STATE SPORTS ROUNDUP: Thompson encouraged by Jolly's play so far in training camp
Green Bay Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson said it was his call to bring back defensive end Johnny Jolly after his drug arrests and three-year suspension. The G-M told reporters yesterday that he thought long-and-hard about letting Jolly earn his place on the team again. So far, the 30-year-old defensive end has looked pretty good at Training Camp. Thompson said Jolly has quote, “some natural ability to play the game. He does things very fluidly and instinctively. The game kind of flows to him.” Thompson said Jolly has a long way to go in his comeback but quote, “So far, so good.” The G-M also said he wished Desmond Bishop would have gone somewhere else besides Minnesota. He said Bishop’s release after his 2012 hamstring surgery speaks well to the Packers’ depth at the middle linebacker spots. Thompson also said he disliked the skirmishes on the field during the Training Camp scrimmages. In his words, “I don’t see the point – all you’re going to do is risk breaking your hand.” Thompson added that it’s not at the point in which players are putting their own teammates at risk. The Packers will have their fifth practice at camp today.
In hockey, central Wisconsin native Joe Pavelski will stay with the N-H-L’s San Jose Sharks. The team signed the veteran center from Plover yesterday to a five-year, 30-million-dollar contract extension that begins when his current deal expires next summer. Pavelski, a former Wisconsin Badgers’ standout, is entering the final year of a four-year deal worth 16-million dollars. The new extension runs through 2019 with an average raise of two-million per season. Pavelski was a seventh-round draft choice by San Jose in 2003. He has developed into a solid two-way center during his seven N-H-L campaigns. Pavelski has 150 career goals and 186 assists, winning over 55-percent of his face-off draws. Sharks’ general manager Doug Wilson calls Pavelski one of his “core” players along with center Logan Couture, who was also given a five-year contract extension this summer.