From 2013: Ted Thompson and the backup quarterback “jinx”

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Mike McCarthy can reiterate until he’s gray in the face that his quarterbacks moving forward will be Brett Hundley and Joe Hallahan Houlihan O’Callahan Callahan, but it’s ultimately not the Packers coach’s call. The man who determines the composition of the roster is G.M. Ted Thompson.

Four years ago, the last time the Packers had to proceed with a revolving door of mediocrity after Aaron Rodgers broke a collarbone (it was the left side that time), Thompson had an intriguing, to say the least, explanation for his staffing decisions when it comes to the team’s No. 2 quarterback.

“You make sure you have so many of every position, given the limitations of a 53-man roster,” Thompson told USA Today. “But quite frankly, you never think about your better players ever getting hurt. If you think that way, you might jinx it. It might happen. Literally, you don’t think about it. It’s a place where you never tread.”

So Thompson believes in jinxes?

“No,” Thompson said. “But you still never tread. You just don’t like to say it.”

Which means he does believe in jinxes. Or at least he did in 2013. This year, the No. 2 behind Rodgers has been Brett Hundley, who completed two of 10 regular-season passes before 2017. And the No. 3 (now No. 2) is a Division III quarterback with no regular-season playing time. So maybe Thompson still believes in jinxes.

Maybe he should revisit that. Twice in four years, Rodgers has suffered a multi-game injury.

Meanwhile, the team that beat the Packers on Sunday has to be very glad that it invested $2 million in another quarterback with Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater already on the roster.

69 responses to “From 2013: Ted Thompson and the backup quarterback “jinx”

  1. Ted was caught with his pants down in 2013 and it showed, the only reason the season got salvaged was because Matt Flynn was available and knew the system.

    The Pack have three years invested in Hundley, he’s been there every day learning the system and training behind Rodgers. The fact he doesn’t have much experience is a testimony to Rodgers’ endurance, desperation moves by hitting the street for a FA that doesn’t know the offense, merely because said FA has played in games before, won’t serve this team.

    This is Brett’s team for better or worse, time to get behind that and stop complaining about who is not on the roster.

  2. Situation is totally different this year. No excuses, Hundley has been in the system, has had camps and ota’s. It’s on the coaches to get him ready, have a game plan, and get the defense to tackle. If the first man to hit the Vikings ball carrier had got him on the ground, it’s a different game.

  3. where was the outrage for new england keeping garrapolo on the roster as the backup? no more experience than hundley when the patriots needed him last year.

  4. Neither of them would have a job in GB if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers. I’m interested to see how things play out with the current team leaders as this season progresses.

  5. It’s the Packers. Chill. They’ll somehow end up in the playoffs anyway. Just like in 2013, the last time he broke his collarbone and was out.

  6. 2013 proved that Thompson didn’t know what he was doing. The Packers cut their #2 and #3 quarterbacks (Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman), who had been with the team all through the offseason and training camp. They signed Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien before the season started, both got a chance and both were terrible. They were lucky enough that Matt Flynn had been cut by the Seahawks, Raiders, and Bills that season so he was available and knew their offense. Flynn led them to two one-point wins and a tie, keeping them afloat until Rodgers came back to win the last game.

    That is quarterback malpractice, and his excuse is he didn’t want to jinx Rodgers? Wow.

  7. As a Packer fan, right now, I’m more concerned about the defense than QB. The Packers no longer have a QB who can get 35 points a game. The Defense needs to improve quickly and probably won’t with Capers

  8. Thompsons record speaks for itself. He’s a proven talent evaluator. 2 Super Bowl stints in Green Bay, and with Holmgren, he shaped a Super Bowl roster in Seattle.. name a more proven guy in this era other than Belichick?

    .. as a Packer fan, I’d like a little more, yes. 1 Super Bowl in the Rodgers-era is not enough. But again, outside of New England, what more could I ask for? Honestly.

