I understand that concern that so many fans have, but I feel that it’s unrealistic to expect players of that caliber to be replaced on any sort of schedule. Nick Collins was a once a decade talent. Charles Woodson was a once a generation talent. Even Cullen Jenkins was a rare athlete at his size, and although not of the same caliber of Wood or Collins, still not easily replaced.

      The Packers have continually kept the machine rolling with the “next man up” in most cases, and I think that is what the crux of draft and develop is about.. You can’t control when and where the stars develop- be it Rodgers, Cobb, Matthews, etc, etc- but when they do spring up, you lock them up and hold on for the ride. It’s the everyday players that need to be of great concern in this system.

      I guess we all have differing expectations of what Draft & develop is supposed to produce.

      1. “The Packers have continually kept the machine rolling with the “next man up” in most cases,…”

        I think for those who want to argue that the Packer roster is short on talent, the fact that this team has suffered through injuries and still managed double-digit wins for how many straight years? Says that either 1. the talent is there and waiting, or 2. the coaching staff really knows what it’s doing. I suspect it’s some of both.

      2. If it’s unrealistic to expect the Packers to replace exceptional talent, then maybe it’s unrealistic to expect the Packers to perform at the level they did when they had those exceptional talents.

        1. The only thing that is a little concerning about TT recently are his first-round selections in the last three drafts (and Jerel Worthy). And there is still a good chance two of those four could end up being good players, maybe even all four.

          This year is not only important for TT to have another great draft, but also for seeing if Bulaga, Sherrod and Perry can stay healthy and be productive. Worthy is probably a lost cause for 2013.

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