Ted Thompson on future with Packers: ‘I’m just getting started’

Though he's now completed 10 drafts in charge of the Packers -- a tenure that started in 2005 when his first-ever pick was quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- there is still plenty that keeps Ted Thompson coming back for more.


Mike Roemer

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Ted Thompson admits he’s never really had a personal plan for himself throughout his nine years as general manager of the Green Bay Packers. But it sure sounds like Thompson isn’t going anywhere for at least two years.

"I’m just getting started," Thompson said with a smile Saturday during his press conference. "I feel pretty good."

There were some concerns about Thompson when the 61-year-old missed this year’s NFL owners meetings for undisclosed personal reasons. When he later met with the media before the draft, Thompson didn’t seem like his normal self.

Speculation soon began about whether Thompson was nearing the end of his run with the Packers. But while it’s not "certain" that he’s going to head up the next two drafts in Green Bay, it’s somewhat close.

"Certainty is a fairly strong word," Thompson said. "I’m feeling good and ready to go."

Thompson inadvertently added to the speculation about his future when he twice went out of his way to publicly thank his staff during the draft.

"Once again," Thompson said at the conclusion of Day 3 of the draft on May 10, "like I said yesterday, I’d like to thank a lot of the people that worked directly with me trying to get ready for the draft. There’s an extraordinary number of hours we put into this and they do great work. But the one thing I omitted was talking about the entire organization’s commitment to allow us to do what we do and the resources that they give us. A lot of people are doing work here even as we speak, so thanks to all of them."

But those kind words were apparently nothing more than kind words for his hard-working staff.

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"That wasn’t a prelude to me walking out, no," Thompson said. "It was a genuine (appreciation). You know, because, just the number of hours that you put in, and if I haven’t over-thanked those guys in the past, that was my fault. (Thanking them) two times in front of you guys is not overdoing it, I don’t think."

If Thompson looked a bit worn out in recent months, he looked plenty energetic Saturday during rookie orientation.

Though he’s now completed 10 drafts in charge of the Packers — a tenure that started in 2005 when his first-ever pick was quarterback Aaron Rodgers, there is still plenty that keeps Thompson coming back for more.

"I think the chase," he said. "I think when you’re in the scouting business, it’s the chase, it’s hoping . . . a lot of it is X number of players at the University of Alabama and you have your list and you do those, but then, every once in awhile, you find somebody that nobody is really keen (on).

"You’re hoping to find that diamond that nobody else has found. And that’s hard to do with the coverage we have in the NFL and the scouting departments that are all around the league. But I think it’s the chase, and coming together, and most importantly the Sundays or Mondays or Thursdays when you’ve won the game and you’re in a winning locker room. That’s as good as it gets."

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