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Offline Wade  
#21 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:41:19 AM(UTC)
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I am among the people who regularly wishes that Ted Thompson took a few more chances in free agency.

I don't want him to be Dan Snyder/Jerry Jones/Stephen Ross/Jeffrey Lurie. And I acknowledge that free agency's changes mean he probably shouldn't even be as aggressive as Ron Wolf was.

But I think there's still quite a big gap between even the Wolf approach and the approach to free agency that Thompson takes. Not every high-priced free agent fails; not every move in free agency by other GMs is idiotic.

I am so tired of Pickett and Woodson being cited as evidence of Thompson's willingness to play. How many years ago was that again?

The guy is a great judge of on-field talent, especially at skill positions. But I do believe that his extra-conservative approach to free agency means he must take more risks in the draft. And it means that just having a better draft record than the average GM isn't going to be enough -- he has to have a much better record, and he must have it not just at skill positions.

And, IMO, he has not. Skill positions, yes. DB's yes. LBs, maybe.

But on the OL he's found Sitton and a bunch of projects/potential/serviceable types. On the DL his biggest draft success to date is the inconsistent Raji. There's still some potential there (Bulaga, maybe Newhouse on the OL, Neal on the DL). But mostly he's been pretty average when it comes to drafting the line. And, IMO, if he's going to eschew risk-taking in free-agency, he needs to do better than he has.

Colledge/Sitton/Moll/Lang/other names I've forgotten... this part of his record is *not* an argument in favor of the position Ted's draft-heavy approach is sufficient.

It can't all be blamed on Campen. Some of it has to be placed on the personnel department -- after all, how many of those Thompson draftees that didn't pan out under Campen went on to extensive success elsewhere with another coach?

thanks Post received 1 applause.
play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#22 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:46:02 AM(UTC)
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Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
Nothing is wrong with wanting your team to be better. I won't dispute at all that the A.J. Hawk contract threw me a little. I think he's a good player, just not a monster contract worthy player. Mason Crosby deal I thought was good at the time because he was doing well. Hindsight from last season makes it easy to whine about that one now though. Brad Jones, I'm not sure of his contract details, but I read some folks saying he did really well last season. Well enough to earn that contract? I dunno, but I trust the Packers and they seem to think so.

I will say this, in the 3 - 4 you can never have too many solid linebackers. Maybe the contract signed by Brad Jones is indicative of the lack of depth at the position below the top three and they didn't want to risk it?

There are only a handful of NFL players that I feel are not overpaid. I still think they should have a wage scale like the rookies do.

You also have to understand that the Packers don't have a billionaire owner that can eat up some of the mistake signings too. That seems to be lost a lot of times. The Packers have to be very calculated and low risk in order to stay afloat, especially since the Packers play in an open stadium in the NFL's smallest city that also happens to be quite cold. Factor everything in ... you'll be more objective.

Wait, no, don't do that. It is fun having these debates, lol. :)

Well, it is why I posed the question. And, again, no intent to turn this into Thompson bashing. Just trying to get an objective look at what our team is doing in its hard line stance in FA compared to what other teams are doing, and how that might be affecting us.

Pack93z made some good points in thinking back on past SB winners, and how they approached FA. I went as far back as 2009, and really, there were no significant additions made to those SB winning teams in the offseason FA periods after the Saints stocked up their 2009 secondary. Packers, Giants, Ravens pretty much just re-signed their own guys.

Howard Green is an exception. He was an awesome addition to add depth to the interior DL. And, Ted followed suit in playing the waiting game with that one too. I think he nabbed him late, just before TC from the Jets, just like he did with Woodson. But, Green wasn't one of those major FAs in the marketplace that the media goes gaga over... Howard Green was a cost effective, good value addition.

I'm not whining, and I agree the hindsight is bliss thing with Crosby. The jury is out on Jones, and Finley, as I believe both are kept on at higher than real value prices based on future potential performance.

Really looking at how we might be perceived by other FAs in the marketplace, as I think the hard line stance against signing other top talents to top dollar deals may push some of these players away. Top dollar isn't a bad thing if you get top performance in return. There is value there. That is why I consider the Jones and Finely signings somewhat frivolous, as I think they are based more on principle than performance. I'd have rather spent the money on a top tier S and a powerful, experienced RB or DE. $13M for Jones and Finley. Is that detrimental to us landing better talent in areas of need?
Offline play2win  
#23 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:54:21 AM(UTC)
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steveishere said: Go to Quoted Post
All I know is that every March the Packers "get worse" while the rest of the North "gets better" then the Packers end up as the best team in the division. Must be magic.

