| || |
Week 1: What the heck is going on at 1265 Lombardi Avenue?
September 5, 2013 - Matt Wellens
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson loves to use the phrase, “it is what it is,” when analyzing his own decisions.
With a stoic look on his face, he’ll tell you the Packers are just dealing with the cards they’ve been dealt and that’s just the way the cookie crumbled.
After this preseason, I’m actually starting to buy it.
The reality is that no GM has been more calculated over the last decade than Thompson, from his handling of Brett Favre’s departure to free agency and drafts.
That has obviously not been the case this preseason at backup quarterback, where Thompson has worked more like a fantasy GM than a real NFL executive.
Fourth-string undrafted free agent QB Matt Brown out of Illinois State was waived just before training camp began on July 23, leaving you to believe Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy were confident in B.J. Coleman or Graham Harrell backing up Aaron Rodgers.
You knew that confidence was shaken when Thompson called a rare audible, signing former Tennessee Titans starter Vince Young off the street on Aug. 6. The move appeared brilliant because despite not knowing much of the playbook, Young became the No. 2 spot after two preseason games.
Things began to get weird on Aug. 25, however, when Harrell was released prior to the last preseason game, leaving everyone to believe Young would be Rodgers’ understudy and Coleman was heading back to the practice squad.
But on Saturday, when NFL rosters had to be trimmed to 53 men, it was Young who was let go, with Coleman being cut on Monday.
Now longtime Seattle Seahawks backup Seneca Wallace is the Packers No. 2 despite never taking a game snap in green and gold with former Wisconsin Badgers QB Scott Tolzien on the practice squad.
The only thing that made sense about the signings is both were in camp with the Packers Week 1 opponent — the San Francisco 49ers — last month. They may not know the Packers playbook, but at least they’ll know the opponents.
This whole sequence of events is not like Ted Thompson, and may not even matter if Rodgers never gets injured.
It’s questioned my mantra, “In Ted Thompson I trust,” to the point where I can’t help but wonder if he’s finally cracking.
For the Packers’ sake, Rodgers has to stay healthy. If not, Thompson must be better prepared when selecting a backup QB in the spring. He’ll get to do it with a top 10 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Now onto the picks, which each week will include a short analysis on the Packers’ and Lions’ games, plus the three primetime games on NFL Network, NBC and ESPN. With two Monday Night Football games this week, you get six. The rest of the picks will follow.
Vikings at Lions, 1 p.m., Sunday, FOX
Here are the rest of my picks with winners in bold:
Patriots at Bills
Titans at Steelers
Falcons at Saints
Buccaneers at Jets
Chiefs at Jaguars
Seahawks at Panthers
Bengals at Bears
Dolphins at Browns
Raiders at Colts
Cardinals at Rams
News, Blogs & Events Web
Former Green Bay Packers quarterback B.J. Coleman (9) throws during an NFL preseason game agains the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)