The 2013 Green Bay Packers’ campaign wasn’t anything short of exciting, but to say it went the way we all hoped would be a severe overstatement. Sure, they won the division and earned a spot in the postseason, but it ended too early. Beyond that there were several occasions during the regular season that left Packer Nation shaking our heads.
However, the biggest disappointment of the Packers’ season can’t be pinpointed to one single game, play, or player. Rather, the biggest disappointment of this team was personnel related. Ted Thompson hasn’t been a general manager to sign big name free agents or make big splashes in the offseason, deciding instead to build through the draft and trust the development process of the organization. I love this philosophy, it puts a greater importance on the coaching staff and the offseason practices, mini camps, and training camps. It keeps the young players accountable and lets the veterans become coaches in the locker room, keeping them accountable as well. It’s a great system that has produced great talent for many many years.
Ted Thompson failed however, in one major aspect of player development. When Aaron Rodgers went down the Packers seemingly had no answer for where to go. Seneca Wallace was signed the first week of training camp, hadn’t had any reps with the first team, and wasn’t able to be productive. Scott Tolzien has some great untapped talent, but he was on the practice squad until Rodgers went down, and like Wallace hadn’t taken any reps with the first team. Matt Flynn wasn’t even on the roster until two weeks after Rodgers’ injury, and he became the answer. Thompson and the organization must know before OTA’s and mini camps this year who they want as Rodgers’ insurance policy. They should have known the same thing at that time one year ago.
The Packers managed to pull off a dramatic division title, thanks in large part to other teams (cough, Detroit, cough) not taking advantage of their opportunities. But, had they had a capable number two in place there could easily have been two or three more wins, one less tie, and 2 less losses.
Whether the Packers will look to the draft for their back up, decide on developing Scott Tolzien, or look for a veteran back up in free agency remains to be seen. However Packer Nation, do trust that this season will look a lot more solid at QB depth than this past season did.
To see what we talked about last week at cover32.com/packers, CLICK HERE.