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Thompson discusses Harrell, difficulty of decisions

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 1, 2012 – 3:30 pm

Graham Harrell locked up the backup QB job with a stellar outing on Thursday against Kansas City (13 of 15, 223 yards, 2 TDs, 158.3 rating), and GM Ted Thompson said on Saturday what stood out about his performance was the plays he made with his feet.

“You could see his ability to ad-lib a little bit, which is a huge thing playing quarterback in the NFL,” Thompson said. “Obviously some guys made some plays for him down the field, and I thought we protected pretty decent. It was a good showing.

“He never lost his confidence during this whole time. I know he’s been sort of the focal point, but Graham has a sometimes quiet, sometimes not-so-quiet confidence in himself to play the position, and our coaches have been behind him the whole way.”

One of the close calls in the roster cutdown that Thompson mentioned was the sixth and final spot on the defensive line. It went to Phillip Merling, a 6-5, 315-pound end who was a former second-round draft pick of the Dolphins, over Daniel Muir, a 6-2, 322-pound nose tackle who had made the Packers’ roster as an undrafted rookie back in 2007 before playing four seasons in Indianapolis.

“In the case of Daniel Muir, very difficult. Very passionate young man,” Thompson said. “But the NFL is like a wheel, it goes round and round, you never know when someone might be back.

“In the case of Phillip, we thought he played very well. We thought especially he gave us a little inside push in that last game, (plus the) body type, a little bit longer and taller.”

That decision was one of many difficult ones, Thompson said. Without naming the player, he told the story of one player who was released on Friday who told Thompson what a thrill it was to simply play a preseason game in front of the Lambeau Field crowd.

“I patted him on the back and said, ‘How did it go last night?’, talking about the game, and he said it was the greatest time, it was the most fun he’s ever had in his entire life to be able to play at Lambeau Field. I think sometimes we’re so conscious about trying to win and compete on such a major level as the NFL, we forget it’s guys playing the game, and I thought that was pretty cool.”

There’s been nothing fun about these last couple of days for Thompson, though, who has often said that roster cutdown days are the worst days of his job.

“We had a fairly strong 90-man roster I felt,” he said. “These guys competed and played hard, and eventually you have to cut down. It’s just awful, the experience of going through that.

“You say a little prayer and hope you have the wisdom to make the right decision. Tough times.”

For the main story from Thompson’s Saturday press conference, click here.

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Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Thompson discusses Harrell, difficulty of decisions”

  1. By Noah on Sep 1, 2012 | Reply

    Long live Driver!

  2. By JJB22 on Sep 1, 2012 | Reply

    What a classy guy Ted Thompson is! We’re lucky to have a GM with a real heart!

  3. By Bob Wassom on Sep 1, 2012 | Reply

    My hat is off to TT, MM and all those responsible for making the decisions regarding their players. They all seem to be fair in makeing those decisions.
    I’m a Texan and had never been a Packer’s fan until they signed Graham Harrell. He was given a fair chance and for a while I wondered if he was going to make it. My confidence never wavered in him, but he played in the last pre-season game like I’ve seen him play in many college games. He has always played like “Mr. Cool”. In pressure situations and in big games he always came through. I’m mighty proud he is a Packer. Bob…

  4. By Jonnt Benson on Sep 2, 2012 | Reply

    Ted…that that nigga mane!!! love that dude!

  5. By nate on Sep 2, 2012 | Reply


    Please remove comment from Jonnt Benson on Sep 2, 2012 reply to the following article.


  6. By Ron Joachim on Sep 3, 2012 | Reply

    On the Jonnt Benson comment on Sept 2, 2012

    Why can’t these type of comments from this kind of idiot be reviewed and deleted before we see it? At least ban the freak’s access to our website.

  7. By bill on Sep 3, 2012 | Reply

    please ban j. benson. his conduct does not belong on a site associated with this or any other team. in the 21st century, such behavior does not even rise to the primitive level.

  8. By greylorn on Sep 3, 2012 | Reply

    Some of you guys need to get a sense of humor. The “offensive” comment was obviously a high compliment to T.T. from a black guy.

    Humor is contextual. There’s nothing racist about a gentleman of Polish descent telling a “Polack” joke– especially in Wisconsin. It’s a different thing if a Russian or a Nazi skinhead tells the same joke.

    There are lots of different folks of various cultures sharing this planet. Why not learn to live with them? Political correctness has its time and place, and NFL football is not it.

  9. By airpacker12 on Sep 3, 2012 | Reply


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