  9. What is worse is the OL. Hundley will be out soon and Callahan will be in. Who will back up Callahan? 2017 season is over, put Montgomery back to receiver, that experiment should be over. Give your draft picks some reps. Hope and pray Rodgers comes back the same, but being this is his throwing shoulder that is very doubtful. Oh and fire TT. SKOL

  10. You make it sound like the Vikings had three starter quality QBs on their roster. Let’s recap. They had Bridgewater and his back-up. When Bridgewater went down, it was possible he’d never play again. So they traded for a starting caliber QB. And then he got hurt, and the back-up has started to play.

    Good grief. Get a grip.

  11. All of MN is proclaiming our season over. Just like they all proclaimed the division was locked up last year after their 5-0 start. You’d think they’d learn to keep their mouths shut by now.

  12. I swear Ted is in the late stages of Dementia!!

    How the media drools over him is just unfathamable to me.

    Research his picks start to finish and you find only 40% of his picks have had a nfl career. Then tak away those with like 3 year career & the number drops dramtically.

    He is the most overrated overvalued exec in NFL history!!!

    His whole tenure s based on Rodgers falling to him @24

  13. Im not sure what the big deal about this is. Sometimes teams go with young quarterbacks instead of retreads. Jimmy Garropollo anyone?

  14. I guess we will find out if the Defense can step up, or if they are gonna fail because AR is not there to bail them out. Yes I am anti Capers because of how the team has given up big plays over the years.

  15. This guy and Ozzie’s name have been thrown around as such great GMs and I really don’t get it.

    Part of being a good GM is making sure you have coachable players in the pipeline like Belichick does, along with not overspending in FA and mis-allocating dollars at specific positions.

    Thompson has been terrible drafting on D overall and the whiffs have forced him to overpay someone like Nick Perry who has been mediocre.

    All of that stuff adds up like you’re seeing with the Ravens right now.

  16. jgo304 says:
    October 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm
    I swear Ted is in the late stages of Dementia!!

    How the media drools over him is just unfathamable to me.

    Research his picks start to finish and you find only 40% of his picks have had a nfl career. Then tak away those with like 3 year career & the number drops dramtically.

    He is the most overrated overvalued exec in NFL history!!!

    His whole tenure s based on Rodgers falling to him @24

    4 1 Rate This

    ——————-

    Pretty much. He hasn’t had a D since 2010.

    Mindboggling how the media raves about him and Ozzie Newsome. When you look at the facts, they’re nowhere near as good as the media tries to claim.

  17. 8oneanddones says:
    October 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    If the team is publicly owned, who makes the call to fire the GM?

    9 0 Rate This

    —————–

    I think it’s Murphy.

    But, they’re linked at the hip, which is a problem.

  18. If the team is publicly owned, who makes the call to fire the GM?
    =====

    Respectfully, its not a question worth asking.

    Thompson will leave on his own terms, thanks to his 2010 Title.

    Even if that weren’t the Mark Murphy and Board of Directors are too busy with renovation projects and counting greenbacks to even consider such a move.

    One 5-11 season won’t change that. It would take a series of them to get their attention.

  19. This guy and Ozzie’s name have been thrown around as such great GMs and I really don’t get it.
    =====

    1) Other than Belichick, who’s better?

    2) Belichick is so dominant, its not even worth conversation. He’s 2nd or 3rd place in the 3-legged dog run. Yay!

  20. Jimmy Garropollo anyone?
    =====

    Trade a 2nd for him.

    Lose him as he’s due a huge payday.

    Sounds smart.

    Hows your Madden Franchise this year…………………………….

  21. dirtdawg53 says:
    October 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    You make it sound like the Vikings had three starter quality QBs on their roster. Let’s recap. They had Bridgewater and his back-up. When Bridgewater went down, it was possible he’d never play again. So they traded for a starting caliber QB. And then he got hurt, and the back-up has started to play.

    Good grief. Get a grip.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Vikings fans will tell you it was all planned.

    I do sometimes wish we would look at a competent, nfl experienced backup. It’s like they think every QB we have is going to have the run of luck Favre did?

    If Favre did it over again, he would have missed games as well. Luck of a lifetime.

