Ted Thompson Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 25

Read the transcript of General Manager Ted Thompson’s press conference from Monday morning in the Lambeau Field Auditorium.

(What are you finding out about Justin Harrell from the specialist?)

We had him see another guy, and after consultation with Pat, we felt like another procedure would kind of hurry things along. He's gotten himself in remarkable shape. I think our guys have done a great job in the rehab, but we've reached a point where we sort of plateaued, and looking out over the timeline, we felt like it was going to take a few weeks without doing anything, but maybe doing a little extra procedure might hurry things along, and we felt like reserve/PUP was an appropriate spot for him.

(When is he going to have that surgery?)

Fairly soon. Maybe today. The quicker the better, obviously, because then you can start back on the whole recovery thing. It's too bad. He's worked very hard, and I know being a high-profile pick, a No. 1 pick, there's a lot of pressure put on that and expectations of fans. It's not his fault, and he's trying his best to get back, and we're still counting on him to help us this year.

(Same procedure he had last time or different?)

A little bit different, and I'm not going to go too far into it, because it's really not appropriate for me, but it's a little bit different. A little different take.

(How good is this kid, because none of us have seen a whole lot out of him? What do you think Packer fans are going to see from him eventually?)

I don't know. Eventually we hope that he's the good player we think he is. He was a good player in college, he had some injuries in college, and we need to get past that. We don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with him. We don't think it's a lack of toughness. We just think he's just had some bad luck. We think he's going to be a good part of a good group.

(Do you need to find some defensive tackle help here?)

We feel pretty good about our defensive tackles, and we've always felt like the group was good. Amongst our defensive line, we think we have a fair number that are going to make this team and be a pretty solid group.

(Even with the health concerns?)

Actually the last two or three training camps, we've had all 14 or 15 of them practicing all the time. This year it hasn't worked out that way. It happens. It's been that way at running back for us last year. We had guys hurt all the time, and even the year before the running back position during the season was like that. Sometimes it just works out that way.

(What went into the thought of releasing Wynn in this first round of cuts?)

Well, we felt like we got him back healthy, and based on our group of running backs, we felt like this was the appropriate time. We didn't feel like there was ... you have to get down to 75, and that was one of the places we were a little bit over number-wise.

(With Wynn, he showed so many glimpses of how good he could be, but he never seemed to stay healthy. How do you view his time here?)

The NFL is a tough business and people get hurt. Sometimes guys have worse luck than others. I think it's fair to bring everybody's attention ... he helped us win a couple games last year. In New York, in a tough place to play, a great defense, he helped us win a game. He's a good player. He did the best he could. He had a sprained ankle. He wasn't able to compete and the other guys competing for that spot, I think it's more of a positive than anything else, that we've got other guys that have been out there competing and doing a good job.

(What does he need to do to succeed in this league? Do you think he can play in this league still?)

I do. I think he has to do what he does, which is run the football, but in this league you have to be available. That's part of the requirement, and it's the thing that you run into this time of year. We've got 15 guys probably that haven't played in some of the games or played just very little, and that's the way it goes in a training camp. You get nicked up during training camp going twice a day at times and the stress put on your body.

{sportsad300}(In evaluations, how do you balance what you're watching in practice and on film with the game action?)

We do both. Obviously the practice stuff is sort of the meat and potatoes of the evaluation process, because you get to kind of lay your hands on them and really look at it and kind of test them against other people, especially the young guys versus the guys that have proven they can play in the league. But some guys are gamers. Some guys don't perform very well in practice, and you put them in a game and they do great. Other times it works the other way. All that is sort of added up, and you try to make the best decisions you can coming up. These are tough days. I've always said these are the toughest days of our jobs, is to go through these releases.

(With only five moves to make in this first round, is this any easier or is the process any different?)

Well, the numbers are the same, other than we have fewer to release because we only went to camp with a number. There are different ways to look at it. First and foremost is trying to make sure that you're keeping your eye on the ball, which is your final 53 and the way you're going to suit up in games. The other thing you have to factor in is playing through this final game, and make sure you have the numbers that will enable you to do that. So it's sort of a balancing act, but the balance shifts in favor of how you want the 53 to look.

(What's your concern level with your offensive line right now?)

We've got a couple of guys nicked up there. We're not overly concerned. We think we're very strong, very deep in the offensive line. I've said this before, I think our offensive line is going to be very good, and I'm not overly concerned. But I wish everybody was healthy.

(Is it possible to keep two guys, like Bishop and Hodge, who are backups at the same position?)

You're going to ask me to start speculating on who we're going to keep, and I'm not going to do that. But I think the linebacker position is a position where you can move guys around fairly easily, quite frankly. There are certain strengths each player has, but we think both those guys are good players and should factor somewhere.

(How much will the injuries factor into the number of guys you keep?)

They factor in, but they can't be the overriding concern. You have to try to make your final 53 the team that you want it to be. You can't be concerned that we've only got one player at x position to get to this first game, but after the first game it's different. Because once you get into the season, that all goes out the window. I know there's a lot of stress put on opening day and making sure the roster is exactly right, but once you get into the season, often times you go through weeks where you realize one particular guy is not going to play, but you move another guy around and you just go about it. And that's the way we try to approach it for the first game as well. Because you have to try to set your team the way it's best for the team.

(How did you find Kregg Lumpkin? Was it Brian Gutekunst, the southeast scout?)

Yeah, he scouts down there. Typical Georgia running back. Came in and played right away at Georgia, and then he got nicked up and they recruited a bunch of young guys. That's the way it goes at big places, so he didn't play a lot the last couple years.

(What did you like about him, and what kind of camp do you think he's had?)

I think he's been pretty solid, pretty steady. He's still learning, as all rookies are.

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