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Ted Thompson Talks after Packers Reduce Roster to 53

Ted Thompson cut the roster down to 53, but are more moves on the way?
(WFRV-TV) - Packers General Manager Ted Thompson tends to be a bit vague each year when taking questions about constructing Green Bay's 53-man roster.

He brings back annual lines like "You never know until you know, you know?"

And there tends to be a joke or two, like his response when asked why he kept Safety Chris Banjo.

"Because he and I both went to Southern Methodist University is Dallas, Texas," Thompson said in his typical dead-pan manner.  "And we Mustangs stick together."

Dry humor aside, when it's time to assess blame for something not working out, Thompson takes the brunt of it.  Thompson was asked about releasing Vince Young, who he brought in late to training camp to make a run at the backup QB job.

"Quite frankly, it probably wasn't fair to Vince," said Thompson.  "We threw a lot on his plate and the fault is probably mine. I probably should have had him in here earlier."

The Packers GM pointed out plenty of times that the roster is fluid, and they will continue to look at every possibility for improving the team.  As it stands now B.J. Coleman would be the quarterback if something happened to Aaron Rodgers.  So how confident is Thomspon that the second year player could help Green Bay win games in that scenario after struggling in camp and the preseason?

"We think he has a good chance do do that," said Thompson.  "Again, there's a lot of things he hasn't seen.  He's played in some preseason games, but never in a regular season game.  We're getting ready to tee it off, so we're getting ready to play."

Thompson says the whole process of cutting players "hurts," whether they are street free agents who had good camps like wide receiver Tyrone Walker, or a former 3rd round pick like 2012 leading rusher Alex Green.  But these are also happy days for the guys that survived the cuts, and once upon a time an undrafted linebacker from SMU got to experience that very feeling with the Houston Oilers.

"We played an away game," said Thompson remembering back to his first season.  "We had six preseason games and we were flying back from somewhere, I don't remember.  The coach was walking down the aisle of the plane.  It was Bum Phillips  and Eddie Biles our defensive coordinator and they stopped and I said 'what's up?'  Because I thought they were going to release me or something, but they said 'you got a place to live yet?'  I said no, and they said you better get one.  Then they kept walking and it took me like three minutes to figure out they were telling me that I made the team.  I was young and foolish."

When training camp started DT Johnny Jolly had to be considered one of the biggest long-shots to make the team.  Not a lot was expected after big #97 missed three years of football following a suspension and jail time for drug use.

"Some of the fellas on this team came to me and spoke to me about how much they'd love to have him back as a teammate," Thompson said referring to earlier in the offseason.    Johnny is a real natural football player, I've always said that.  He really loves to play the game.  I think he's a bit infectious with our team.  I think he not necessarily trying to but I think he's just sort of a natural 'lead by example player.'"

But unlike his days in Houston, Thompson doesn't contact his players like Jolly to say they made the team. That's because the harsh reality of the NFL remains the same each year.

"It's 'no news is good news' because like I said there's a lot of balls left up in the air and you never know what the next few days might bring."


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