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Ted Thompson Has Something To Say

GM Ted Thompson was interviewed during the Family Night Scrimmage and he is really doing a good job of answering questions. Originally it was annoying that he never seemed to say anything, he still says few interesting things, but he doesn't avoid any question and explains why he doesn't want to discuss something. The best policy is to give the other NFL teams as little free information as possible. At his August 7th press conference there were a few interesting points.

The Packers roster is likely to have two or three players on it in September that are not currently on the practice field.

(How extensively do you scout the other preseason games to get a look at players?)
It's part of the personnel process from now and through the final cuts, and even beyond quite frankly, we will do night and day tape watching on preseason games. Fortunately we had the Hall of Fame Game in already, so we're going to start that as soon as I get done with you guys here. We try to focus, number one, on personnel, the personnel side of it in terms of who's got multiple, who looks really strong at a particular position, maybe they're not going to be able to keep all these guys, and that sort of thing. Obviously we try to find out how they're using the younger guys. How they're going to fit, what roles they're asking these guys to do. It's a pretty extensive process. Because like I said before, it's all positions. It's not just, take our particular position of tight end, we're a little thin there, we've gotten banged up. We're not just going to watch for tight ends. We're going to be watching for everybody on those teams, because you never know how this thing shakes out. We'll do a lot of watching tape.
The first two players that came to mind were likely starting FB Brandon Miree and possible nickel CB Jarrett Bush who were both signed after the final cuts in 2006.

There are a number of returning and rookie linebackers in camp. When asked about them he specifically mentioned LBs Tim Goodwell and Tracy White. Goodwell was involved in several tackles during the Family Night Scrimmage. White has little shot at any significant playing time on the starting defense, but the veteran was the leading tackler on special teams last season and the Packers' mediocre kick coverage unit can't afford to lose its best player.

On WR Donald Driver's extension:

Well, I think I'll stand on, and I've always said this, I'm uncomfortable speaking about in terms of specific players. I will say this. There's some mechanisms that we've used with most if not all of our veteran-type contracts recently. We feel like sometimes it enables us to address some things that we think are important. Plus, we'd like for Donald to be here for a long time.
I think he's saying that young veterans, like LB Nick Barnett, DEs Cullen Jenkins and Aaron Kampman, are going to get signing bonuses and guaranteed money. Veterans over age 30, like Driver and CB Al Harris, aren't going to get signing bonuses but can receive roster bonuses so their annual salaries are in line with the younger players. It makes sense to reward players like Driver and Harris for still playing at a high level, but doing it in a way that doesn't require big signing bonuses and possible salary cap jail if their career ends prematurely.