  22. Thompson has been terrible drafting on D overall and the whiffs have forced him to overpay someone like Nick Perry who has been mediocre.
    =====

    Its the coaches as far as I’m concerned.

    Either the players the personnel dept have drafted are players right away (Collins, Clinton-Dix, Matthews, Raji, Hyde, Hayward..) or they wash out (Datone Jones, Jerel Worthy, Khiri Thornton..)

    I don’t see the coaches developing anyone. On either side of the ball, honestly.

    .. and since you missed it, Perry had a VERY good season last year. Stout against the run and had 12 sacks. I wasn’t a fan of the deal he got, but they chose to make the investment.

    Thompson is as good as anyone in the sport without Belichick in their name.

  23. As a Packer fan, right now, I’m more concerned about the defense than QB. The Packers no longer have a QB who can get 35 points a game. The Defense needs to improve quickly and probably won’t with Capers
    =====

    Agreed.

    SUCH a shame. Martinez, Jones, and King have really played well this year.

    Its CRUCIAL this not be a setback for them.

    This needs to be the end of Capers if the defense folds up the tent.

  24. hanoi0241 says:
    October 17, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    Any reason you keep taking shots at Joe Callahan? They’re gratuitous and unfunny.
    ———-

    Because your own coach doesn’t know the first name of his back up QB. Watch the press conference. How inept the Pack is in every way.

  25. Anyone who believes in magical thinking shouldn’t hold a position of power or influence.

  26. Reminder: The Vikings haven’t done anything yet. They started last year 5-0, and they are still the Charlie Brown of the NFL………always having the ball yanked out away from them.

    Until the season is over, we won’t know if anything has changed. I’m guessing no.

  27. That’s rich. Vikes ripping the Packers and their QB decisions. They passed on Rodgers twice. Here are Vike QBs since 1992. Mostly stiffs.

    Brad Johnson
    Brooks Bollinger
    Case Keenum
    Christian Ponder
    Daunte Culpepper
    Donovan McNabb Gus Frerotte
    Josh Freeman Jeff George
    Jim McMahon
    Joe Webb Kelly Holcomb
    Matt Cassel
    Randall Cunningham
    Rich Gannon
    Sam Bradford
    Sean Salisbury
    Shaun Hill
    Spergon Wynn
    Tarvaris Jackson
    Teddy Bridgewater
    Todd Bouman
    Warren Moon

  28. Yes Mike, panicking and trading a 1st rounder for a QB who led the team to a stellar 8-8 record was a genius move. This is why real sportswriters don’t take you seriously.

    When you’ve already got $20+ million invested in a franchise QB it doesn’t leave a lot of room for highly paid backups. That’s why New England’s backup quarterback is also a guy THEY drafted.

  29. All you Muggles go ahead and laugh. Then only thing that has been keeping Rodgers healthy until now has been Thompson’s anti-jinx spells. If the cursed Spielman had not discovered that counter-anti-jinx spell nothing would have happen to Rodgers last Sunday.

  30. Yeah, draft and train a quarterback for three years then sign a street free agent when you need him to play. Such idiots. The Packers might very well still have the best QB in the division.

  31. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    October 17, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, and at the time that we drafted Rodgers, we had a HOF QB in his prime. You had a guy who had one pretty good year.
    _________

    In his prime? Favre was 35 years old and openly talking about retirement. It was a no-brainer to draft a guy who was in the conversation for the first overall pick at 24 in that situation.

    Culpepper was 28 and coming off two good seasons, the latter of which was MVP worthy. If the Vikings should have picked a quarterback in the first round under those circumstances, then the Packers should be ripped for not taking a quarterback in the first round this year.

  32. Let me think…Dallas had a backup last year…hmmm…rookie…had never thrown a pass…what was his name??? Oh yeah, Dak Prescott…turned our pretty well for them. Florio, you just have no clue, huh?

  33. @inTeddyisaMoron

    Yes, Prime. In the years after Aaron was drafted, Favre averaged 63% comp, 3,684 yards, and 22 TDs. A year. If a QB did that for the Vikes, he’d be in your Ring of Honor. So, yes. Prime. You got something better than that other than Fran?

