Ted Thompson talked to the NFL and Packers media on Thursday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine, and despite his early comments that he usually gives up "the treasures of the kingdom" in his press conferences, he was largely his reserved self. Thompson did shed a little bit of insight, however, into a few areas.
One of those areas was Thompson's mentor, Ron Wolf. His name came up many times on Thursday, and Thompson called it "a thrill for him to get inducted into the Hall of Fame" and said it's a "well-done honor." Ted waxed poetic about Wolf's early days in Green Bay, when he set up the organization "a certain way so that football decisions would be made by football people," a big change from the previous regime. Thompson went on to discuss the Packers' success in the 1990's, saying that Wolf's changes "turned the organization around" and put it "in a better light" for free agents.
As for free agency, Thompson was asked about Randall Cobb but gave his stock answer that he "would like to re-sign all of our players." Probably his most amusing comment of the day came after he was asked what he thinks about Ndamukong Suh's free agent situation, to which he responded "I think he's property of another team and I'm prohibited by rule from discussing that. I should give that answer more often."
As far as looking at the roster and salary cap in general though, Thompson said he tends not to look at the big picture too much, saying "we'd like to get ourselves in a position that we make football decisions and we don't really make any economic decisions."
Thompson also addressed the college scouting and draft process, but seemed to suggest that he the condensed schedule of interviews at the Combine can be a challenge: "You're always looking for a little bit of a sparkle in somebody eye. A little twinkle that maybe you don't see out of everybody else, and that's difficult to do sometimes in the interview process." He was then asked if players can be coached to have the desirable qualities in those interviews, but spun the question back a bit, saying that in recent years the players "are well-coached, but if they're well-coached then they're coachable, and that's a good thing."
Thompson was asked about Mike McCarthy's decision to give up the playcalling, and said that "Most of that was (McCarthy's) own thinking. We had conversations and I was aware of what he was thinking." Later, he clarified that McCarthy is thinking in a "macro sense" and "wants to spread himself out more," but that he leaves the minute details of coaching and the structure of the coaching staff entirely up to McCarthy: "He didn't come to me to be challenged and I didn't challenge him, we just talked it out, just like any two friends would."
Letroy Guion's arrest and legal issues hangs a cloud of uncertainty over the front office as well, as Thompson only confirmed that he is "monitoring" the situation but that "a lot of water will have to go under the bridge before we'll figure that out." He did say that he was sure that a member of the organization had talked to Guion about his situation.
Finally, if you were concerned of any lasting effects from the way the Packers lost the NFC Championship Game in January, think again: "That's a hard thing. It's a hard thing for our players, it's a hard thing for our organization, but at the same time, we're done with that ... we're looking forward."