Today it was Ted Thompson’s turn to address the media at the combine. As you can expect there was not any earth shattering quotes or sound bites coming out of the press conference. In fact, it seems that many decided not to stick around for Thompson’s turn at the podium….
RT @aaron_nagler Ted Thompson follows Elway. Notes the massive media clear out and quips "Who was that guy?"— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2013
Perhaps the most important thing mentioned at the press conference was the state of the Packers’ locker room. The Packers have lost lots of veteran leadership this offseason with the retirement of Donald Driver and the release of Charles Woodson and Jeff Saturday. When asked about this Thompson admitted the loss, but expressed confidence in leadership that still is in the building…
That’s a lot of veteran leadership that won’t be with us, so you are always a little bit concerned about that. We have a strong locker room. The wheel keeps turning. We feel confident of the leadership in our locker room.
Similarly, the Packers have lots some significant leadership in their front office as of late. John Schneider left for a general manager position with the Seattle Seahawks, Reggie McKenzie is now a general manager with the Raiders, and John Dorsey accepted a general manager job with the Kansas City Chiefs this year. Despite these losses, Thompson did not seem concerned about a prospect of brain drain.
We’ve had some losses with guys taking really good jobs around the league. We encourage that. You try to train your personnel staff and coaching staff to take the next step. The NFL is all about evolving.
On the good news front, Thompson did state that he expects Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod, and Nick Perry to return and compete for the Packers next year, but he did note that he has not received any new information on them since it is currently the offseason. Thompson also sounded optimistic about the prospects of DuJuan Harris and Don Barclay.
He did a good job and we’re looking forward to having him do the whole thing. Lot more we need to know about him.
He was forced into it before we thought and he thought, but he held his own. The value of that is see some of the things that he is going to have to work on in the future. I think it is also an indication of how our coaches are going to put young players in and if they can do that than they are the ones that are going to play.
Perhaps the most entertaining (and maybe informative) part of the press conference dealt with some of Thompson’s philosophies of scouting. At its most basic Thompson once again stressed the need to find good football players…
I think you find good players and good players will find a way to do the other stuff. It’s like the old argument of 3-4 players as opposed to 4-3 players and that whole thing. I think if you find a really good defensive player in college that’s played against top competition and you know he’s going to be that same kind of player in the NFL, just take him and figure out how you are going to use him or what position you are going to put him at.
Then finally the quotes that should draw the most headlines, namely what Thompson had to say on Greg Jennings and other free agents. As you can imagine there is not much here, but what little there is offers some hope that Jennings may come back…
I’m not going to talk about specifically any of our scheduled to be unrestricted free agents other than to say it is our policy, we think it’s a good way to manage the NFL if you’re able to retrain your own players. We’d very much like to do that, and that includes Greg.
Cedric is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. We don’t discuss specifically those guys other than to say that we think it’s our best practice to retain as many of those guys as we can.