  34. Right now I’m more concerned about the Oline. When the Vikings game was over GB had exactly 5 healthy OLs left. Hundley can and will win some games but if the OL cannot protect him he will be running for his life on every play. Pretty hard to win if you can’t get the ball out of your hands before getting clobbered.

  35. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    October 17, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Yes, Prime. In the years after Aaron was drafted, Favre averaged 63% comp, 3,684 yards, and 22 TDs. A year. If a QB did that for the Vikes, he’d be in your Ring of Honor. So, yes. Prime. You got something better than that other than Fran?
    __________

    Yes. In the two years before Rodgers was drafted, Culpepper averaged 67% comp, 4,098 yards, and 32 TDs. A year. He also averaged 414 yards rushing and 3 TDs. A year.

    And none of that changes the fact that Favre was annually teasing the Packers with talk of retirement. I hear this year is a deep quarterback draft. I’ll be expecting the Packers to use their first round pick on one or else you can explain to me why they wouldn’t.

  36. I might add that Favre threw 29 interceptions in 2005. Culpepper had 11 in each of the previous two years. Favre was done until he went to the Vikings and rejuvenated his career.

  37. Funny, you cut it off after 2 years. Most teams, to be successful over the long term, need a little more production than that.

    It’s a too early (for us anyway) to be speculating on draft picks. We #nevergiveup #neversurrender. #warrior.

  38. golforepar says:
    October 17, 2017 at 5:12 pm
    screaming, how was the parade for the W sunday? smh

    /////////////

    The parade was great, I was there. They had a tiny little car full of pack fans dressed like clowns

  39. I might add that Favre threw 29 interceptions in 2005. Culpepper had 11 in each of the previous two years. Favre was done until he went to the Vikings and rejuvenated his career.
    =====

    That would be true….. if not for almost getting to the Super Bowl in 2007.

  40. I’m probably in the minority, but I can’t criticize TT in terms of his plans for losing rodgers for an extended period of time. Hundley appears to be a decent backup (this past Sunday against an elite defense in difficult circumstances nonwithstanding) that they’ve been grooming slowly but steadily. More importantly, there’s just no replacing a quarterback of rodgers caliber.

    HOWEVER, where TT is highly deserving of criticism is with the rest of the roster. His “jinx”comments are especially weird in light of letting a guy like T.J. Lang leave in the off-season. Count TT as a member of a small club of insane G.M.’s with true franchise quarterbacks that don’t put a premium on veteran offensive line depth. Did I mention that Lang is rated 84.3 by PFF this season? Just a hair under “elite”.

    The defense is equally thin due to poor drafting and a bizarre aversion to signing cheap veteran talent at backup positions. As I’ve said before, I have little doubt that McCarthy and Capers will take most of the blame for what’s coming in green bay. But the problem now is the rest of the roster and the man who constructed it. That’s not to say that the packers are devoid of talent by any means and mccarthy is a decent (albeit flawed) head coach. But the consistent presence of rodgers has masked many flaws for many years, namely TT’s mediocre drafting and highly questionable roster construction philosophies. He’s flat out poor at evaluating defensive talent. He overestimates his ability to find talent in the late rounds/UFA’s and his coaching staff’s ability to develop it.

    But his biggest offense (and why he should be fired) is that he is always looking 2-3 years down the road instead of at the present. He stashes far too much young talent at the bottom of the roster instead of signing quality, league-average veterans to man the 2nd string. This is why injuries have a disproportionate effect on the packers relative to the rest of the league and it’s how TT has squandered the career of aaron rodgers.

    Back in January at the press conference after the packers were torched by the Falcons, rodgers practically BEGGED Thompson to add weapons for the 2017 season. A quick look at the roster shows us that Thompson stubbornly refused that request.

