Ted Thompson spoke to the press today in a conference regarding the final preseason game and the impending roster cuts.Thompson expressed a good deal of empathy for guys who “have done a good job but will not make it past this weekend”.
As far as the final cuts go, Thompson made it clear that while the assistant coaches have already made their opinions known, the final conversations will be between Ted and coach McCarthy. Green Bay’s scouts, for their part, are doing their due diligence in follow up with other team’s cuts. Looking for players cut by other teams that could contribute in Green Bay goes back to each players college evaluations as well as their preseason work. “Trying to figure out who the bubble players are…It’s an interesting time to be a scout. A lot of projection.”
Thompson said that last year’s injury to Aaron Rodgers does not change they way the Packers make personnel decisions this year, stating, “You learn from experience what works for you and what doesn’t. Be prepared as much as you can but you can’t for big surprises.”
Thompson was noncommittal on whether he anticipated Colt Lyerla would be back, simply saying that he is injured and is a free agent. He did, however, give some insight into his relationship with head coach McCarthy and how they made long term decisions for the organization. The key to their harmony is staying away from being married to any player or series of plays and to keep the best interest of the team at the forefront. “We have to do what’s right for the Packers and what’s right for the people in the locker room.”
As far as the upcoming season, Ted thinks that if the team plays well, they have a chance to win some games (that is a VERY Ted Thompson response…ha!). In the meantime, the final preseason game will be very important for some of the Packers players who are currently on the bubble. Thompson told the story of the 1996 Packers who were on the verge of cutting Desmond Howard. At the last minute they decided to put him in on kick returns for the final preseason game and that is how Howard won a spot on the team. We all know what happened after that.
It’s important and the guys know it. The last preseason game is practically upon us and we are going to need to get some difference makers from these last few available spots. Depth is one thing but we also need to find new talent in unlikely games and circumstances. I trust Ted and Mike and if they do their job right…the Packers have a chance to take the next step.