INDIANAPOLIS – Ted Thompson makes no bones about it. If you’re looking for information on how the Green Bay Packers general manager is going to handle free agency and the draft, don’t bother asking.
“In settings like this, I try to be informative but I’m honest when I say I’m not going to tell any trade secrets up here while I’m here,” he said at the Scouting Combine on Friday morning. “It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to lie. I guess you could go the route and be like “Opposite George” on “Seinfield.” You know, say whatever’s the opposite. I like to try to be honest with you, but at the same time, I’m not going to give away any information that I think could be used against us. I don’t think that makes a lot of sense. This is a very small fraternity in the National Football League, and once you get to Indianapolis with everybody here, it’s even smaller. I tell our scouts to listen and don’t talk.”
For those of you not familiar with “Opposite George,” Thompson explained once he got off the podium and talked to a few local reporters in the atrium of Lucas Oil Stadium. Once George Costanza started saying the opposite of what should be said, “he started picking up chicks like crazy.”
Thompson, not surprisingly, wouldn’t bite on several issues:
-- Would he consider using the franchise tag on quarterback Matt Flynn? “I don’t talk specifically about any of our guys that may or may not be free agents. I certainly wouldn’t speculate on what our plans would be.”
-- Is there a chance Flynn returns to the Packers in 2012? “It’s hard for me to predict. I don’t think anybody can predict what’s going to happen in free agency.”
-- Can you talk about Flynn as a player? “Matt is a professional. He does a good job. Again, our policy is to try to keep all of our players so we’d like to try to keep all of our players. I’m not going to stand here and tell all 31 other teams what I think about Matt Flynn.”
-- A question asking Thompson for the Packers’ “overall needs” drew laughter: “I’m a horrible guy to be up here answering questions that I’m not going to answer. We think we have a pretty solid team. Obviously, we’d like to get better but we don’t critique publicly what we think our needs are.”
Thompson did hit on some other topics:
-- Thompson said “everything I’ve heard has been positive” regarding Nick Collins’ rehab from a season-ending and career-threatening neck injury. At the end of the season, Collins said he was going to meet with his surgeon and the Packers’ medical staff in March to allow the team time to formulate its plans should he be forced to retire.
-- Will last year’s first-round pick, Derek Sherrod, make a full recovery from a broken leg? “It’s been a couple weeks since we talked to him but even at the time of the injury — even though it was very serious — it’s not the kind of injury, it’s not a joint injury, that should prevent him from having a long career.” Thompson added that tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) is doing “fine” in rehab.
-- With the Packers and Giants winning the last two Super Bowls as wild cards, is that the route to go? “It’s worked out for us and with the Giants the last two years. I think both of those teams, if you went back and asked them, they’d rather do it a different way. I still would like to go 15-1 and 16-0 and see how we do. I just think that’s sometimes, in a single-elimination tournament, sometimes that happens. I still think we’d rather be 15-1 than 10-6.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.