Ted Thompson Press Conference Transcript - July 29

Read the transcript of General Manager Ted Thompson’s Sunday press conference. Thompson addressed reporters in the media auditorium following Sunday’s morning practice.

(How hard is it in camp to go find another tight end?)

Well that's kind of the nature of our business in training camp. We have our pro staff that keeps constant boards, we keep track of all waivers and things like that. But you're always an ankle sprain away from being a little bit light at one position. The danger, and we've talked about that in past training camps, the danger with one guy going down is all of a sudden it puts stress on the remaining guys, because you normally, like in the tight end position, we were counting on having five, and we had the rotations worked out, and here's where we're going to use two tight ends and here's who were going to go with three, but then it kind of gets all boggled up. And that happens during preseason games too. When you have a player that you plan on playing in the second quarter and then none in the third and fourth, and then he'd play on special teams in the third and fourth and all of a sudden he has to play the whole time. That's when it kind of gets all messed up. But we're working on it, we're looking at it. We'd probably like to add one at some point. We don't necessarily have to do it right away, but at some point, yeah.

(Is Tory's injury season-ending?)

We don't know that yet Jason. I'm not trying to dodge it. I haven't even talked to (Dr.) Pat (McKenzie) today. We know there was a fracture, but the extent of it in terms of whether he'll be able to come back or not, I don't think we're there yet.

(What were you hoping for from him? Where did you see his development?)

He's a very good athlete, he catches the ball very good, he runs well. Quite frankly, athletically I think he can hold his own with most of them. It's a shame because he had a good offseason and we were looking forward to seeing him compete.

(How disappointing was that tight end group last year?)

Well, I think I've said this before, we want to get some more production out of that position, and I think all the players involved in that position would say the same thing. It's a combination of things. Sometimes it's getting it to the guy at the right time or the guy actually catching it or maybe playing a particular defense or something like that. But I think all NFL teams need production out of that position, and we're looking forward to getting some too.

(Were there any signs with Bubba that his best days are behind him?)

I don't know if I'd characterize it (like) that. He still moves around pretty good, he still looks good to me. As I said before, I'm sure he'd be the first to day he had a down year last year, and we're looking for a little bit of a bounce-back.

(Is Morency's durability a concern?)

Not overly, no. He banged his knee yesterday, but I think he's going to be fine. Again, I think that's the nature of training camps. You go along and somebody goes down and then he gets better and then somebody else goes down. I'm glad you guys keep up with it because that's my number one worry in life is injuries during training camp. It's the bane of our existence in the NFL as a whole. He's been through the entire offseason program, had no problems at all. We don't necessarily think this is some sort of bad sign.

(There was nothing lingering from the offseason?)

No. I think it was one of those contusion things where they kind of banged. I don't know that, but I think it was.

(Can he get through a 16-game season with the bulk of the reps?)

I don't know. We'll see. If he hangs onto that starting job we'll see. Again, as I think we've done here in the past, since forever, there's never really been one running back. There's always been more than one. Even with Ahman Green, as great as he was, you always needed some other guys to take some reps. The running back position is a pretty tough position. It's hard to say crystal pure clean in that position. But we're looking forward to seeing how this group competes. I don't have all the answers, I don't know who they're going to be, but I kind of like the guys and I'm looking forward to seeing how it washes out.

(What are your early impressions of Brandon Jackson? Are you seeing in person what you saw on videotape?)

Yeah. Even though, I've said this over and over, I think he catches the ball really good, and he dropped the first ball that he was thrown yesterday. But that usually happens with a rookie. I think he's got a good build, he's got big hands, big lower body, runs low to the ground, he's got quick feet, he sees things pretty well. I think he wants to be a good player.

(How much do you evaluate Aaron Rodgers when he's running the first team like today?)

