It’s really dreadful to think the despised Green Bay Packers are superior to the Minnesota Vikings. They’re debatably the best run franchise in all of football having won last year’s Super Bowl, being undefeated in the middle of November (including sweeping us) and could very well win a couple more rings over the next few years. With the exception of running back and defensive end — they’re pretty much better than us at every position too.
If there’s anything that we’ve learned from the 2011 season it’s that head coach Leslie Frazier makes terrible personnel decisions and his influence there should be minimized. Deciding to keep guard Anthony Herrera and cornerback Cedric Griffin has resulted in two guys past their prime also fighting injuries. Cutting offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie had to be done with his weight nearly 400 pounds to start the season, but he’s playing this year for Baltimore and our offensive line is one of the worst in the league. Then there’s the decision to keep wide receiver Bernard Berrian which had it’s share of twists and turns with more raucous caused off the field to State Senators than to opposing defenses. It’s simply time to do away with this quasi “Triangle of Authority” involving Frazier, VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and VP of football operations Rob Brzezinski and place one person in control rather than giving a head coach major say in personnel moves.
Most know that over Ted Thompson’s tenure as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers he has made a number of cold and calculated football decisions with the majority of them working out in Green Bay’s favor. In his first year he drafted quarterback Aaron Rodgers (which alienated Brett Favre) and safety Nick Collins. He also signed cornerback Charles Woodson, defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and avoided trading for wide receiver Randy Moss. Thompson’s also hit home runs drafting defensive tackle BJ Raji, linebacker Clay Mathews, wide receiver Greg Jennings early as well as guard Josh Sitton and kicker Mason Crosby late.
Spielman could just be that guy. He’s netted us two rookies of the year in running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin. Earlier in the year there were rumors that Spielman wanted to blow the current roster up only keeping several core players and go young. Spielman believed we probably weren’t going to catch Green Bay anyway whereas Frazier felt this team had one more playoff run in it sticking predominately with last year’s team and trading for quarterback Donovan McNabb. Frazier got what he wanted and this season has been a forgetful one.
Zygi Wilf owning the team has prided on running it the same way he’d run a business – everyone be accountable and keep the lines of communication open with internal transparency. But like any business owner when the results aren’t there changes have to be made. By naming a GM it gives one-man control of personnel moves and allows the head coach to well… coach. What a novel concept. And that isn’t to say Spielman would immediately be as good as Thompson (please Thompson is one of the NFL’s five best), but could results be much worse than 2-7?
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig