'Energized' Packers GM Ted Thompson puts best foot forward
GREEN BAY - When last seen around these parts, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson appeared physically weary and mentally drained.
It came at the end of an eight-month scouting process that took him all across the country to see countless numbers of college football players, then culminated with three days in a draft room figuring out which ones he would select.
On Monday, Thompson, wearing a dark blue suit, gold tie and a smile on his face, walked off the Lambeau Field turf looking a lot better than he did at the end of April. Thompson, like most of the football operation, uses parts of June and July to recharge the battery and get ready for the process to start all over again.
“I think he is energized, and I thought, ‘I've seen Ted make a presentation,’ (and) I thought he showed more of his personality and humor with the fans today than I think I've ever seen,” president Mark Murphy told reporters after the Packers’ annual shareholders meeting inside Lambeau Field.
“I think you know, he's a very reserved, private person. I thought it was nice, particularly, it was a unique opportunity for our fans to see that side of Ted.”
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Thompson won’t ever be confused with Jimmy Fallon, but he did use his dry, Texas-influenced wit to get the 7,000 or so fans in attendance to chuckle once or twice.
“We made the playoffs for the eighth straight time,” Thompson said from a covered stage on the field. “The Packers won the NFC North for the fifth time in the last six years. I don’t know what happened in that sixth year.”
Thompson’s lethargy at the draft left many wondering if he would finish out what are reported to be the final two years of his contract. The 64-year-old general manager still goes on the road scouting during the fall months and has his hand in every aspect of the football operation.
Murphy gets asked about Thompson’s future a lot, but he continues to say that there’s nothing to talk about when it comes to the general manager’s retirement. He said the lines of communication are open between the two.
“Ted takes a little bit of time off,” Murphy said. “Ted, I think you all know, is a very unbelievable worker. He's tireless, so I encourage him to take as much time off as he needs, really to get re-energized and get ready for the season.
“But we're in touch and talking on a constant basis throughout the year.”
At the end of his turn addressing the shareholders, Thompson thanked Murphy and others for their support and said this:
“Thank you as well to the shareholders, thank you for your dedication, your sacrifice and your support," he said. "We appreciate all of you coming today. There is nothing that compares to the support given to the Green Bay Packers and we will never take your loyalty for granted. Goodbye for now, and go Pack go.”