INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 26: Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson looks on during an NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 26, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Packers won 24-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Thompson named Sporting News Executive of the Year - JSOnline. As Tom Silverstein points out, this award isn't a good omen. He's won it twice: 2007 and 2011. And the Green Bay Packers have lost to the Giants in both of those seasons.
This award seems to have a little carryover from last February's Super Bowl. There's nothing wrong with going 15-1 during the 2011 regular season, but the Packers didn't make a lot of significant changes during the year. There were no veteran free agents signed from other teams. And other than Randall Cobb, there wasn't much immediate impact from the 2011 draft class. So I'd have to think that the depth that filled in at key positions in 2010, and during the Super Bowl when they had to replace Charles Woodson mid-game, played a role in this award.
There were far fewer injuries in 2011. However, the replacements didn't have the same impact. They didn't have a decent replacement for S Nick Collins, and they weren't able to replace DE Cullen Jenkins. The absence of those two players alone accounted for most of their defensive struggles.