INDIANAPOLIS—Packers General Manager Ted Thompson gave the media a lesson in stealth scouting on Friday.
“I’m a horrible guy to be up here answering questions I’m not going to answer,” Thompson said during a 10-minute press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. “I’m not going to tell any trade secrets. It’s just not going to happen. You could be like opposite George on Seinfeld. I tell our scouts to listen and not talk.”
Thompson followed Denver Broncos GM John Elway to the podium, which left big shoes to fill. Elway entertained the media by answering a battery of Tim Tebow-related questions. One of the first questions Thompson faced pertained to quarterback Matt Flynn, and what Thompson’s position was on Flynn’s future with the Packers.
“Matt is a professional. Our policy is to try to keep all of our players. I’m not going to tell the other 31 teams what I think of Matt Flynn,” Thompson said.
Flynn is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. The contract tight end Jermichael Finley signed on Thursday has caused speculation the Packers might use the franchise tag on Flynn, to retain his rights.
“I wouldn’t speculate on what our plans would be,” Thompson said.
None of Thompson’s reluctance to provide information came as a surprise. He has long been a silent worker. Stealth is the Thompson way and it was reinforced in Friday’s press conference.
Nonetheless, the questions kept coming.
What are your needs in the draft?
“We think we have a pretty good team. We don’t critique publicly what we think our needs are,” Thompson said.
Clearly, the Packers have needs on a defense that was No. 32 overall and, also No. 32 in yards passing allowed and in sacks per pass play. Those needs are being exacerbated by a game that continues to tilt toward offense.
“The NFL likes people scoring touchdowns. I don’t think that’s a secret. They like the ball in the air and both teams doing it. It’s an offensive league,” Thompson said.
That’s where the Packers have an edge over most of the other teams. The Packers have arguably the best quarterback and certainly one of the top offenses in a league that rewards each.
“I think there are going to be some really good players coming out of this draft,” Thompson said.
It was as bold a statement as he would allow. Additional coverage - Feb. 24