*How well do we know the men who make up the Packers roster? Even the most ardent fan - the one who studies every play, knows the 40-yard-dash time of every prospect, is at every practice during training camp - still most likely is familiar primarily with what the players of the Green and Gold are up to on the field.
Packers.com is taking a look at some of the off-the-field interests of the players behind the facemasks that you cheer so heartily for during the football season. This is a chance to get to know the players through a series of questions and answers, some of them football-related and others having nothing to do with the gridiron.
It's time to get to know... Joey Thomas.*
Last year at this time, Joey Thomas was an eager defensive back from Montana State University who had spent nearly all of his time after the conclusion of the Bobcats' football season preparing for the NFL Combine and his individual workout leading up to the April NFL Draft.
The past year has been a learning experience for Thomas, who was one of the Packers' three third-round selections in 2004. The cornerback has made the adjustment to life in the NFL, life away from his native Pacific Northwest, and the jump from the college ranks to the pro game.
Thomas played in 14 regular season games and the playoff contest for the Packers in 2004, gaining an increased role in the secondary as the season went along. He recorded 15 tackles during his rookie campaign, two passes defensed and six tackles on special teams.
He also forced a fumble by St. Louis Rams receiver Isaac Bruce that fellow rookie corner Ahmad Carroll scooped up for a 40-yard touchdown on Monday Night Football.
Thomas recently sat down with Packers.com to give the fans some insight into the man who wears #24 on his back.
Packers.com: Did you have any tricks played on you as a rookie?
Joey Thomas: "No, there were no tricks played. Everybody was pretty cool, so I got through it alright."
Besides the physicality of the game, what is the most difficult part of playing in the NFL?
"The biggest part of the game is your mental capacity - how strong you are mentally. What I've learned through my rookie year is that when you learn to not let things affect you that are out of your control, there's nothing that can hold you back."
What is your best on-field football memory?
"In my junior year in our rivalry game against Montana, I was just coming off of knee surgery and I wasn't 100%. We were playing in a blizzard and they were kicking a field goal and I blocked the kick. We wound up winning 10-7 to become Big Sky champions and make the playoffs.
"That meant the most to me because I wasn't able to perform at my highest level because of the injury, but I was still out there giving my all for my team."
What is your favorite visiting NFL stadium to play in?
"I liked really Reliant Stadium in Houston. Everything about it is nice - it's a nice set-up, good grass - and we beat the Texans."
Who is your favorite athlete to watch (any sport)?
"Deion Sanders, because he's the best at what he does and he's an entertainer."
What was your favorite sports team growing up?
"The Chicago Bulls, because I was a big Michael Jordan fan."
What are your off-season hobbies?
"I do a lot of yoga and Pilates in the offseason to stay in shape."
Do you like to travel?
"I'm a traveling machine. Some of my favorite places that I've been are Cabo San Lucas, Philadelphia, and New York City."
So you like tropical places and big cities?
"Cabo is the only tropical spot I've been to - I haven't been to Jamaica yet, but I'm going to head there shortly."
What draws you to the big cities?
"The lights. The fast pace. The shopping - I've got a shopping problem.
"I'm from the West Coast and West Coast shopping is different than East Coast shopping. There are different styles and different types of clothes that I can't get back home on the West Coast, so that's what draws me there."
If you weren't playing football, what would you be doing?
"I would be working with troubled kids, no doubt about it."
Did you have any interesting jobs growing up?
"I worked at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, serving espresso."
What is your favorite food, and do you have a favorite restaurant?
"I don't have a favorite restaurant, but I would say that my favorite food is my dad's lasagna."
What is your favorite food to cook?
"I can't cook worth a lick. Unless it's Oodles of Noodles or Top Ramen, it's not going to happen."
What are some of your favorite movies?
"My favorites of all-time are "Notting Hill", "Scarface", and "Runaway Bride". More recently, I like "The Jacket" and "Constantine". Those are the ones that have come out recently that I really liked."
If we went to your car, what would be in the CD player right now?
"50 Cent, T.I., and Mario."
Do you play golf?
"I attempt to - but don't ask me my score."
If you could put together a foursome to hit the links, who would be joining you?
"If I could take anybody, dead or alive, I'm taking Martin Luther King, Jesus, and my older brother to the golf course for the day."
Are you a video gamer?
"I'm clearly a video game player. That's what I do. I'm going home right now to get on the sticks."
PlayStation or Xbox?
"Power of the 'X'. Xbox 100%."
Do you have a favorite video game?
"I've got two - John Madden and NBA Live. I could play those two games forever."