With McCarthy And Thompson, There Is Always A Plan
If foresight and planning lay the groundwork for success, business at 1265 Lombardi Avenue will be booming for years to come. And with uncertainty clouding the 2012 season, it’s safe to assume that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson have a plan; they always do.
Fans and media are in constant debate over draft picks, free agent signings, and which players should start. I’m sure McCarthy and Thompson hear some of the din, but I doubt they listen. Their style of leadership has already paid off with a Lombardi Trophy. Seemingly cryptic at times, the duo seems to know exactly what to say and when to say it.
Speaking on the possibility of inside linebackers Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar being backups next season, McCarthy gave the usual “we’re going to keep as many good football players as possible” response, but finished his comments by referencing the health of the two players.
“I don’t really like to ever comment on medical situations because really a lot of this lays in the hands of what the doctors think,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy made it clear that Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk will be the starters, but he seemed to hint that Barnett and/or Chillar’s injuries may prevent them from being the players they once were. You can bet McCarthy and Thompson have plans and contingency plans for almost every foreseeable scenario regarding the inside linebackers.
That foresight emerged in the 2010 draft when the Packers selected Mike Neal with their second-round pick. The popular pick would have been an outside linebacker to compliment Clay Matthews or a cornerback to eventually replace an aging Charles Woodson or an injured Al Harris, but the Packers ended up drafting neither position that day. The Neal pick left many scratching their heads, but when Johnny Jolly was suspended indefinitely and the team made it clear it had no intentions of re-signing Cullen Jenkins after the season, the Mike Neal pick became more clear; the team was planning for the future, just as they always do.
Which brings me to the lockout. With his hands tied by the rules of the lockout, McCarthy has said he will not have any contact with his players. But I’m guessing he carefully laid out his plans ahead of time: Team trainers handed out offseason workout regimens, the film crew mades tapes for individual players, and I’m guessing that a few leaders on the team were given extra playbooks. Rookie draft choices are not allowed to officially receive a playbook from the team, but there are no rules prohibiting a player from “lending” his extra book to a new teammate.
No one knows how long the lockout will last, but Packers fans need not worry; Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson are prepared.