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Ted Thompson's Latest Discussion Comes with Michigan State's Max Bullough

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Ted Thompson's Latest Discussion Comes with Michigan State's Max Bullough

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was observed speaking with Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough at the site of the East-West Shrine Game practice on Wednesday, according to Charlie Campell of WalterFootball.com.

Perhaps Thompson was getting the inside scoop from Bullough on why he was suspended for the Rose Bowl.

For as good a career as Bullough had at Michigan State, the legend of his suspension is starting to overshadow his achievements on the football field as a two-time captain and first-team All-Big Ten selection.

As the story goes, Bullough was suspended on Christmas night for a violation of team rules that neither the university nor Bullough himself has been forthcoming about.

When Michigan State won their first Rose Bowl since 1988, a game which Bullough played a very large role in helping the Spartans qualify for in the first place, the star linebacker was nowhere to be found.

Observers everywhere have wondered what Bullough did to justify a suspension for the biggest and last game of his career but so far have gotten no answers.

Despite his invitation and presence at this week's college all-star game, public relations representatives of the Shriners have reportedly said Bullough will do "absolutely no media (interviews)," only furthering speculation.

Beyond the curious nature of his suspension, Bullough also reportedly measured in at an unexpectedly heavy 265 lbs. at the Shrine Game this week, 20 lbs. more than his published weight at Michigan State.

A few extra pounds, however, apparently haven't hindered Bullough's effectiveness on the football field.

According to Cheesehead TV's own "Pro Football Draft Preview" analyst Paul Guillemette on site at the East-West Shrine Game practice on Wednesday, "(Bullough) has been incredibly active and around the ball constantly. He had a big interception in the middle of the field during 11-on-11 this afternoon. I’m still not convinced that this is his ideal playing weight, but it does not appear to be hindering his play so far."

If there's a defensive system in which Bullough or any inside linebacker can get by at 265 lbs., it's a 3-4 defense like the Packers currently run, where he'd play side by side with another inside linebacker and generally be responsible for less ground to cover.

After a season in which the Packers ranked 25th in total defense, the Packers are conceivably in need of an upgrade at the position, despite the presence of A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, each of whom are under contract for 2014 and being paid like starters.

Bullough made 76 tackles in 2013, 9.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and one forced fumble, one season after he made 110 tackles as a junior, 12.5 for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

NFLDraftScout.com, the gold standard outlet for NFL draft coverage, has Bullough projected as a mid to late round draft choice.

On Tuesday, Thompson was seen talking to North Carolina safety Tre Boston.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I don't worry to much about players that Thompson talks to, but at the same time I do find it interesting that he is talking to players at what most people consider their biggest positions of need.

Tre Boston - S
Max Bullough - ILB

Again these guys are probably late 3rd round and after type of players, but those are the players that can make or break a roster.

Derek in CO's picture

You better come clean when an NFL GM talks to you. I'm sure the extra weight makes him somewhat slower, but also shows he has a frame that can support a big range. Lots of guys can't change that without major impact on mobility. Be curious to see his draft stock in April.

Tony's picture

If it's a Packers post on one of my Spartans, I have to comment, Brian!

I love Bullough from a leadership standpoint... or at least I did until his suspension. He's the run-stuffing LB we've been dying for and he did a fair amount of blitzing this past season and looked pretty good doing it.

I've heard that he was suspended for testing positive for OxyContin, but it's solely a rumor. It'll come out at some point, probably around the time he gets to talking with the NFL brass.

I'd love it if they picked him up -- bias aside -- because of the way he plays. He's got the personality and attitude this defense needs.

Brian's picture

Just curious if he is fast enough to cover TE's?

Bert's picture

Good question Brian. I dunno about Bullough either. Our ILBs now are slow and soft. Bullough is probably slow but not soft. May be worth a second day pick on the chance that he isn't any slower than we have and will at least pop somebody once in awhile.

Derek in CO's picture

at a minimum, a good special teams bruiser.

Hank Scorpio's picture

The biggest issue with the Packers ILBs is lack of speed, IMO. They need guys that can move sideline to sideline, spy mobile QBs and cover the occasional speedy TE or RB.

Anybody that can run should be considered. Anybody that can't won't be of much help.

4thand1's picture

B Jones is probably their fastest LB. He was hurt most of the year. He was the leading tackler before he got injured. Fast ILB don't grow on trees. To get a really good run stuffer with speed to get outside is rare.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Unfortunately, Jones gets injured with regularity.

I'd love to get that rare great run-stuffer than can move sideline to sideline and cover. But I'd settle for that guy minus the great run-stuffing part.

fish and crane's picture

Thompson was also seen talking to the hotel valet. Apparently Thompson produced a ticket from his wallet and gave it to the man. Thompson was then given a nice car in return.

Icebowler's picture

Sounds like Bullough may have been suspended for single handedly eating the entire teams Christmas dinner.

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