Thompson shares in blame for Young’s struggles
Packers enter season with unproven Coleman as sole QB backup
GREEN BAY, Wis. — While Vince Young’s performance in the preseason played a big role in him getting released, general manager Ted Thompson said Sunday there’s someone else who also deserves some of the blame.
In the preseason, Young completed only 26 of 49 passes (53.1 percent) with one touchdown, no interceptions and three sacks (71.6 rating) in four preseason appearances.
The Packers may enter their regular-season opener at San Francisco next Sunday with unproven B.J. Coleman as the backup to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Asked if he was prepared to open the season with the two quarterbacks he has on the roster, Thompson said, “That’s where we are right now, sure.”
Even though Young had piqued Thompson’s interest earlier this spring, the Packers didn’t sign him until Aug. 6.
By then, seven of the eight installations of the Packers’ offensive playbook had been completed.
Thompson said earlier in camp that he should have signed Young earlier.
But on Sunday, Thompson took it a step further.
“Quite frankly, it probably wasn’t fair to Vince,” Thompson said. “We threw a lot on his plate and the fault is probably mine.
“I probably should have had him in here earlier. He was a great teammate, he seemed like a very humble good guy. You guys all talked to him, so we enjoyed his time here and like I say, if there was fault it was probably mine.”
Young had an uninspiring performance in the preseason finale against Kansas City, completing only 14 of 30 passes for 144 yards with no touchdowns, no interceptions and two fumbles (one lost) for a 61.0 passer rating.
“In my short time being here, I learned as much as I could. Hopefully teams across the NFL saw that, being in the situation I was, how much hard work I put in behind the scenes to try to catch up, try to do the best I could,” Young said after the game Thursday night.
“Like I said when I first got in (to Green Bay), I just never gave up on myself. I just wanted another opportunity and Green Bay gave me another opportunity. And then they did, I made the best of it.
“Hopefully I get an opportunity to stay on the team, stay here and help out. And if not, hopefully teams around the league will give me an opportunity as well.”
As of now, the Packers only have Coleman, the 2012 seventh-round pick, backing up Rodgers.
Last year’s No. 2 quarterback, Graham Harrell, was released last week and signed by the New York Jets.
Coleman completed 14 of 34 passes (41.2 percent) for 128 yards with one touchdown, one interception and two sacks for a passer rating of 49.6 this summer.
Thompson said changes could still be made to the 53-man roster, which he has always maintained is misidentified as being the “final” roster.
“A lot of things are going to change,” Thompson said. “It’s not just our team, ours is probably a little more stable than some.
“There’s a lot of turnover going on today that people know about, some people don’t. There’s going to be some more turnover tomorrow because players become available and teams are still out there shopping to try to improve their team just like we are.”
One player who will apparently keep his roster spot is veteran defensive end Johnny Jolly, who spent the past three seasons out of football while serving an NFL suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Jolly, who was the Packers’ best defensive lineman in 2009, went to prison after multiple arrests in his native Houston for codeine possession but was released early under a “shock probation” program and the Packers brought him back after he was reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in late February.
“I don’t think any of us can really speak to the journey that he’s been on because I’m not sure any of us know all the things that’s encompassed in that journey,” Thompson said.
“I admire him. I’ve said this all along: I liked him before when he was here and I like him now that he’s here. When he wasn’t here, I can’t speak to that. I just know that different people have different challenges as you go through life.”
Asked why he felt Jolly deserved another chance, Thompson said: “Some of the fellas on this team came to me and spoke to me about how much they would like to have him back as a teammate.
“I think all the coaching staff and the personnel people like him. And like I say, it’s not for me to judge. I’m not going to say things were the right way or the wrong way when he wasn’t here, but I will say that he had a lot of admirers here and he’s a good football player.”