Thompson: GM has to be 'soothsayer'

Posted Aug 17, 2017

After second preseason game, final roster decisions just two weeks away

GREEN BAY -- Final roster decisions are still a little more than two weeks away, but Packers GM Ted Thompson spoke on Thursday about all the different perspectives that are taken into account during the process.

Thompson explained that while scouts are often studying a player's physical attributes -- speed, power, agility, etc. -- the coaches are more likely looking at whether a player knows his assignment and is executing it with the proper techniques.

"Different evaluators are evaluating the same people in different circumstances," he said.

Interactions on and off the field become part of the equation, too.

"At the same time, we’re watching them as people and as teammates," Thompson said. "All the things come together to make and form a team, and you see if they have the attributes to contribute in that regard."

Even after all that, though, many decisions are not exactly clear-cut, because some players may be able to help the team more immediately, while others could grow into more effective players down the road.

"Part of the evaluation is where they are now, how much can they contribute now," Thompson said. "Part of the evaluation is how much can they contribute a month from now, two months from now, two years from now. All that stuff you’ve got to project. You’re not necessarily right all the time.

"You have to be a little bit of a soothsayer."

It's a sometimes grueling process that makes or breaks a GM's career, but Thompson has repeatedly admitted it's not fun to let players go, especially ones who have shown substantial progress but just aren't quite the right fit at the right time.

The good news is he doesn't have to put himself through it right now, but he knows it's coming. It's an annual part of "the grand ol' game of football."

"Those are tough times for all of us in the personnel and coaching business, but it’s part of the game," he said. "We'll try to do the best we can, but it’s not an easy time."

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