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Thompson comments on Harrell, upcoming roster cuts

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 21, 2012 – 10:31 am

In his weekly training camp briefing with reporters on Tuesday, Packers GM Ted Thompson was asked what he’d like to see from Graham Harrell in the third preseason game, and Thompson acknowledged that a backup QB doesn’t have it easy in the preseason.

“Just continued improvement,” Thompson said. “There’s been a lot of criticism. I think Mike mentioned he graded out much better than you might expect. It’s not always easy during the second half of a preseason game and the chaos is coming at you pretty good.

“He’s a very hard worker. He really likes playing the game of football. He knows the nuances of playing that position. We have faith in a lot of our guys.”

Thompson and the Packers must make the first mandated roster reduction of the preseason by Monday, trimming the roster from 90 to 75 players. The final roster cut, to 53 players, is after the fourth preseason game.

Thompson has spoken often in the past about how much he dislikes releasing players, particularly because he entered the league as an undrafted free agent and was always on edge at cutdown time. Thompson managed to survive and put together a 10-year career in the league, but he knows that’s the exception, particularly for undrafted players.

“Any sort of mandated cuts are always difficult, because you have people that are trying hard to make an impression, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out,” he said. “It’s a hard time.”

That said, Thompson added that he liked the offseason roster expansion from 80 to 90 players this year, even if it means more hard decisions down the road.

“I think it’s good to be able to put your hands on 10 more players in terms of developing,” he said. “You don’t get to have them a whole lot, but you can have them from draft time going forward. I think it’s helpful.”


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