We're looking at everybody all the time. I wasn't necessarily focusing on Aaron today. I usually try to, during the course of training camp, watch a particular group and even walk over behind them and kind of hang around their huddles and see how life is going there, try to get a bigger view and that. But believe me, we have Mike Eayrs who gives us these sheets after practice that tells us every successful play, every unsuccessful, what it wasn't. We've got statistics out the cazoo. But it's nice to see when Aaron gets a chance to play with the first group, sure, I think there's a little more attention paid.

(Is there any doubt in your mind that when he starts starting NFL games it will be here?)

A lot of it depends on circumstance. Is he going to get that opportunity? Is Brett going to continue to play for several more years, and play effectively? I think that's the whole thing about the National Football League, it's being prepared when your opportunity arises. I think he's talented, I think he can play, I think he has a mindset to be an NFL quarterback, and I believe he thinks he's an NFL quarterback, but the proof is in the pudding. When he finally does, when the reins are finally passed, how he takes those reins and goes with it.

(What are they telling you about Driver? Was there any indication in June he'd be dealing with this?)

Well, it was a shoulder thing that he had during the course of the season, don't quote me but the latter half of it, that bothered him. As Donald is, he's a tough guy, he kept going through. But he'd been lifting a lot of weights and kind of aggravated it. And quite frankly, we have a number of receivers here we want to take a look at and there's absolutely no reason to put him at any sort of risk or anything like that.

(Will he be ready to go for Pittsburgh?)

I'm no predictor, but I would be surprised if he's not. We don't think it's a serious thing. We do think there's a legitimate problem he had towards the end of the season. But as Donald will be Donald, he's a pretty tough football player.

(Was he checked out for that at the end of the season in January?)


(There was no concern at that time?)

No, not overly. Certainly nothing that would require any sort of fixing.

{sportsad300}(What did you see in P.J. Pope, and what do you like about him?)

Well, I think he's got good size. He's a heavy runner. He runs hard. The preseason games with Chicago last year, we thought he was very good, very effective, albeit most of it in the second half, so you never know how that's going to convert. Again, I think he catches the ball pretty well. He's one of those guys I'm looking forward to watching. I don't know the answer Jason, quite frankly, I don't know how these guys are going to stack up at the end. But there's opportunity that abounds.

(Does the criticism you received in the offseason ever bother you?)

I don't know that I received any criticism. Well, yeah, from an organizational standpoint, I would like for the Packer fans and those that cover the people in the organization to think the Packers are in good hands, quite frankly. Not necessarily everybody patting you on the back, but to kind of there be a little trust with the Packer fans to me. But at the same time, this is a big boy place, and if I get criticized, I'm OK with it. Personally, I can take it from an ego standpoint, but I would prefer it if it was more of a positive message just because of the people out there who are getting up and reading that at the breakfast table or watching it on the nightly news at night, it might make them have a bad day thinking oh my gosh, that sort of thing. I'm not immune to that. But I'm fairly thick-skinned about other things.

(The biggest knock was you didn't do enough to help the offense. Why is that criticism unfair?)

Well, I don't know that it is. We'll see after it all washes out. I just think we're a little bit better than some people might think.

(Brett Favre was one of the guys criticizing you. Are you and he OK?)

Yes. You'll have to ask him, but from my point of view, yes. Brett has always been a very opinionated football player, and I think I said this in an interview a couple of weeks ago to a reporter here, I think having been a player, I think you understand and have a little bit thicker skin when it comes to getting criticized by a player. It's really small potatoes in the big scheme of things, as long as there's not underlying strife or something that tears the place apart. I could understand that, but that's certainly not the case. I don't get it from Brett, I'm not trying to speak for Brett, but he and I speak all the time, and we get along fine. And if a player has a different opinion than the management, I think it's OK for them to voice that opinion. It doesn't hurt our feelings when that happens.

(Did you get a timetable for when Brett would be back?)

He's still here. He didn't practice this morning. As you guys probably know, maybe Mike mentioned it, he had a death in the family that he will have to attend to. I think the logistics and when he's going to be here and when he's not going to be here, I don't know if we're there yet, but he's working through that.

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