Ted Thompson addressed the media today.

Ted Thompson talks Green Bay Packers, draft and much more

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Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson met with the media today as part of his annual pre-draft work.

Here are some of the highlights from this afternoon’s press conference:

• On how to prepare for the extra two weeks for the draft:

“The draft is two weeks later, so it gives us a little extra time …We work for a pretty popular league and the NFL does a great job of marketing; the draft has become a pretty popular item; sometimes those of us working in it, you can watch a few too many episodes of ‘who’s the best player in the draft’ and it can start weighing on you a bit.”

• On Julius Peppers:

“Well,  people who say we don’t use free agency are wrong, we’ve always dabbled in free agency. Sometimes you can use a lot of time and energy recruiting a guy which we’ve done in the past and nothing comes of it … and people assume we didn’t try to do something. This [Peppers signing]  happened fast, it happened very quietly. It’s one of those rare things where the thing was put to bed and done and everyone was back home before anyone knew about it. Frankly, it was kinda refreshing to do it that way. Obviously we’ve followed him through his career … we look forward to seeing him in a Packer uniform. Well … 34 is not so old. There’s no evidence in any decline in his play, in our opinion. He’s had a remarkable history in the NFL as far as durability … we’re looking forward to it … and I think he is, too.”

• On injuries and how it impacts he draft:

“We’ve had some bad luck … I think it just happens … I’m sure it happens with other teams, but we’ve had our share of injuries and we’re doing a lot of … research and studies and working with our guys to find a better way. Mike is revising the training camp schedule … to limit our players.”

• On philosophy on player acquisition:

“I think there are different theories on free agency. At the very start [of free agency] … the theory was you pay the guy who throws the ball; you pay the guy who knocks the guy down who throws the ball; you pay the guy who protects the guy who throws the ball. You want to pay your QB, you want to be sure to pay your pass rushers and make sure you pay your offensive linemen that protect, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need other players at other positions – certainly if you have a player with skill and the ability to make a statement at a position … you take the best player.”

• On Draft room dynamics and personalities:

“It’s good; everybody has their own thing … our guys now, they have certain strengths. The dynamics of the room haven’t changed that much. It’s a fun time. the actual draft is a fun thing. It drives you nuts because you don’t know what’s going to happen …

• Value of four picks in top 98:

“It’s good. If we could we’d have more …”

• On depth of draft class:

“I never get into the business of evaluating a draft class. That usually sorts itself out.”

• On who is the guy Thompson really likes:

“For me, picking in the 20s you let it come to you … you can read the Sporting News … but none of those things are as accurate as you might think … you go through ideal circumstances and less-than-ideal circumstances and you come to grips with it.”

• On compensatory picks:

We value [the compensatory picks] a lot. I think they are quite helpful. Being at the end of the third and and, I think, the fifth round – I should know that (laughter from the reporters) – it is what it is.”

• On when he is ready to get the draft going:

“We’ve been through this a long time. Used to have the draft on Saturday and Sunday … So the day itself next Thursday waking up early … and waiting all day … is like playing a night game … when you just wish you could just play the game. The draft is a living, breathing thing and you have to enjoy it and I think we do … try to do the best we can and try to do the best we can for the guys in the locker room and for our future …”

• On projecting leadership in the draft room:

“I think … projecting leadership … you have to understand the chair you sit in and in terms of my chair I’m the leader in there … I have to project a certain confidence and understanding and certain amount of wisdom to try to do the right thing and I pray every day that I have that wisdom.”

• On maintaining excellence as a franchise:

Certainly that’s a testament to the ones who came before my tenure here, too. It’s remarkable that this organization has been as successful as it has for such a long period of time.
Having said that … you just do the best you can. If you’re picking at 32 – bless my heart, I wish we were – you’re still picking; still trying to find guys who are going to help your team – not only now, but certainly in the future. If you keep your eye on the ball, there’s players to be had; there’s always college free agents that make teams and end up being good players … so nobody drafts those guys … there’s always the fifth, sixth or seventh round guys that end up contributing; so keep your eye on the ball, take good players, make sure they’re good people in the locker room and give yourself a chance …”

• On Mike McCarthy’s desire to have 4 QBs in camp:

“We kind of work out the whole 90-man roster thing and start buttoning it up, at least in theory, during the draft itself or even a couple of days before as far as what’s ideal in terms what would be ideal in terms of corners … and safeties and that sort of thing. In theory, would like to have this, and this and this but then you realize you have to carry extra [players] at other positions. It never works out exactly as you think.

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