Packers XLV

Examining Ted's Biggest Mistake in 2011

Posted December 27th, 2011 @ 04:12pm

Let's start with the obvious. The reason the Packers sit atop the power rankings and are favored to return to a second straight Super Bowl is the unparalleled performance of Aar...I mean, Ted Thompson. He took an aging, Sherman-depleted roster and built a team that is set to contend for years.

But he made one big mistake in 2011 and it may cost the team a shot at a second straight Lombardi trophy. Let's start with all the cliches: "Hindsight is 20-20." "We don't know what was going on behind closed doors," etc, etc.

But Thompson's decision to cut loose free agent defensive end Cullen Jenkins, rather than pay him, has cost this defense dearly. The Eagles paid him $25 million over five years; I wonder if Thompson would like a do-over on this one. Jenkins could be maddening at times because it seemed like he could never stay on the field. He was often injured--not major injuries, but enough to cost him a game or two here and there. Thompson looked at a 30-year-old defensive end with a history of bumps and bruises and decided his defense could survive without him.

He was wrong. Jenkins has had a strong, healthy season for the Eagles, who obviously failed to live up to the "Dream Team" hype. Meanwhile, Thompson put a little too much faith in his guys, namely Mike Neal, who was drafted in the second round in '10 as Jenkins' heir apparent. Neal has yet to be healthy enough to even play and is inviting Justin Harrell comparisons. The other guys, Jarius Wynn and CJ Wilson have had their moments but are not long-term answers. A strong, punishing 3-4 defense begins with a bruising line (think of the Steelers and Ravens guys).

Jenkins provided stellar pass rush ability from the right DE spot, forcing opposing offenses to account for him. That opened the door for Clay Matthews on the other side to make plays. Part of Matthews' junior slump can be attributed to his achy hamstrings, but the absence of Jenkins is the bigger reason.

We all know that injuries happen. The loss of Nick Collins early in the season was a punishing blow. And the injuries to guys like Matthews, Pickett, Williams, Bishop and Hawk during the season weakened the unit.

But if you want to know why the top seeded Pack should fear potent offenses like the Saints, Giants or Patriots, it's because the D-line is a weaker unit without Cullen Jenkins lined up next to BJ Raji.

Post a Comment:

Please Enter the Validation Code Below

Comments (19):


on April 4th, 2012 at 02:58pm

Impotent men hardly ever had it so good. Viagra pioneered the oral treatment method for Erection Dysfunction. Along with the baton, it seems, has become transferred to Cialis. Between, Levitra also manufactured its presence felt. But Cialis could be the upcoming drug that has the planet on its feet.

on August 22nd, 2012 at 01:56pm

Hi! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

on August 8th, 2012 at 09:05pm

Your not wrong. No border battle with PA today or did I miss it?

on December 27th, 2011 at 02:49pm

Dave, I completely agree. It's been the elephant in the room, all season long. It's been taboo to talk about because the team has won so many games. But they are vulnerable to a playoff upset (against an elite offense) because of their defensive line weaknesses. I think the rumor was that when Jenkins sat out several games, with his calf problem, the powers that be, didn't see him as a team player - cared more about staying healthy to protect his looming free agency status. I guess they thought he could have come back sooner. Plus, he was 30 and we all know how Ted feels about players 30 and over. Let's hope So'oto or somebody else can provide a postseason spark. Otherwise, this might go down as a "what could have been" season kind of like when the '97 team failed to repeat after letting a couple key contributors move on. Let's hope McCarthy has something up his sleeve, kind of like last year, when Starks was a contributor out of nowhere late in the year. I still say: play So'oto!

on December 27th, 2011 at 12:38pm are right on about Jenkins....TT is a guru ...but that was a big mistake. As I have said on previous posts we will have to win shootouts in the playoffs this year to advance. Capers has to work with what he has and I agree Neal could be this teams Justin Harrell. Retool the defense next year with big free agent signings. I know TT likes to build thru the draft....but we could entice some nice additions to our winner. As to the draft...its a long way off but if your watching Bowl Games this week ....check out the Insight Bowl and Oklahoma's outside LB....Ronnell Lewis....a speed rushing LB that would be a perfect compliment to Claymaker....and he could be available at our pick. Remember last year I was the guy who picked Randall Cobb for the Pack for round 2 or 3 when no one ever heard of him. But thats getting ahead .....for now think "40" for "40". That's the number of points we are going to have to score per game in the playoffs to advance. Think a point a game minute and hopefully the defense can hold some of the prolific offenses we will face in the playoffs under that. The mantra for the playoffs is "40 for 40" GO PACK GO !!

on December 28th, 2011 at 12:35pm

thanks for share!

on February 25th, 2012 at 12:06am

Adoro me mostrar peladinha na web cam

on February 28th, 2012 at 12:24pm

If any one wants to be a successful blogger, after that she must look at this paragraph, for the reason that it includes all strategies related to that.

on January 19th, 2012 at 07:51pm

Hey hey hey, take a gnaedr at what' you've done

on January 19th, 2012 at 07:52pm

Thank you so much for this arctile, it saved me time!

on January 21st, 2012 at 12:54am

hey hey!! this is a very nice website here and I just wanted to comment & say that you've done a great job here! Very nice choice of colors & layout, very easy on the eyes.. Nicely done!…

on January 3rd, 2012 at 07:59pm

Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Kudos

on January 4th, 2012 at 09:27am

Awesome post, We are browsing back again more often to watch out for improvements.

on January 6th, 2012 at 02:48am

i love your post, thank you for sharing.

on June 19th, 2012 at 02:32pm

very nice informative article...its great to talk about season

on March 14th, 2012 at 04:30am

Heck yeah bay-bee keep them conmig!

on May 18th, 2012 at 08:59pm


on May 19th, 2012 at 07:50am

Don't they remember that he hurt is knee and suffreed in his season before going to prison, maybe he was looking for a career change in dogfighting. Besides the only trouble maker that ever really worked out for the Vikings was Chris Carter. Moss decided he only played when he wanted to not be a jerk, and that other guy stabbed himself. At the rate these guys have been increasing I think Vick would turn into a suicide bomber or something.

on May 20th, 2012 at 02:18am

Blog Archive


Has Rodgers played his last game in green and gold?

Powered by: Avallo Panel