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NFL Alum Arland Thompson Has Enjoyed 35-Year Aerospace Career

Defensive players occasionally get tired of hearing how much more intelligent and inventive offensive players are than their defensive teammates.

NFL alum Arland Thompson has done nothing in his post football days to change that stereotype. Thompson, who played guard on four different teams during a four-year (1980-82, 1987) career, currently is a Senior Principal Engineer for Raytheon Technologies. He is in charge of Flight Dynamics there for the next generation of GPS satellites.

Thompson, 65, graduated from Baylor University with a BS degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. He was a fourth-round pick of the Broncos in 1980. The Texas native signed with the Packers in 1981 and the Colts the following year. He had a brief stint with the Chiefs in 1987.

After that final season in Kansas City, Thompson went to work for the Martin Marietta Corporation. He began working on a Strategic Defensive Initiative (SDI) called Space-Based Laser during President Ronald Reagan’s administration.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the SDI program ceased, and Thompson worked on the Titan IV/Centaur program. If you recall, this was America’s heavy lift rocket booster program which launched various NASA and Department of Defense satellites into space.

Are you linebackers impressed yet?

After he joined Raytheon in 1998, he helped build satellite Ground Control Software that determines the orbits of satellites and controls orbits and altitudes of satellites.

Overall, Thompson, who lives in Denver, has enjoyed a 35-year Aerospace Career.

The defensive side of the line can brag about outstanding alumni such as retired Minnesota State Supreme Court Judge Alan Page and Dwayne Woodruff, who also is an attorney and sits on the bench in Allegheny County (PA).

We at NFL Alumni do not take sides when the discussion is whether offense or defense has the more accomplished alumni.

We simply are proud of all our members!