Monday, February 28, 2011

Mike and Ted's excellent adventure

Say it with me now: the Green Bay Packers are World Champions! Never gets old, does it? At least, not if you're a Packer fan. Nor if you are the head coach or general manager of the Super Bowl winning team.

Great article in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by that paper's outstanding Packers beat writer, Bob McGinn, about how head coach Mike McCarthy is only just beginning his run at Super Bowl titles. While he joined Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only Packers coaches to win a Super Bowl title, McCarthy wants to join Lombardi as the only multiple winner. That would be just fine with Packer fans all across the universe, coach.

The article notes not only how committed McCarthy is to the Packers as an organization -- and how they are ready to re-negotiate his contract to demonstrate the team's commitment to him, as well -- but how committed he also is to Green Bay as a community. When you have coaches and players who commit to not just the team but the community of Green Bay, that's a situation that is hard to beat.

McCarthy gives suitable praise to his GM, Ted Thompson, of course. And it seems as if fans and others in the NFL have also finally seen the wisdom of Thompson's build-through-the-draft approach. The right GM and the right head coach have assembled the right players at the right time.

Now, Mike and Ted are at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis checking out the next group of potential Packers from the upcoming draft. Trying to find more depth along the offensive and defensive lines, playmakers at linebacker and defensive back, perhaps a receiver and running back, and -- dare we dream? -- a returner. It wouldn't seem as if there are many holes to fill. But some players, such as DE Cullen Jenkins, will be lost to free agency. And as was clearly a lesson learned last season, injuries can devastate a team unless you have players -- and coaches -- who can step up their play. Every player from #1 on down to the practice squad players are important. You have to believe that, in Thompson's system, there are no guesses. Only potential champions.

It is a most excellent adventure indeed.