Packers Morning Buzz: Did good intentions backfire with Ted Thompson?
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with Tom Silverstein's thoroughly reported column on concerns about the Packers' new management structure, in which general manager Brian Gutekunst, head coach Matt LaFleur and vice president of football operations Russ Ball report directly to President/CEO Mark Murphy.
The new setup was created in early 2018 after Murphy relieved GM Ted Thompson of his duties for health reasons.
It wasn’t that Thompson couldn’t make well-reasoned decisions; it was that he wasn’t always available to make them because his work capacity had been reduced. Everything still ran through him, and while it was his style to let things play out rather than react too quickly, his inability to devote the same number of hours to the job slowed the operation.
“Maybe keeping him going was the worst thing we could have done for him,” said one longtime front-office colleague.
A close friend of Thompson's agreed that the good intentions of his colleagues may have backfired, adding that Thompson’s health should have been the priority, not keeping him in an intensely demanding position that might have been making things worse.
It is understandable why Murphy did not remove Thompson from the general manager’s chair earlier than he did. As much as his tightfisted salary management and aversion to free agency frustrated many inside and out of the organization, Thompson devoted his life to the job and demoting him would have been a difficult decision for Murphy.
You can read the entire column here:
Keep an eye out for Aaron Rodgers during Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones":
Albert Breer of SI.com responds to a reader question about whether he expects Rodgers to "rebound or stay flat" in 2019.
Rebound. Over the last few years, the program in Green Bay got stale, and Matt LaFleur’s staff has energized the place. A couple of their young receivers, Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, are heading into their second years with promise. Plus, I like their rookie tight end, Jace Sternberger.
Beyond all that, I do think Rodgers goes into 2019 with something to prove. The coaching change definitely puts the onus on the quarterback now, and I believe he’ll respond.
You can read Breer's entire column here:
Here's a true MVP performance:
Let the good times roll:
This won't go over well in Green Bay:
ESPN asked its panel of NFL experts to name their predicted Defensive Rookie of the Year, and two chose Packers safety Darnell Savage Jr.:
Matt Bowen, NFL analyst: Darnell Savage Jr., S, Green Bay Packers. Savage can close on the ball with immediate speed, and his playmaking versatility in the secondary gives defensive coordinator Mike Pettine some real options in the game plan. Play Savage in the post, roll him down in coverage over the slot, or allow him to blitz in sub-package schemes. I would love to coach this guy.
Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Darnell Savage Jr., S, Green Bay Packers. This decision involves a bit of voter projection. Savage is a speedy playmaker who is known for anticipating throws and getting early jumps on the ball. Voters usually notice, and often reward, defensive players who pile up tangible statistics such as sacks, interceptions, passes defensed and forced or recovered fumbles. That should put Savage in the mix, given that there is likely an immediate starting job awaiting him.
You can see all the ESPN experts' projections here:
Surprisingly (given Thompson's penchant for signing undrafted free agents, the Packers fail to land a player on The MMQB's All-Undrafted team:
"Good Morning Football" manages to insult the Packers while also predicting a return to the postseason:
Packers running back Aaron Jones is adept at making tacklers miss:
For the second straight year, the free-spending Packers are projected to receive no compensatory draft picks in 2019:
A fun clip featuring the Lombardi-era Packers:
And finally (via two former Packers linebackers):
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt