Thompson on Favre: 'It's great to have him back'
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson spoke to the media at Lambeau Field before Wednesday's training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field. Here are some highlights from his news conference:
On Brett Favre's induction into the Packers Hall of Fame:
"I think it's great. I think there's a certain feeling I think everybody associated with Packers feels it's the right thing. It feels comfortable that we now have a plan and we're going to do things a certain way and he'll be back. I think it's great to have him back."
On the messages sent to Favre after he left the Packers:
"What he's done for this place is remarkable. I was here in '92 when (GM) Ron Wolf first acquired Brett. We sort of grew up with the Packers. He's a great guy, good football player, great teammate. We're happy all that stuff has been put aside and let's go forward with the relationship."
On what he looks for in young players:
"A little bit of everything, mostly trying to ascertain if the game is too big for them. Sometimes it is in the first game but not the second game. You acquire tons of information in a short time. In that time, you find out a lot about players on our team. It's a very difficult process in the end. This part is not so difficult because nobody has to leave, no roster reductions."
On emphasizing games more than practice:
"I think you try to factor all of that in. You only get so many looks in games, but practices you have a few more."
Ron Wolf said he couldn't cut his team as well with limited information. Is it more difficult for you?
"Obviously you have to adjust to the changes over time. There are little bit differences. Ron is a big tackle-and-block guy, basics. I am to a degree but I'm probably less in favor of watching Packers play the Packers than Ron will be. He's a little more old school in terms of that. I think over time you can watch people and evaluate athletic skills. I think you can get a fair opinion of what you need to do."
On how gratifying it is to see rookie draft picks succeed:
"You can't get caught up in pulling for a particular player. It's never going to be what I would have told you on June 1. It's already different today. I know the media has to make their own fantasy cuts and who is going to make the team. You guys are almost always wrong. If you were close, I'd give you credit. I'm kidding in some way. It affects our young guys. Our old guys, it doesn't affect them so much. I've seen young guys depressed that a sports writer doesn't have them make the roster. … They wrote that about me when I was with the Houston Oilers in 1975. I was always cut in every newspaper."
On whether his experience makes him empathize with bubble guys:
"I think I have a little more empathy of what the guys go through as opposed to people who have never gone through it. This is real life. I have an appreciation for what they're going through.
Are the injuries to Jared Abbrederis and Don Barclay just a "rub of the green?"
"I think so. Not to get too specific. If you watch either one of those things when it happened, it wouldn't give any indication it was going to be a bad deal."
On finding a non-football role for Johnathan Franklin:
"It's difficult (seeing his career end). Johnathan is a great kid, as you guys know. He's very likable. (Team president) Mark Murphy thought it was a good idea if we could find a role for him to perform. He's going to be the mayor of L.A., so he's not going to be here that long. It gives him some insight at different levels."
On Barclay's injury:
"It's kind of the nature of the beast this time of year. … I think we have 15 offensive linemen total on our roster. We tried to acquire as many big guys as we could in the offseason. We'll see."