Although I grew up in Wisconsin and have been a Packer fan since the early sixties, I had my first opportunity to watch a regular season game when the Pack played the Cardinals in Tempe last Sunday. I wish I could say that the game lived up to my expectations. I can't claim to speak for the thousands of Packer fans in Sun Devil Stadium but those who happened to be sitting near me seemed to have the same opinion. We were not so much disappointed in the players as we were in the coaching. It is hard to imagine less creative play calling against a team that is not exactly leading the league in offense or defense. Except for the last two minutes, this game was just plain boring to watch. Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the league yet I don't recall a single pass for more than ten yards. There was absolutely no attempt to test the Cardinals secondary on deep passes. Even if incomplete, the secondary would at least have to think of the possibility of the long ball and perhaps loosen up the coverage underneath.
The same uncreative play calling carried over to the defensive side of the game. The only corner blitz I saw almost resulted in a sack and did lead to an intentional grounding call. It was fairly obvious that the usual four man rush was not going to get the job done but opportunities to apply more pressure to the quarterback were allowed to slip away.
It seemed to me that the coaches did not want to look too bad in a losing effort instead of putting together a game plan that presented a chance for victory. They have managed to take the fun out of Packer football.
One final note. I was really disappointed in the Packer fans who booed
during the introduction of the Cardinal players. Phoenix has a difficult
time building a fan base because people have moved here from all over the
country and team loyalties are obviously divided. I like to think of
Packer fans as being the best in the world but I didn't think this behavior
was very sportsmanlike.
Steve Zieroth, Eagar, AZ
It was a wonderful run while it lasted, with some wonderful saves and some
awful losses. Now it is time to admit that Brett Favre is no longer the
player he was, and he is far from as effective as many of the younger
quarterbacks. It is time to start playing and grooming a young quarterback
every chance the Packers get. If Favre is having a bad game, or we have a
nice lead, put the new guy in to get used to playing in the NFL. As much as
I hate to see him go, Favre needs to bow out gracefully before he is booed
off the field. He is so immobile that he can't improvise at all. He keeps
having to play catch up, and then throws the interceptions that kill the
Packers. Sherman is questionable as head coach and as general manager. He
inherited a winning team and instead of shoring them up, he has squandered
talent and is ruining the team. He will not last! Wake up Harlan and get a
coach who demands excellence from his players, and will not tolerate
Grant Thomas, Brookfield, WI
I really believe that Mike Sherman must look around and reflect on the quality of his coaching staff and get rid of the defensive coach and the offensive coach a nd, under the same breath, fire himself.
It is unforgivable to have two performances like the ones the Packers have
had in the two ot the last three games. Also, he has spent so much money on
deadbeats, i.e.,Joe Johnson,
that he has mortgage the salary cap for a few years without getting any thing
I hope the players have enough pride to start earning their money and the
team makes a turnaround.
Carlos Ferro, Miami, FL
Disgraceful. That's all I have to say...
But also, I am putting the blame on the Offensive and Defensive Line. Just becuase everyone thinks they have it easy on the field, they seem to be taking it easy. I don't find that right because the other players are playing their butt off That hole, the extra second to throw the ball, or just knocking somebody over, can make the difference between a 2 yard run or a 50 yard touchdown run.
Also, after a good play, the Packers seem to think they don't have to play as hard, but i can tell you right now, no defense is going to back down just because you made a good play, they are gunna try to top that play.
Mike Sherman, you've let us down man...
Alex Worzella, Milwaukee, WI
I'm finally cooling down from the Packer game just played at Lambeau West. The temperature of 105 degrees was miserable enough but the way the Packers played made it even more so.Tempe Diablo Stadium was an incredible sight with all the Packer fans, easily over 40,000. it made me proud to be a Packer fan! This should have definitely counted as a "Home Game." However, you could tell from the opening play the Packers did not come to play. The Cardinals controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides which made the Packer game plan whatever it was seem totally inadequate.
It is quite clear they they are lacking game preparation and motivation from the coaching staff. There is no excuse for this, especially a franchise as storied as the Packers. Coach Sherman let many faithful Packer fans down, those attending the game and watching from across the country. He blew it! It is clear he is wearing too many hats, none of which fit, or look good on him. By the end of the 2nd quarter you knew we were in trouble . . .the defense was huffing and puffing from being on the field too long in the heat. The offensive game plan was quickly dismantled when we realized we couldn't win the battle of the lines! This was the AZ Cardinals, a team that some thought would go 0 and 16 !!! I hate to use the word boring, but lately, watching the Pack offense is boring! It should never be boring or predictable with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, even though Brett's skills are slowly diminishing.
With no threat of stretching out the field with a more verticle passing game
and a line both on offense and defense that was outplayed it could be a long
year. I still love the Pack and I always will, I've been a Packer fan for
40 years but this "home"
away from home loss to such an inferior team is inexcusable and somewhat
Darrell Malone, Chandler, AZ
I just read the emails that were sent into the Packer Report in regards to the ugly ugly play of the Packers in Arizona, and I must say that I agree with pretty much everything that was said. It's too bad that only your readers will see this information, and the Packers coaches never will. If they did, I'm sure they would ignore it anyhow.
