Notes from Packers' shareholders meeting

July, 24, 2014
7/24/14
6:45
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Regulars at the Green Bay Packers' shareholders meeting know this much about general manager Ted Thompson's annual state of football address: You won't learn much.

Although he has graduated from simply reading the roster -- but he did list off several key players and all nine recent draft picks -- Thompson did not reveal anything newsworthy during his longer-than-usual, 15-minute address.

And that seems to be just fine with Packers' fans. Many in the crowd of 14,759 at Lambeau Field gave Thompson another rousing ovation.

"I thought the ovation for Ted was something that I think really meant a lot to Ted and speaks about how he's viewed by our fans," Packers president Mark Murphy said following the meeting.

Even Thompson, who rarely shows much emotion, seemed moved by the reaction from the crowd.

"I want to thank you for your support," Thompson told the crowd. "I've always felt that support. We've had, like anybody in my position, times when it wasn't so good and we didn't feel loved. But I do now, and I appreciate it."

It made the negative reaction Thompson received in the summer of 2008 over the Brett Favre saga seem like eons ago.

Although Thompson might never admit it, it had to be a special reaction considering the offseason he went through. He had a medical procedure this offseason that prevented him from attending the NFL annual meetings in March. Shortly before the draft, Thomnpson appeared worn down during a session with reporters. That prompted speculation that the 61-year-old might be nearing the end of his career.

However, Murphy said he does not believe Thompson is slowing down.

"Ted is one of the most consistent, solid people that I've ever seen," Murphy said. "He is who he is. Very private, as you guys know. But I would just say that for me it was great to see him. Ted is Ted. As I said, I think we all feel very fortunate to have him in this position."

In other notes from the shareholders meeting:
  • The Packers are leaning toward variable prices for tickets next season like some teams already have enacted this season. That would lower the cost of preseason games, while leaving open the option to make marquee regular-season games more expensive. "One of the issues that we as a league face is the quality of play in preseason has really dropped off from what it was years ago," Murphy said. "Players are in good shape and they don't need the games to get them ready for the season. A number of teams have looked at it and are reducing the cost of preseason [games] but they're increasing the price of other games. It's a balancing back. We're studying it ... but I anticipate that's something we'll move to next year."
  • Green Bay explored the possibility of hosting the 2015 NFL draft after the league decided to move it from its traditional home in New York. "But they've narrowed it down to Chicago and L.A. this year," Murphy said. That drew a round of boos from the crowd to which Murphy replied: "Yeah, I thought it was a bad decision, too."
  • Murphy said the Packers are helping with production of an upcoming movie about Vince Lombardi. It is being produced by Legendary Pictures, the same company that made "42," the Jackie Robinson story. The movie will be released in conjunction with the 50th Super Bowl in 2016.
  • Thompson called the 2013 season, when the Packers made the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record despite playing without quarterback Aaron Rodgers for seven-plus games, "one of the prouder moments of my time here as the general manager, to watch them persevere when really everything was stacked against them."
  • Thompson said he had three goals for this offseason. "Number one was to try to sign as many of our own players as we could, and we were able to do that," he said. "Number two, to selectively add additions from other teams, and we were able to do that. And to draft effectively with an eye towards right now, but also with an understanding of the future. Those things were accomplished we felt like in the offseason."
  • Perhaps the loudest ovation during Thompson's speech came when he mentioned fifth-round pick Jared Abbrederis, the former University of Wisconsin player who grew up about 90 miles from Green Bay. "Obviously, the other thing that stood out is if we draft more Badgers, we'll get better attendance at the shareholder meeting and more rounds of applause," Murphy said.
  • Thompson said players will report for training camp at 6 a.m. Friday for physicals and testing.
  • As is the norm, coach Mike McCarthy did not speak at the meeting. He will hold his pre-training camp news conference at 10 a.m. Friday local time.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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