Ted Thompson in his mind is doing what general managers do - build for the future. He must think that the defense is the way to go. Do I agree with him taking Justin Harrell with the first pick? Absolutely not, and it's nothing against Justin. He might be a good player once he gets healthy. Noticed I said once he is healthy because he didn't participate in some of the drills at the minicamp that was held this past weekend because there were concerns about previous injuries. Can we say RED FLAG!
Ted obviously believes that defense wins championships because every signing that he has done has been to build up that side of the ball. If you look at the big money signing of late, the Packers have only re-signed one offensive playmaker, and that was Donald Driver. I know they signed center Scott Wells, but I don't consider an offensive linemen a playmaker.
On the other side of the ball the Packers have signed or re-signed Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Cullen Jenkins, Aaron Kampman, Ryan Pickett, Marquand Manuel and Nick Barnett in the past 14 months. In the last two years, Green Bay's first round draft picks were linebacker A. J. Hawk and now Harrell. That's good if the offense is clicking, but it hasn't been, has it?
It's great that they are trying to build a solid defense because at this time I don't know how they are going to score on offense. Brett Favre has to be questioning what the heck is going on.
This off-season the Packers lost Ahman Green and replaced him with Brandon Jackson who probably won't beat out Vernand Morency. Running backs coach Edgar Bennett may be forced to play Jackson, especially if Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy feel they have to get him on the field to justify drafting him at that spot.
The Packers had the chance to go get Randy Moss, and I mean go get him early, way before the draft. Before New England got into the picture, but they didn't. Bless Donald Driver because he had an awesome 2006 season, but how many years does he have left? They got no help for the offense. I know some of you might say, ‘Well, they drafted James Jones out of San Jose State.' Many say that Jones has very good hands. Then others would say he has to because he can't get any separation on routes, so he had to learn to make the hard catches because, unless you are Jerry Rice, which he isn't, a 4.6 40 doesn't cut it as a receiver in the NFL.
I know they also drafted David Clowney, the burner from Virginia Tech, but one of the positions that is hardest to learn your rookie year is that of receiver. If you think Brett Favre was frustrated over the last couple of years wait until this year. He's probably saying, ‘I'm too old for this crap.'
Last year this offense was horrible in the red zone. It finished last or next to last and has done nothing to improve on that, except losing Ahman Green and William Henderson. Bubba Franks disappeared from his claim to glory, which was his ability to get open and score in this area. Does anyone remember the look on Brett's face last year when this team was struggling to move the ball and score? Does any remember the frustration that just seemed to show in everything he did on the field and during his press conferences after the games? Just think about it and ask yourself what has really changed, and did this offense get any better?
Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have decided that it's not about Brett anymore and it's apparent if you look at how he is building this team. He is preparing as if Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback. As I see it those gunslinger days are over. This organization is going in a different direction and some one forgot to tell Brett Favre. That, or he doesn't want to believe it and wants to hold on to what it was.
Has this organization failed the living legend in the past couple of years by not surrounding him with enough talent on offense? In my opinion, it has. I know that the Packers think they have a nice group of young receivers that someday will blossom to be outstanding in the NFL, but it might be two or three years from now before they are great for the team or organization.
I know it's the general manager's job to build for the future. Believe it or not, I feel Ted Thompson has done an excellent job in doing so. There has been a solid foundation put in place with the young linemen on offense and the linebackers on defense, and the youth that is sprinkled all throughout the roster. However, the window of opportunity to win now is closing because if you don't have a quality quarterback to utilize and distribute the ball to the weapons, it doesn't matter.
I hope Ted Thompson understands that he can't expect this team to win if it can't score. Ted must understand that he gave BRETT A GUN WITH NO BULLETS.
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.