I forgot. We do have that Packer Magic. [laughing]

What you say is true. To a point. The division crown. I want for this team to be perennial contenders, and we've looked like a joke in the playoffs the last two years. Personally, I think we were one or two players away from being perennial contenders and multiple SB winners with Rodgers & Co.

One or two players we didn't even try to sign.
Offline Pack93z  
#24 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:58:45 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post

What you say is true. To a point. The division crown. I want for this team to be perennial contenders, and we've looked like a joke in the playoffs the last two years. Personally, I think we were one or two players away from being perennial contenders and multiple SB winners with Rodgers & Co.

I would agree here.. but could we not realistically say that maybe our injuries accounted for those differences with subtracting a player here or there?
Offline steveishere  
#25 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 10:31:46 AM(UTC)
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Pack93z said: Go to Quoted Post
I would agree here.. but could we not realistically say that maybe our injuries accounted for those differences with subtracting a player here or there?

Yeah the 49ers were down what 1 starter last year? I'd say that having a team with Bishop, Perry (with a season of exp under his belt), and Bulaga could have made it quite a different game. Not to mention the guys who were basically just coming off injuries (Nelson, Cobb, Woodson)
thanks Post received 1 applause.
play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline nerdmann  
#26 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 11:41:18 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
I'm just zipping through some stuff on Twitter, saw a comment from Osi Umenyiora saying the Falcons are the most talented team he has been on. It got me thinking about what we do to make our team better, and I wonder whether we hurt ourselves more than help ourselves with such a strong policy of staying away from Free Agents?

This is not a bash Ted Thompson thread. That is not the intent.

That is one hell of a lot of talent they have amassed there in ATL. Same with BAL, and SF. Proven talent at that. I look at how we've been mentioned as possible destinations in all the chatter and realize we were pretty much just played by most players looking for new homes to get better deals.

Are we not even a consideration to some players who could really help us?

Personally, I think a team's roster is best developed by adding great young talent via the draft, with some veterans added at key positions to help show some of the younger guys the way. A balance if you will.

Somehow, I think we've lost that balance. We've swung so far to the other side of FA where we don't add top talent, that many players available probably don't look at Green Bay as an attractive alternative destination. For instance, remember the Marshawn Lynch signing in SEA. I know Woodson really wanted GB to get him. Granted, we won the SB that year. However, we've been looking for that punishing RB element ever since, while Lynch has gone onto 1204 yds in 2011, and 1590 yds in 2012. How differently would our team have looked if we had Lynch, and used that 2011 R3 on a position other than RB Alex Green?

Would we have run the table in 2011 by adding Lynch in 2010 along with a top DL FA in 2011 or a good DL with the R3?

There is indeed a method to Thompson's approach, as both FA and draft & develop register around a 50% success rate from what I read recently (sorry, can't recall where). Maybe Thompson's method will prove best. Then again... I feel like we really missed out in capitalizing on how hot we were 2011 by failing to add a powerful pass rusher or two. I believe that could have taken us over the top. And, we were missing the very same thing in 2012, while waiting and hoping for draftees with one or two years experience, or none at all, to produce at a high level. Meanwhile, we lose out on opportunities with a potent offense and Rodgers poised to deliver.

Our recent Brad Jones signing seemed a bit frivolous to me, as his play was decent, and there is a possibility he will improve, but he signed for more than some top talents around the league at other positions of great need to the Packers. Those dollars that Thompson doesn't wish to waste on FAs, well, there is a strong possibility they have been wasted in other areas by wanting to keep his own, if some of this "potential" is not realized.

I'm curious to know your thoughts, as it seems Green Bay is losing some of it's lustre as a possible destination for top FA talent, especially being as devoid of top talent as we are at so many positions: S, DE, LB, LT, C, RB, TE. In listing those, I'm merely talking about how our depth or lack thereof may be perceived by others around the league.

So, what do you think?

For every Osi Unemora and Marshawn Lynch, Ted finds a Sam Shields, a Don Barclay, a DuJuan Harris, a Desmond Moses. Go on down the list.

Meanwhile these teams create a window, then enter cap hell. Fuck that shit.
thanks Post received 2 applause.
Zero2Cool on 3/29/2013(UTC), play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline QCHuskerFan  
#27 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 11:56:12 AM(UTC)
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This is an interesting question.

In 1985, shortly after losing Game 7 of the World Series, Whitey Herzog, Head Coach of the Cardinals was asked if this was the worst defeat of his life (Or something close). He said, "Heck no, I wouldn't mind losing the World Series every year. That means I got here and that's a pretty dang good accomplishment!" (Paraphrasing.)

