Thursday, October 19, 2006

When does the future begin in Green Bay?

Ted has been on the job 21 months now, and many of the advocates for his managerial style have justified some of his moves for the eventual reward of "the future".

Now, I'm not one to say that the ride to the top after being low for a while isn't one of the most exhilarating feelings, as the early 90's taught us.But this isn't the early 90's, and this isn't the same NFL or Packers.

Advocates of the "building for the future" methodology have been willing to dismiss many moves (or lack thereof) over Thompson first season as GM, and even throughout this past off season. When Ron Wolf mentions the offense was loaded with "stumble-bums and NFL-E talent", whether you think he's lucid or not, there's a reason for him saying it.

Last season, we saw running back and wide receiver go almost completely unaddressed. The team stumbled to a 4-12 record. However, in retrospect, we are able to see clearly that this was an "ingenious salary cap-clearing year". This allowed us to enter the 2006 off-season with tremendous cap depth and a slough of high picks.

However, the cap has gone unspent, premier free agents were passed up for more middling or risky talents, and slowly, the players of the last regime have been slowly trimmed from the roster.

All in the name of "The Future".

Be patient. Wait and See.

I think I have been patient. I've given credit where it is due, and I have tried to moderate my criticism of Thompson's regime. I've sat back and watched the endless prattle of Sherman vs Thompson debates rage on and on in a never-ending repeat of "Groundhog Day".

But, this is getting to me. Why...WHY...when you have FULL KNOWLEDGE of Ferguson's season-ending injury AND Koren's season-ending suspension within 24 hours of the trade deadline, do you seemingly not even make an effort to bring in anything besides NFL-E level talent and practice squad players to round out your already short-handed squad??? You went in with FOUR WR's at the beginning of the year, something that has already, though experience, taught us that doing so may well bite us in the butt, and now, there appears to be NOTHING on the table to make this squad a deep threat.

The other laudation of Thompson, the bringing in of "quantity of quality", knowing that competition will "bring out the best and find at least one starter" in all of that, has also hurt us. Luckily, we have Jennings from the second round of the draft. All the other "mid-level" talent that was brought in to "compete" managed little more than to find a one-way ticket off the team. Wither thou Gardner, Boerigter, Rodgers, Lucas, and Brewster? We figured we'd find some starters in amongst there, eh? Nope. Oh wait, Brewster's back, isn't he?

If you're NOT going to make a move now, WHEN are you going to make it?

The argument that we're not going to finish .500 this year, or we're not going to make the playoffs this year, so why bother investing money or giving up an expendable draft pick is horrible. Why bother playing then? Why not bench all the starters? Why try to win? We're just going to lose anyway, and we may as well not even try.

I have no problem with a rebuild, though I question how necessary a "rebuild" was. What I do have a problem with is a team not doing what it takes to win, to be competitive, to do the very best they can. We normally place the burden on the players on the field to be giving 110%, but at this point, I have to question the integrity of the man in the front office.

We are one helmet-to-helmet collision from taking away one of our starters, both of which have been inconsistent this year, but good enough to keep defenses honest by not double covering one over the other. Can you imaging going with just Jennings and the guys we've signed off of practice squads as the receiving corps?

I said this many times over the last few years, in that you need to be careful in wishing so hard for the future to come, because you might not like it when you get it.

If the future is going to be season after season of allowing injuries and valuing quantity over quality to wither our team as the season wears on, in the name of preserving draft picks and loads of cap space, then frankly, I'm starting to understand why people used to still live in the 60's when I first fell in love with this team.

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