“I think it’s great. It feels comfortable that we now have a plan and we’re going to do things a certain way,” the Packers general manager said on Wednesday.
“What he’s done for this place is remarkable. I was here in ’92 when Ron (Wolf) acquired Brett. We sort of grew up with the Packers. We’re happy all of that other stuff has been put aside and let’s go forward with the relationship.”
Thompson met with reporters in his weekly training camp press conference. He deferred comment on tackle Don Barclay’s knee injury to Coach Mike McCarthy and his post-practice press conference later in the day.
“Guys go down and other guys step up,” Thompson said.
Saturday marks the Packers’ preseason opener and Thompson will get his best look to date at his draft crop.
“Try to ascertain if the game is too big for them,” he said of what he’ll try to learn this Saturday. “Sometimes it will be in the first game but won’t be in the second game. Hopefully you make the right decisions at the end. It’s a very difficult process at the end. As you get closer, it gets harder. You can’t pull for a partricular player. It has to play itself out.”
Half jokingly, Thompson told reporters: “You guys are almost always wrong. If you were close, I’d give you credit. I’ve seen young guys read the newspaper and get all depressed. I feel bad for the guys that have to read that.
“They wrote that about me when I was with the Houston Oilers in 1975.”
Packers.com will provide a training camp look in from today’s practice, which was to begin at 11:45 a.m.
Tags: brett favre, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 18 Comments »
GREEN BAY—Ted Thompson, the architect of the Packers’ current five-year playoff run, will remain the team’s executive vice president and general manager for the long-term future.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, who recently said signing Thompson to a new contract was a priority, announced on Wednesday that Thompson has signed a new, multi-year contract with the team.
“I’m pleased that we were able to enter into this contract extension with Ted,” Murphy said. “His outstanding work has been the key factor in the success that we’ve enjoyed in recent years. I have tremendous respect for Ted, and am confident that we will continue to contend for championships under his leadership.”
Thompson is beginning his 10th season as the team’s football operations boss. Under his and Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s leadership, the Packers won a Super Bowl in the 2010 season and are currently on a three-year run as NFC North Division champions.
“Mark Murphy and I have had ongoing conversations. I felt very appreciated by the organization and honored to work with such fine people. The more you think about it the more you wonder how nuts are you to walk away from something like this? After you put all of the chips on the table, there’s very little choice,” Thompson told reporters during his 1 p.m. press conference on Wednesday.
“I was asked that question a lot, how long are you going to go? I think I’ll just let it play itself out. It seems to me a lot of people can be very productive late in life. I feel pretty energized to keep going,” he said. “I feel great. This place means a lot to me.”
Was his decision influenced by the Packers’ current run of success?
“I think we have a chance to be a pretty good team if we play well, but the answer is no,” Thompson said.
Extending Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s contract?
“It’s a big priority. It’s always been the way it’s been done here; the general manager gets done (first),” Thompson said.
Tags: ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 27 Comments »
GREEN BAY–The long wait for the start of the draft is also wearing on the men who do the drafting.
“Everyone is sitting around with not much to do,” Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said on Thursday, during his traditional pre-draft press conference. “The draft has become a very popular item. Sometimes, for those of us who work the draft, you can watch too many episodes of who’s the best player of the draft. It’s a pretty popular show, I guess.”
This year’s draft has been pushed back to May 8, two weeks later than usual. The additional scouting time hasn’t changed the Packers’ approach to the draft.
“We feel like the draft is a long-term investment. We don’t get too involved in perceived needs. If you try to fill perceived needs, you mess up a couple of spots,” Thompson said.
The Packers’ perceived need at safety?
“You need good safety play to be a good defense. At the end of the day, you try to take the best player,” Thompson said.
Several NFL GMs have referred to this draft class as the most talented in recent history.
“I never try to evaluate a draft class. It usually takes three, four years to do that,” Thompson added.
For the full report from Thompson’s press conference, click here.
Tags: ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 44 Comments »
During his press conference ending the second day of the draft, Packers GM Ted Thompson was asked to comment on the contract extension signed by QB Aaron Rodgers on Friday. Here’s what he said:
“Really glad it worked out. I think Aaron has proven himself to be a very fine quarterback, a very fine leader. As an extension of that, the Green Bay Packers and Packer fans have been very lucky to have Aaron Rodgers come in here and do the job he has, following a legend in Brett Favre, in the time that he spent from 1992 forward. To have those two guys as your two quarterbacks for that long a time is a remarkable thing, and it’s the record I think is a reflection of that.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, brett favre, contract, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 6 Comments »
“I would like to thank John Dorsey for his 27 years of service to the Green Bay Packers. First as a player, and later as a member of the personnel department, John has been a loyal member of the Packers family and the Green Bay community for more than half of his life. The Chiefs have hired a good man and John has earned this opportunity. We wish John and his family all the best.”
