GREEN BAY – Ted Thompson always feels slightly nervous the first time his team takes the field for their first preseason-opener.
At the same time, there is some excitement for the Packers General Manager, too.
The Packers open the first of five preseason games when they face the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
While Thompson is always concerned about the overall health of the roster this time of the year, he also appreciates what this game means to the undrafted rookies and young players on the bubble.
A former college free agent himself, Thompson used to “relish” the opportunity to play in the preseason and expects to see the same from the more than 30 players with no prior NFL experience on the Packers’ roster.
“A little energy, a little excitement,” said Thompson of what he expects from the game. “This being the first preseason game I think bodes well in terms of infusing excitement to our young guys. They’ll probably be cranked up for this. It’s always fun to watch them interact.”
Thompson reflected during his 15-minute news conference on Friday on his first training camp as an undrafted linebacker with the Houston Oilers.
The Oilers cut from 100 players to 70 early in camp because they didn’t have enough beds. It wasn’t unusual at that time for teams to have upwards of 120 players when veterans arrived.
Times have changed with rosters now capped at 90 players, but it’s still difficult to navigate the entire preseason without injury even with the reduction in preseason games and practice.
Still, Thompson and the Packers keep their fingers crossed and do the best they can.
“Anyone in my position is probably always going to be concerned about the ‘I’ word,” said Thompson, referring to injuries. “I’m sure we’re all kind of like that a little bit. You’d like to get to starting games with all your horses intact.”
Posted in Packers.com Blog