As the NFL attempts to resolve its labor dispute, this is a good time to review the play-off leadership quotes and principles that made the Green Bay Packers the league’s champion and model franchise. We will focus on four individuals – quarterback Aaron Rodgers, defensive back Charles Woodson, General Manager Ted Thompson, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
- Decision Making – “That was about as well as I’ve seen a quarterback play in person. The ability to break tackles, extend plays, throw on the run with accuracy.” – Back-up QB Matt Flynn on Rodgers 48-21 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the NFC play-offs.
- Opportunity – “I never doubted I could do this. I just always wondered if I’d get a chance. I knew I had the ability. The question was ‘When would I get a chance to show it'”
- Motivation – “I’m not vindictive, but I’m blessed with a very good memory. You wait, you keep quiet and you take advantage of an opportunity when it comes.”
- Relationship Between Talent And Creativity – The improved play of the secondary has allowed Charles Woodson to be more creative.
- “If Obama’s not going to come see us at the Super Bowl, then we’ll just have to go see him in Washington.”
- Continual Improvement – “In this league they bring in younger guys all the time to either replace you or beat you. For me to stick around, I have to get better every year.”
- Preparation – Woodson helps improve the secondary’s performance through endless film study and installing them with confidence.
- Validation – “It (winning the Super Bowl) would really validate my career.”
- Accomplishment – “My last few years in Oakland, I could play great and nobody would really care. Your name is left out of the conversation of best ever because your team is horrible.”
Packers GM Ted Thompson – Doing What Is Best For The Organization Even When It is Unpopular
- Thompson made wise decisions even though some of them outraged the fans.
- Thompson cares little if the fans like him.
- When former team president Bob Harlan hired him, he stated “I didn’t hire him to be good with the press. I hired him to build a football team.”
- Thompson angered Brett Favre by not releasing him so he could join the Vikings or Bears. Instead he traded him to the Jets.
- Continuity – The team’s defensive improvement came from an increased comfort level with the scheme. In year one of Dom Capers’ scheme, there was too much thinking and not enough reacting.
- Content – Capers travels with crates of spiral notebooks full of schemes.
- There Is A Difference Between Sensing An Opportunity And Seizing It – “That long (Super Bowl) halftime show. It gave us a chance to diagnose the guys and find out who we’d have in the second half, and when we did, it allowed us to fix our calls and figure out what we were going to do.”
- Responsibility – “Football is my life. And on that last series, I just shut down Randal El. Just did my job.” – backup DB Pat Lee
A special thanks goes to Sports Illustrated for content from its editions from January 24 through February 14.
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