FRISCO, Texas – Thursday saw an outpouring of support from the NFL community, as the league processed the news that longtime Green Bay Packers executive Ted Thompson had passed away.
Understandably, Mike McCarthy was one of the many to offer warm words and condolences on the loss of Thompson, who served in the Packers' front office for 24 years – and who was the general manager who hired McCarthy to be the team's head coach in 2005.
McCarthy's full statement is below:
"You will hear from a lot of people who will tell you great things about Ted Thompson and what he meant to them and every word will be true. But when I think about Ted, who he was as a man, will always carry more weight than what he did professionally. There has never been a finer human being to walk the playing fields or have a presence in the scouting rooms.
Ted gave me an opportunity of a lifetime. As a young first-time head coach, who thought he had all the answers, I couldn't have been matched with a more perfect leader. He taught me patience. I will forever remember all of the times he would simply smile at me and say, "slow down young man."
He always protected and reinforced the importance of the tradition and history of the Green Bay Packers. It wasn't enough just to win--it was equally important to win the right way. He exuded those qualities in everything he approached in football and in life.
Ted was very private, and few got to see the things I will miss most about him--his sense of humor, his story telling and the kindness of such a good man. I have tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities he provided for me and my family.
Ted was a man of extreme faith which gives me peace in knowing he is in a better place, but I also know, for those whose lives he touched, we are all better because of the time we were able to be with him.
Slow down, my friend. What a life you led and an example you exemplified."
Thompson served as the Packers' general manager from 2005 until 2017, not only hiring McCarthy but helping assemble the Green Bay team that won Super Bowl XLV at AT&T Stadium. He was also the team's director of pro personnel in 1996, when the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI.