Former Ted Thompson protégé John Schneider became the Seattle Seahawks general manager in 2010. In four years, he turned over the roster and came out with a Super Bowl champion.
The Green Bay Packers have gone the other direction. The year Schneider became Seattle’s GM, the Packers won the Super Bowl. In 2011, they finished 15-1, but were blown out in their first playoff game, as the New York Giants exposed their extremely flawed defense.
In 2012, it was more of the same. The Packers faded to 11-5 and their defense was again exposed by the San Francisco 49ers and they lost their first playoff game. And, well, you know what happened this past season — 8-7-1, defense exposed all season long and lost their first playoff game to the 49ers.
So what’s the point here? The Green Bay Packers’ 2013 roster had only one player who had ever played for another team — fullback John Kuhn.
Not including guys on injured reserve or who were suspended, Seattle’s had 31. Thirty of those guys were acquired by Schneider, either as a free agent signing or through a trade.
The breakdown of Schneider’s additions is 22 free agents and eight trades.
Some of the free agent signings were big-time contributors, like defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Both were signed last offseason, when Schneider knew his team was a few players away from winning it all. In fact, he took a chance on Bennett when other teams were concerned about his shoulder and gave him a one-year deal.
Bennett responded with 8.5 sacks.
When is the last time Ted signed a guy like that? Go back to 2006, when got a bargain-basement deal on Charles Woodson because everyone else thought he was washed up.
Schneider also added guys like fullback Michael Robinson and receiver Sidney Rice through free agency.
Trades? How about Marshawn Lynch, the foundation of Seattle’s offense, in 2010? Ironically, the Packers were in the bidding for Lynch. Seattle gave up fourth and sixth-round picks, but Ted deemed anything more too high of a price.
Schneider also pulled the trigger on the Percy Harvin deal. He did nothing for the team during the season because he was injured, but you saw what he can do when he’s healthy in the Super Bowl.
Ted only trades on draft day. Here, I’ll give you a fourth for three sevenths and a sixth!
Gotta stockpile those draft picks! One day they might, they just might turn into a semi-serviceable NFL starter.
The one thing Schneider, who supposedly learned his craft from Ted Thompson, has in common with his mentor is that they’ve both struck out on some high draft picks.
You can afford to do that when you acquire the right guys from other teams.
But hey, who’s ready for some more draft and develop?!?! I mean, Aaron Rodgers will be in his prime forever, right?