Creepy Ted was right - Part 2 (Or, Let's focus on the Packers)

Football is a serious god-damned business, folks. Look at that icy stare, colder than the frozen water out on the pond! I know my last post focused on the negatives of the Viking's organization - which is really terrible - but after a great win like that one, I'd regret, I think, not looking at the flip side of that coin. If the Viking's terrible, terrible team building style prove Creep Ted right, I ought to spend some time on how solid this year's Packer team has become - despite so many injuries - which also proves that Creepy Ted was right. This high-end talent, this depth that allowed us to over-come a bizarre amount of key injuries and keep improving week after week, that is the device of Ted's serious mind. So you get a bonus column this week, dear readers. Wahoo!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am happy as a horse in an apple-orchard that the Packers are on their way up while the Vikings are crashing to the ground - both this season, and at least in the near-term. That-there's the truth, folks. And I figured it would be fun to comb through this roster that is making it happen, to see if the perception is true about Creepy Ted's organic work, especially in the wake of embarrassing #4 and the Vikings, who chose to build a team artificially (and with an unusual amount of our left-overs).

Thanks to the Packer's 'How Built' page, this was remarkably easy to do, and I thoroughly enjoyed the refresher. Basically, I've broken the team up into three categories: Premium Weapons, Essential Beasts, and Solid Players. I would also argue that there is a fourth category of player in this league, some-thing like 'Lousy Bums', but of course the Packers don't have any of those on the roster. Players below in bold are 'thanks to Ted' either through draft, trade (ha!) or free agency pick-up (during regular or off-season). I would also note that there are some really good players that were acquired prior to Ted's arrival, but that to some extent he should get credit for keeping a talented player around this far into his tenure. I only included players who are seeing the field regularly and I tried to be a tough grader...

YOUR CURRENT PACKERS (year acquired):

Premium Weapons
Aaron Rodgers (05)
Nick Collins (05)
Tramon Williams (06)
Charles Woodsen (06)
Greg Jennings (06)
Clay Matthews (09)

Essential Beasts
Donald Driver (99)
Cullen Jenkins (04)
Ryan Pickett (06)
Desmond Bishop (07)
Josh Sitton (08)
BJ Raji (09)

Solid Players
Chad Clifton (00)
Scott Wells (04)
Donald Lee (05)
Atari Bigby (05)
AJ Hawk (06)
Jason Spitz (06)
Daryn Colledge (06)
Jarrett Bush (06)
Brandon Jackson (07)
James Jones (07)
Mason Crosby (07)
Korey Hall (07)
John Kuhn (07)
Jordy Nelson (08)
Pat Lee (08)
Matt Flynn (08)
Brett Swain (08)
Brandon Chillar (08)
Brett Goode (08)
TJ Lang (09)
Quinn Johnson (09)
Tom Crabtree (09)
Bryan Bulaga (10)
Andrew Quarless (10)
CJ Wilson (10)
Tim Masthay (10)
Charlie Peprah (10)
Sam Shields (10)
Frank Zombo (10)
Howard Green (10)
Anthony Smith (10)

Other notable Puzzle Pieces not on current roster
Ryan Grant (07) Beast
Jermichael Finley (08) Premium

So what's the results? All six of the team's active 'premium' players were Ted pick-ups, five of them draft picks. I also put Jermichael Finley in this category, so that's six game-changing draft picks and one golden free agent pickup over six seasons of work.

Of the seven players ranked 'beast' (including Ryan Grant), five were Ted pick-ups, three of them drafted. The vast majority of the 'essential' category were Ted picks, and you could argue a few of those guys belong in the 'beast' range fairly easily. Many of them will likely improve a level (or two) over the next few years. With youth comes time for potential to ripen!

Over-all, it's great to poke fun at the Vikings, especially after ending their season in week 11, but we are in that position because of Creepy Ted, to a large extent, with the talented roster he has built in Green Bay. Now that it's been proven that he made the correct decision at the correct time, regarding #4, I wonder if the anti-Thompson crowd that formed when he let a popular-but-declining player go will begin acknowledging the over-all wisdom of his organic team-building philosophy? That is certainly the less-obvious lesson from this week in the NFL, and it deserves mention.

Until next time,