Remember way back in 2009? The Packers were in a search for a defensive coordinator. It became apparent that, at the top of that list, was a certain Gregg Williams.
Yeah, that Gregg Williams.
Williams signed with the Saints, the Packers "settled" for Dom Capers, and the rest is history.
With the recent events of bounty hunting initiated by Williams with the Saints (and other teams), Ted Thompson was lucky it played out that way. The Saints face severe penalties across the board: hefty fines, suspensions, forfeiture of draft picks...yikes.
But Thompson hasn't just been lucky. He has also been good. Not just "good" in talent evaluation and roster management. But "good" in the sense of moral fiber. It's this very sense of by-the-book thinking that the Saints GM, Mickey Loomis, did not employ. The NFL reportedly warned Loomis of suspicion of bounty hunting years ago. Loomis agreed to clean it up.
It never happened.
I'm not suggesting that Thompson would not have hired Williams as the defensive coordinator. He was just lucky the opportunity never presented itself. What I am suggesting is that Thompson would have put a prompt end to illegal activity...because he's good.
Thompson does things "the right way". He won't bend the rules or blur the lines. A great example of this is the "tag and trade" possibility that occurred with Matt Flynn. Obviously, we can only speculate as to the reasons why he didn't take the chance. But Thompson carries a reputation of a "law-abiding General Manager". He just wouldn't do it, because it's not in the spirit of the rules. Even though it is to the potential detriment of the franchise (moving up several spots with a draft pick), Thompson would not stray from his convictions.
It can be boringly beautiful to have a GM who doesn't stir the pot or take big risks. Sure, "slow and steady wins the race" is not as newsworthy as "win at all costs". But maybe, just maybe, nice guys really can finish first.
We Packer fans can be thankful that we have a GM running this franchise who is not only lucky (in the case of not being "allowed" to hire Williams), but also "good" - in the true sense of the word.