Tags: john dorsey, kansas city chiefs, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 85 Comments »
Tags: kickoff note, mark murphy, mike mccarthy, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 23 Comments »
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.
Tags: graham harrell, roster, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 9 Comments »
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.”
Tags: graham harrell, roster cuts, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 55 Comments »
GM Ted Thompson said Tuesday morning that the 53-man roster for Week 1 is a long way from being decided with three preseason games still remaining. The Packers won’t make any cuts until after the third game, when the roster is reduced from 90 to 75 players. It comes down to 53 after the fourth preseason game.
“I don’t try to prejudge it,” Thompson said during his weekly training camp meeting with the media. “I let it go its course. Too many times you think, ‘This is probably going to happen,’ and all of a sudden somebody has a dynamite game and it’s completely different. So I let it run its course. We told these guys they have a chance to make our team and they still have a chance to make our team.”
Thompson also dismissed the notion that the signings of 31-year-old Reggie Wells on the offensive line and 29-year-old Cedric Benson, a running back with a checkered past, have signaled any shift in philosophy with how he goes about building a team. He emphasized that those signings were out of necessity due to injuries and questions about depth at those positions.
“A team is ever-evolving, and we felt like those were good moves at this particular time,” Thompson said. “We were very, very young at a couple of positions, like in the case of Reggie Wells, we’re very young in the backup roles (on the offensive line). Adding a guy with experience, we’ll take a look at him and see how he fits in, see if it’s a good fit. I don’t know if there’s any cosmic change in the way we like to do business.”
Particularly at running back, the injuries have piled up. When John Kuhn sustained an ankle injury Monday, the Packers were down to two healthy tailbacks (Alex Green, who’s on a snap count, and rookie Marc Tyler) and one fullback (undrafted rookie Nic Cooper).
“As we went further into training camp, we realized you never have enough horses,” Thompson said. “It’s a tough position to play. It’s a tough position durability-wise to stay out there. We think he can help that group out. What that means, whether he’s a starter, all that will be determined down the road.”
As for Benson’s off-the-field incidents over the years, Thompson said he spoke with Benson about them and came away confident that Benson is more mature now.
“I don’t want to talk about Cedric’s private affairs, but we had a conversation and I was comfortable he understands that maybe he made some mistakes in the past and maybe he’s more mature and farther down the road in terms of developing in that regard,” Thompson said. “We felt comfortable after that.”
Tags: cedric benson, reggie wells, ted thompson
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 33 Comments »
When the Packers surprisingly cut Jon Ryan following training camp in 2008, the search for a punter was on. For the next two seasons, Derrick Frost and Jeremy Kapinos held the job, but barely. In 2010, Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan competed for the position in training camp, with Masthay emerging as the winner.
There likely won’t be another punting competition in training camp anytime soon, now that Masthay has signed a multi-year contract extension. He has been the Packers’ punter for the past two seasons and has done nothing but improve, which has obviously been noticed by GM Ted Thompson.
“What was impressive to me was his continued growth,” Thompson said in a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, discussing the decision to give Masthay a long-term deal. “He didn’t stop with just winning the job. He wants to be really good, and he works at his craft. He’s extraordinary in the strength and conditioning portion of our organization, and we’re glad to have him.
“It’s like a lot of things, if you have one, then you don’t necessarily think it’s so important, until you don’t have one, and we’re glad that we’ve got him.”
Thompson also likes what he has seen so far in the transition to veteran center Jeff Saturday, who was the most notable free-agent signing in the offseason. The Packers needed a center after Scott Wells signed with St. Louis, and Saturday was brought in after more than a decade as Peyton Manning’s QB in Indianapolis.
“He kind of fits in like a gently worn baseball glove,” Thompson said of Saturday. “He has a lot of respect from the locker room because of his tenure and because of the way he plays the game. He applies himself, the smarts and the toughs and the nuances of playing the position, he does all that.”
Tags: free agent, jeff saturday, ted thompson, tim masthay
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 10 Comments »