I think we are doomed to depression if winning the Super Bowl is the stick by which we measure our team. The Packers are one of 3 teams to be in the playoffs for 4 consecutive years and I think 5 is a realistic goal. That defines a great team, in my opinion. It takes more than a great team to win the Super Bowl, though. It takes tremendous luck. And Health.

What if last year, the scabs hadn't blown the call in Seattle? Then the Packers would have been the #2 seed and had a week off instead of the 49ers. And the game would have been at Lambeau. Would that have made a difference? It might have. One unlucky call, early in the season, might have changed the entire playoffs last year. That's the Super Bowl, baby. That's the kind of luck it takes to win the SB.

The current Packers were built in the draft with a few UDFA along the way. Why is there pressure to sign FA's in order to maintain that greatness? Why do we not believe that we can continue to draft and develop and excel? Don't give me window of opportunity because I think our window exists as long as Aaron Rodgers is QB and that could approach a decade.

Someone mentioned the Bears in this thread. They are a prime example of what is bad. They have a franchise QB (Talent wise, not head wise). They have pursued that one piece that will put them over the top. How well has that worked? They have big money tied up in a RB that is probably done. Their OL is 5x worse than the Packers (I believe that not one of their starters would have even made the Packers roster). They trade for Marshall and he is a major talent. How many playoff games has he won for them? Their best players last year: Briggs, Tillman, Marshall, Peppers have an average of 10.5 seasons. The Packers only have 5 players with more than 7 years experience and that include Benson and Kuhn, not exactly keys to the team. The Bears are old and there is no Perry, Shields, House, McMillian, Moses, Cobb, Heyward breaking out for them. But the Bears have consistently played the FA game. Where has that gotten them? Increased ticket sales, but old and bad on the field.

I am not a big fan of FA. I think it has much more potential to hurt a team long term than to help short term. I like being a consistent winner. Even if that means we have to lose in the playoffs every year. Think about how many teams wish they had our problems...
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Zero2Cool on 3/29/2013(UTC), DakotaT on 3/29/2013(UTC), DoddPower on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#28 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 12:30:44 PM(UTC)
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QC, I'm just doomed man! Look at my freaking user name!

A bazillion Super Bowls, please!

There are some great comments in here. Yeah, we may have fared quite differently had we not lost so many to injury - and those were key players as some have mentioned. Far too numerous over the last 3 seasons. I hope they can get that rectified, or that our luck there turns more in our favor.
Offline QCHuskerFan  
#29 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 12:49:42 PM(UTC)
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Don't for a second think that I was smiling after the 49er game. I was not happy. But then I realized it could have been a much worse ending to the season. Think about rooting for the Browns, Raiders, or Rams. That would suck.

Besides, I live in IL. As long as we beat the Bears so I can gloat for 8 months, my life is pretty good!
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play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline PackFanWithTwins  
#30 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 2:15:01 PM(UTC)
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Some things to look at. Had we signed Lynch, we would have to have added him to the list of players that needed contracts over the last couple years. Williams, Sitton, Nelson, Jones. Would we have had the money to sign them? We moved cap space forward to this which likely will be used towards Rodgers extension, would that not be possible if we had gotten Lynch? The impact of a signing is more than just a year.

I have pretty strong beliefs, that you do build a team through the draft. But, I also beleive, the draft can only take you so far. When a draft is graded years later, if a team gets 2 or 3 starters it is considered an A draft. That means with 22 starters, it would take over 7 years to draft a team. The problem comes in that the first players have come up for contract before you draft a full team. And unless you are able to keep them all, you are not only trying to fill what hasn't been through the draft, you are replacing players who move on also, and that doesn't account for injuries. So FA has to be a part of the plan, question is how big a part.

Normally with FA, I go with the Bob Barker approach. This player could be yours, IF, the price is right.

But I think the Packers are now and for a couple years in position, where a FA when the Price isn't right would be OK. When Ted started, he didn't have to worry about what position a player was at. Because we needed them all. Today, that is not so. We can't count on the Best Player being at a position we need. We need to look at, where we need players more. We need to be more aggressive in the Draft, similar to getting Raji and Matthews. Quality vs Quantity. And we need to fill in FA. I think we missed on not getting Jenkins back. 8mil over 3 years was in the Price is Right category for a player of his talent. And I think if we really want to take a shot for the SB, we can afford to overpay to rent a player. Offer that player more than market value for shorter term than they would normally be looking for.

With Teds Plan, I see the team being good, year in and year out. But I don't see the team being Great. I would give up a couple years being down, if it was because we took a shot a greatness.
thanks Post received 2 applause.
yooperfan on 3/29/2013(UTC), play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
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