  41. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    October 17, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Funny, you cut it off after 2 years. Most teams, to be successful over the long term, need a little more production than that.
    ________

    So go back one more year, it doesn’t make any difference. The point is that the Vikings invested a first-round pick in a quarterback, he was 28 years old and coming off a near-MVP season, and your advice is to invest another first-round pick in another quarterback. Why hasn’t your team followed that advice?

  42. inted, Vikings invested a first round pick in a QB? You need to say which one, since the Vikings have spent 3 first round draft picks on QBs in about 6 years!

  43. The Packers had some good back up QBs in 2013, Matt Flynn, Senaca Wallace, and Scott Tolzien were adequate. These back ups were able to help them stay in playoff contention for when Rodgers came back.

    The Vikings trading for Sam Bradford was an entirely different situation. It happened in the preseason, not Week 6. Plus Bridgewater had just suffered an injury that had the potential to end his entire career.

    There’s almost no way the Packers give up a 1st and a 2nd for a QB right now. It’s too late in the season and Rodgers is returning next year, if not sooner.

  44. golforepar says:
    October 17, 2017 at 8:16 pm
    inted, Vikings invested a first round pick in a QB? You need to say which one, since the Vikings have spent 3 first round draft picks on QBs in about 6 years!

    ///////////////

    Let me help you again. The Vikings have used 2 first round picks in the last 6 years not three on QBs, on the flip side the packers have used nine of their last eleven first round picks on defensive players and they still cannot stop a pop warner offense.
    Need anymore help let me know.

  45. flviking, Thanks for the humor!! 2 first rounders?? Ponder, Bridgewater, Bradford. Lets see if you can count to 3! At least you can count to zero as in SB rings. lmao

  46. finchy74,

    The Packers roster is thin, I won’t debate you on that. There’s no comparison between this version compared to the 2010 team that won the Super Bowl. (Other than the injury list..)

    As far as the Lang deal, and/or Thompson being cheap;

    First, how many of Thompsons guys have gotten a second contract? Other than Rodgers, I can’t think of one. Second, the Lions gave $35mil to a 30-year-old. I think Lang is a very good player, but I also have no doubt the scouts can find another 4th rounder from a BCS school that will fill his role in the near future.

    As for the defense;

    What is Capers role in picking personnel? Thats what I’ve been dying to know, but unfortunately never will… I agree that the Pack haven’t drafted well here, but I also don’t see the coaches developing any of these young players. Either they step in right away and play well, or they are flat out busts. The only exception I can think of is Perry, who was an on and off again starter who really blossomed last year.

    Last, as for Rodgers, it looks like its going to end for him the same as it did with Favre. I just don’t see this team winning the ultimate prize again, and I’d bet on Rodgers playing elsewhere before he’s finished.

    I’m HOPING McCarthy proves me wrong these next 10 weeks. I’d love nothing more than for this team to show well, have a couple young players emerge, and finish at .500 or 9-7. But I suspect this is going to look alot more like 2005.

  47. This is getting funny now. Vikings fans talking crap to fans of the most successful team over the last decade. This their moments in the sun. Their 15 minutes of fame. The chance to kick your betters while they are down. Enjoy the brief window boys.

  48. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    October 17, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, and at the time that we drafted Rodgers, we had a HOF QB in his prime.
    ))))))))))))))
    Now the real facts. Your HOF QB had been talking about retiring. He was far from his prime. He also was the first packer QB in the history of the team to lose a home playoff game at Lambeau. 2005 was not his prime.

  49. golforepar says:
    October 18, 2017 at 10:28 am
    flviking, Thanks for the humor!! 2 first rounders?? Ponder, Bridgewater, Bradford. Lets see if you can count to 3! At least you can count to zero as in SB rings. lmao
    ==========
    You’re wrong on two fronts. First, lets say you meant calendar year, Ponder was in APRIL of 2011 which means he was drafted OVER 6 years ago since it is now October.

    But clearly you were talking about drafts. 2011, 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017 How many is that? I’ll wait for you to count…hint you don’t need to take off your shoes, but you will need more than one hand….still stumped? It’s 7…ponder was drafted 7 drafts ago..not 6.

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