Thompson, selected in the fourth round of April's NFL draft, is buried on the depth chart behind reserves Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Jason Hunter and Mike Montgomery. However, if Thompson can flash some of the pass-rushing skills that he did at Wake Forest (8 1/2 sacks for minus-73 yards and 20 1/2 stops for losses) while starting 32 of 46 games, he may have a chance to contribute at different points this season.
First, Thompson will have to get past his older brother, Orrin, a backup offensive tackle. The two often go one-on-one against each other during drills.
"I'm tempted to take it easy on him or him take it easy on me, but we both have jobs we're trying to get," said Thompson, who at 22 is three years younger than Orrin. "For me, it's a great honor to be here, but I'm blessed to have somebody I know and that's my brother."
Both Thompsons last played together in high school at Charlotte (N.C.) Christian. Orrin played football at Duke before signing as a free agent with the Packers.
Jeremy Thompson took a timeout after a recent training camp practice to talk about his progress thus far:
Q: What have you learned so far?
Jeremy Thompson: "I've learned a lot. Some of the little things, techniques, how to line up, where to line up, things to look for when against the pass and against the run. A lot of footwork. The coaches are working with me and I'm watching some of the other players, like Aaron Kampman and Colin (Cole) to see the way they do things. I'm trying to learn from them."
Q: What's it like for you to go up against guys like Chad Clifton in practice?
JT: "It's good, knowing they're the best on the team and among the best in the NFL. If you can beat those guys, you can beat pretty much anybody in the league. It's challenging. You think you might have a good move and they just crush you, so you have to bring your 'A' game."
Q: Have you had to develop any new moves this training camp?
JT: "It's not like I've had to develop new moves. It's about perfecting and developing moves that you have that actually work."
Q: What are your impressions of the defensive line thus far?
JT: The D-line is really athletic and talented group. If you look at the film last year, Aaron Kampman was in the Pro Bowl and the defensive tackles had a bunch of sacks, so they're pretty good and hopefully that will help my game."
Q: How do you feel like you can contribute this year?
JT: "With youth. I feel like I can go in there with some energy, get to the quarterback and stop the run."