Notebook: Packers GM Ted Thompson welcomes input from Ron Wolf
GREEN BAY - There are certain things that bring a smile to Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson’s face, and many of them involve finding moments for comedic self-deprecation.
But Thompson shared another such scenario during his news conference Tuesday morning. It involved former Packers general manager Ron Wolf and one of the skills that made him so successful during his decade in charge from 1991-2001.
Until recently, Wolf had been known to stop by Lambeau Field and watch tape from practice.
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“He does it from year to year,” Thompson said. “He comes and watches practice and he’ll sit — sometimes he’ll take over (his son) Eliot’s office and sit and watch tape. … And it’s nice when he watches your draft class, you know, and he comes over for one of the rookie minicamps and if he comes over and he says, ‘This guy’s going to be a good player.’ That makes you feel good when he says it.”
And while the trend has stopped recently, Thompson doesn’t take it personally.
“I don't think it’s because he loves us any less,” Thompson said with that dry sense of humor. “He’s just, he’s a traveling man.”
Full house: While there is youth in the Packers' backfield, quarterback Aaron Rodgers is pleased with what he’s seen so far in camp – especially from fullbacks.
Rodgers praised Aaron Ripkowski on Tuesday, saying he expects the third-year fullback to factor into the offense even as a runner.
“I think there’s opportunities behind Ty for those guys to jump up and take that over,” Rodgers said. “I still think 22 is going to be in the mix when it comes to running the football. He showed a lot last year late in the season, running the football really well, and did some great things for us in the playoffs. He’s very reliable back there.”
Rodgers didn’t stop there. The quarterback said he also has been impressed with backup fullback Joe Kerridge.
“I think Joe has had a fantastic camp,” Rodgers said. “So we have the luxury we haven’t had since John (Kuhn) left, with two really solid fullbacks. I think they’re both having great camps.”
It will be interesting to see whether the Packers fit both fullbacks onto their 53-man roster, as they did late last season. If Ripkowski and Kerridge continue their strong showings through the rest of camp, the Packers might make room.
Cupid's arrow: Offensive line coach James Campen can't remember the exact moment when left guard Lane Taylor won his affection, but the former undrafted rookie from Oklahoma State has held a piece of Campen's heart ever since.
"It's been a little while since then, but there always is a point when you get comfortable and the player makes you comfortable and you go, ‘Whoa, OK, he’s pretty good here, he could fill in here or he could become a starter here," Campen said. "There’s always a point."
But as Tina Turner and Ashanti once said, What's love got to do with it?
"You fall in love quick and then they hurt you a little bit and then you fall back in love," Campen said of his young offensive linemen. "It’s one of those things with players. You just have to be consistent, players have to be consistent but there is a point where you go, ‘OK’ and you recommend to the head coach and he watches and says OK. There’s always a process."