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Packers GM Ted Thompson: Ron Wolf 'gave me confidence'

Ted Thompson had praise for his former boss and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Ron Wolf.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So what if Ron Wolf wears his Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket 24/7 for a week?

That's a possibility, according to his son Eliot, who joined Packers general manager Ted Thompson in fielding questions about the 2015 Hall of Fame inductee from Packers media on Tuesday afternoon.

Thompson worked for Wolf in Green Bay during the 1990s, as part of a staff that has led to five current NFL GMs. Thompson, John Dorsey of the Chiefs, Seattle's John Schneider, Reggie McKenzie from Oakland, and Washington's Scot McCloughan all worked in the Packers' front office at some point under Wolf.

Below is a transcript of some of Thompson and Wolf's comments from the press conference.

Ted Thompson

Will you go to Ron Wolf's Hall of Fame induction?

I'll be there for some of the festivities. I'm glad to go, I'm very happy about that.

Is it harder to evaluate the defensive line at this point in camp?

Yeah, I mean with everybody. Whether they're big people or less than big people. It takes a while. We've got a long way to go. There's stuff that you guys don't see ...

What was it like to work with him (Wolf) on a daily basis? In what ways did he influence you?

Well, almost all of it. I knew nothing about evaluation. As a player, I thought I could watch tape and tell you who is good and who isn't. The thing that Ron was so good at was the inclusion of other people. I think his ability to include everyone in the conversation — knowing it was his call — gave me confidence because he would include me in that conversation.

You always wanted to go with the flow. Some days I would get here and not see anybody all day long, I was just sitting in the room doing reports and he would come in and sit down and not say anything. He just wanted to check in. I didn't know how I was doing, but he was very gracious and a good guy to work for.

How has scouting changed?

We have better facilities, and the video quality today isn't even the same.

What are the conversations with Ron like now?

We talk about football and he's in a position in his life where he's got all the answers. Or he's seen all the answers. He genuinely enjoys the hunt still, watching us practice, evaluating our guys. He still keeps up with all that I'm sure.

I think if I needed an opinion on somebody, he'd give me one but I don't bother him about that.

Eliot Wolf

On his father asking him to present him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

It was kind of surreal when the moment happened, so it was really good. It's the proudest moment for me and for him.

What do you want people to know about your dad?

I think just how much he respects the NFL and the game of football. He's still like a little kid. It's really cool to see how special it is to him that he's a part of that now. It's the ultimate honor that anybody can get in this profession.

In what ways are you different from your dad?

I'm not sure. Sometimes I'd say my temper during games, and then I hear stories about my dad in games. There are definitely some things I know that I can't help.

What sticks with you from him every time you make a decision?

Just 'Is this going to help the team? Is this going to help the Packers?'. It's something Ted installed as well.

Did you think he had a chance to get into the Hall of Fame?

I don't think he did (before the NFL added a contributor category). When contributor came in, he got excited again.

What's he like when he's nervous?

He's kind of rigid. He doesn't think he's intimidating at all, and he doesn't understand it. It's genuine, he does it. He's not too intimidating to me.

What was life away from football?

We would watch cowboy movies a lot. In the summer I played baseball and tennis and he would come watch.


The enshrinement for the 2015 Hall of Fame class begins 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Aron Yohannes covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as a credentialed reporter covering the Milwaukee Bucks for Brew Hoop.