Thompson, McCarthy Staying Joined at Hip

Unlike the Wolf-Holmgren marriage of the 1990s, the Packers' football brain trust will stay together. Ted Thompson has a contract extension that will keep him in Green Bay through 2015, and Mike McCarthy will be next.

General manager Ron Wolf and head coach Mike Holmgren lasted seven years together as a power couple in the 1990s, restoring the winning legacy of the Packers and bringing a Super Bowl title back to the NFL's smallest city.

General manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy are doing much of the same more than a decade later, and Green Bay's current version of a terrific tandem appears headed toward outlasting the Wolf-Holmgren marriage.

"What I really like is (McCarthy) and Ted work really well together. It's a really good combination," team president Mark Murphy said.

Fresh off the Packers' triumphant appearance in Super Bowl XLV, Murphy was doing his part to keep the union intact for what Murphy said is "the foreseeable future."

The Packers on Feb. 11 completed an agreement that was reached in December by signing Thompson to a three-year contract extension through 2015.

A similar arrangement is in the works for McCarthy, who squeezed in some time off this week before things get busy again with the NFL Scouting Combine on the horizon, beginning Feb. 24 in Indianapolis. McCarthy's deal is expected to be worth at least $5 million a year, which would put him among the top 10 in the business.

Both Thompson and McCarthy had two years left on extended contracts they received after the 2007 season.

Just like Wolf and Holmgren, it took Thompson and McCarthy only five years as Green Bay's football decision-makers to not only get the Packers to the Super Bowl but win the league title.

Unlike Wolf and Holmgren, whose partnership dissolved two years later after one more Super Bowl appearance as the latter bolted for the Seattle Seahawks to have greater control of a team, Thompson and McCarthy appear to be joined at the hip for the longer haul.

"I would hope this is my last job," McCarthy, 47, said. "I'm a builder, and we have built something special. This program was built the right way, has quality people in (quarterback) Aaron Rodgers and all the way through that are going to lead this football team for a long time. So, I would definitely hope this is my last job."

That likely is the outlook Thompson has for himself, given his age of 58. Yet, it's hard to get a read on the considerably reserved architect of what has the makings of the next NFL dynasty.

All but four players on Green Bay's Super Bowl roster were acquired since 2005 on the watch of Thompson, who incidentally was mentored by Wolf as a personnel director with the Packers in the 1990s.

Saying "this doesn't come around all of the time," with regard to winning a Super Bowl, Thompson is cautiously optimistic about the Packers' prospects for remaining the league's top dog in the seasons to come.

"I think we have a good team," Thompson said. "But, if we learned anything from this year (which was marred by several injuries), your best-laid plans ... this isn't fantasy football. You can't say, 'We got this guy at tight end. We got this guy at left tackle.' You can't plan that way. You have to try and get as many good players as you can. I hope and I think we'll be a competitive team in the future, but we'll still be the kind of team that has to play well, and if we play well, we'll have a chance to win."


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