Thompson checks 'glassiness of eyes' from sideline

Ryan Wood
View Comments

Ted Thompson's most comfortable spot in the football stadium has always been the sidelines.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson watches training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field.

It's where he spent 10 seasons as a backup linebacker for the Houston Oilers. Thompson played 146 games with Houston. He started nine. The sideline became a second home.

Three decades later, the Green Bay Packers general manager hasn't changed his ways. Now, Thompson watches the Packers preseason games from the sidelines. He can't possibly see all 22 players in the game at once, an option he'd have sitting in a luxury box perched above the field. Thompson leaves that to the film.

The sideline is where he's most comfortable, so it's where he will stay.

"I think part of it is because I used to be one of those guys on the sideline, mostly always on the sideline, not playing," Thompson said. "I think I can see things that are important to me, a good judge of character and mental toughness and things like that. I think there are little tidbits that I'm able to pick up on."

Thompson will return to the sidelines when the Packers host the Oakland Raiders in their third preseason game 7 p.m. tonight inside Lambeau Field. It's the Packers preseason opener, and the longest starters will play this preseason.

Earlier this week, Thompson was asked about those tidbits. What, exactly, is the Packers top talent evaluator evaluating?

Mostly, it's how certain players react to different situations.

"You can see the glassiness of the eyes, or the non-glassiness of the eyes," Thompson said. "I enjoy watching, especially the fellas that I've not been around, I enjoy watching them play the game. Even participating on the sideline, and cheering their other teammates on, and that sort of thing. I enjoy the whole process of it."

— and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

View Comments