Publicly, Packers coach Mike McCarthy has called out running back Eddie Lacy. Privately, McCarthy apparently is doing the same to G.M. Ted Thompson.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel drops this bombshell near the bottom of a postmortem on Green Bay’s season: “According to several sources, McCarthy is fed up with his boss’ unwillingness to take a chance and reinforce the roster with veteran players that might be unknown to the Packers but have the talent to contribute.”
Thompson and his predecessor, Ron Wolf, rarely rolled the dice on free agents with recognizable names. Beyond Reggie White, Charles Woodson, and Julius Peppers, the Packers have resisted the pursuit of established veterans since free agency arrived 23 years ago.
Sure, the Packers have signed guys who were available (like Desmond Howard in 1996), but they rarely chase guys who are coveted elsewhere. It’s a smart way to manage the cap, but a willingness to periodically compete for impact players is critical to maximizing a team’s chances. Thompson won’t do it and, if McGinn’s report is accurate, McCarthy has had enough of it.
Whatever that means for the future of the relationship between coach and G.M. and whether either or both is facing real scrutiny, McGinn hits the nail on the head regarding the atmosphere that comes from public ownership of the team.
“With no owner to answer to, Thompson can choose not to deal with the uncomfortable issues associated with the end of any season,” McGinn writes.
By never having the accountability that comes from having a traditional owner, Thompson and McCarthy can keep doing what they do, at least until quarterback Aaron Rodgers retires and the team isn’t an instant contender every year.
Packers fans should want something more than merely contending for the balance of Rodgers’ career. Arguably the best quarterback of the last decade, the Packers should have more than one Super Bowl appearance during his career.
Whatever happens in 2016, the Packers are running out of chances with Rodgers.