One person stated that Mike Sherman should give up the GM position, and that he should have never been offered the position after 1 season. If they had any intentions of giving both positions to 1 person, maybe they should have thought to give it to Mike Holmgren, at least he proved himself over several years.
The Packers offense is predictable, and what they find that actually does work, seems to be quickly forgotten and never went back to. I can not understand their inability to make plays on both sides of the ball, in my opinion it is completely inexcusable. They should have the talent to play well, and if they can't consistently play a full game of football, maybe they need a new coach who can get the players to play up to their abilities. The Pack should have traded away whatever they could and paid the big dollars for Gruden. At least he can demand the discipline required to play well week in and week out, I haven't seen that out of the Packers for quite a few years.
I guess it's going to be a long and painful year for the Packer fans, what a
dissapointment from a team that should play much better.
Mike, Janesville, WI
After last season's home playoff loss to the Falcons, I thought things couldn't get any worse. Boy was I wrong. Sunday's loss to the under-manned Cardinals showed me how bad things can really get. The Packers now rate as one of the worst teams in the league. So what happened to the Pack? I think the answer is in turnovers. Last year when the Pack started 8-1, they lead the league in turn-over ratio. Once the turn-overs started to go the wrong way, it's been tough to win a game. The only way to get back on track is to have a bona fide pass rush. A pass rush creates interceptions, fumbles and big leads where the offense can protect the ball. How do we create a pass rush with the 2003 defensive front? I sure hope Mike Sherman knows or we're in for a very disappointing season.
Jerry Horvath, Orlando, FL
There is no doubt that Vince is rolling over in his grade. As teacher Vince coached his players to play to the best of their abilities, and expected his coaching staff to do the same as well. Mr. Sherman can do neither.Sherman and his so called group of experts couldn't coach their way out of a junior high game. As an expert in the West coast offense, Mr. Rosley has shown nothing in his tenure as offensive coordinator. In fact the only thing coming from Mr. Rosley that is offensive is the stench of his poor play calling. He will make NFL history though by making a future Hall of Fame QB look like a Ryan Leaf nobody. I feel for the players who have to put up with a unintelligent, uninspiring, and lifeless coaching staff. I wouldn't blame Brett if he hung it up right now. I hope that the owners of this team will make their voices heard and run these idiots out of town. I hope that Mr. Sherman can be man enough to step down and let a real coach and coaching staff step in. I hope all this takes place before a legend leaves us for an early retirement.
Pack Fan In California
I have never taken the time to write a note regarding the play of my beloved Green Bay Packers before today. However, after watching that lackluster performance against the Cardinals, I must vent my frustration. I am a 60 year old guy who has been a Packer fan since I was in elementary school. About 50 years of cheers and tears. I have rarely felt so discouraged as I am today.
The team seems to be going through the motions with absolutely no inspiration at all. I used to believe that the Packers were a step above the other teams in the league when it comes to giving the fans 110% on every play. Sure we are going to be beat. Nobody can expect that the Pack will be hitting on all eight cylinders every week. But, the home opener and this last game against the Cardinals looked like the exact same team showed up for each game. In both games the offense was anemic and the defense didn't show up at all. The worst thing about it is that nobody seemed to care except the fans.
I guess I have to realize that it is all about the money for the players and pride doesn't play into the scheme of things anymore. If we only had a coach that new how to inspire his team.
I see guys celebrating like high school kids when they simply do what they are supposed to do. I wish we had a coach that demanded that the team demonstrate some class on the field and stop showboating. Showboating is for those that get the job done, and that means winning. When you play the game with such a lack of enthusiasm, you might as well be complacent when you do something right.
I will be flying in from Southern California to see the Seahawks game on
October 5. I will always cheer for the Pack but if we don't play with more
desire in the future I will have to accept that we are back in the 70's and
80's. I read earlier this year that Brett said that he thought that this
years team actually had more talent than his Super Bowl winning team. That
may be true, but, they sure don't have the desire.
Bruce Kelsey, Cypress, CA
What can we do to regain our stronghold over the teams that used to be merely a bump on the way to the playoffs? I think there are several issues:
Why do some players get so worked up when they make a play that is only what
they are supposed to do anyway, like make a tackle, etc. Now, if you recover
a fumble and score, that's worth celebrating. If you make a tackle 35 yards
downfield after getting beat initially, that is not!
We need receivers! Either that or every DB in the league now has the ability
to read Brett's mind. What happened to the amazing football-on-a-string
antics from just a few years ago? I never got tired of hearing Madden say, "No
one can do that but Brett Favre." Now it seems everytime he tries to do
something magical, it's picked off.
Maybe this start is good for this team, as evidenced last year - a nice,
strong start followed up by a patsy finish. Let's lose one or two more and get
these guys pissed off. Well, maybe not. Arizona should have pissed them
enough! It sure did me.
I realize the Packers look pretty rough so far this year - the passion
doesn't seem to be there, but no matter what, I will listen on the computer and
watch on the TV to the very last second of a game! People need to quit jumping on
and off the band wagon and start supporting the team no matter what! They do
still stand a chance at the playoffs, even with the rough start they've had,
it's not over yet!! That's why they play the game . . .
Mary, Lima Ohio