Letters to the Editor

E-mails continued to pour in to Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth (packrepted@aol.com) during the week after Green Bay's season-ending loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs. Here are some of the e-mails received:<p>

Packer Report,

I have been a Packer fan since I can remember watching the first Super Bowl as a 7 year old. I am also a big Brett Favre fan.I hate to say this but Brett maybe you should retire. It is evident you don't want it. It was clear in the Viking playoff game when you could have ducked your head and take a big hit and try to score a touchdown or simply get a first down. I think you knew you were past the line of scrimmage when you tossed the ball. You don't want it like John Elway did in the Super Bowl against the Pack. When he ducked his head and received the crunching helicopter hit.

Brett, I take it all back. I do want you back and I do think your tough, but I seen you tougher. I just wanted to give you something to think about. God bless you and your wife and I pray for her speedy recovery.

Steve Logsdon, Louisville, Ky.

Packer Report,

Defense wins championships! The Packers will never take it to the next level unless they improve on their defense. Being down 17-0 forced the Packers to change their game plan from controlling the ball, to playing catch up. Instead of pounding the ball with Green against a weak Vikings defense, Favre and the Packers were forced to pass more than they would have liked. With Javon Walker getting hurt, and the Vikings doubling Donald Driver, this put even more pressure on Favre and the inexperienced receivers.

The Packers defense needs help! Ranking 14th against the rush and 25th against the pass will not get the job done. The pass rush was adequate with forty sacks, but missed tackles and too many big plays have cost the Packers games that they should have won. The secondary has been proven to give opponents to much room to pass freely at will. Missed tackles on slants and screens have cost the Packers dearly.

Draft picks are in order! The Packers need help in the secondary and at wide receiver. After losing Mackenzie to the Saints, the Packers took a step back on defense. Darren Sharper and Al Harris will continue to give the Packers rookie corner backs help, but they cannot do it by themselves. Javon Walker, Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson are more than average receivers, but none of them are a go to guy.

If Brett Favre retires, the Packers are in real trouble. Half of the starting offensive line will leave with him, due to retirement or free agency. They do have other quarterbacks, but nothing relatively close to Favre. How do you replace a Dan Marino, a Joe Montana or a John Elway? You don't. You just add him to the list of great quarterbacks that he is among. Not only on the field, but off the field Brett Favre has proven that he is one of the best ever!

Brian Watson, swab927@comcast.net

Dear Mr.Korth,

I wrote you once before,and was pleased by your prompt reply. After last Sunday's debacle, I'm at a loss for words. To watch Randy Moss debase and humiliate the Packers national fan base in such an obscene manner has left me nauseous. I am not as angry at Moss for his actions, as I am furious at Mike Sherman for not having his team ready to play such an important game. It is inexcusable for the Packers to lose a home playoff game at Lambeau Field. Prior to Sherman's arrival, the Packers were 13-0 all-time in home playoff games. Under Sherman they are 1-2, that's all that needs to be said. Mike Sherman has got to go.

William J. Wierichs, billkorea2001@yahoo.com

Is Favre focused?

Todd:

Brett Favre is big in his passion for playing the game, but not so big in his passion for winning the "big games", sure he is having fun, but how about the fans who get satisfaction only in the fact that the Packers win? I am a Packer fan, and have been since they lost to the Eagles in Hershey, Pa in 1954. I have always loved the team, and all that they do for the town of Green Bay and the NFL. I love it more when they win, but I am having a hard time, as Brett probably is, in understanding why he would throw a pass after being 4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, when a first down could have been secured, if he would have slid to the 2 yard line, in the first half of the game with the Vikings, and thinking that 3 points would be satisfactory after that long drive into scoring position.

As you, and the hundreds of thousand fans know, what the outcome of that play cost the Packers in that game. To Brett, it may have been insignificant, but to us it was very important. He had half a smile on his face, as he walked off of the field after that play. I really believe that it is time for him to retire with the magnificent career he has had, because he seems to not be as focused as in the past, on winning.

I hate to see him go, but as all can see, without a defense, the Pack is just another team in the "pack", with aspiration, but no Super Bowl Ring. Bob Piccolo, York, Pa.

Packer Report,

I recieved my Packer Report the day after our wild card loss to the Vikings. While reading all of the articles on REGGIE WHITE ,a tear came to my eye. I thought what shame Randy Moss never met REGGIE. He may have aquired some class and dignity. REGGIE was the epitome of a man, a gentelman, and an athlete.

George Schwetje, Rathway, N.J.

Packer Report,

Yes, the Packers' loss to the Vikings in the playoffs was the most embarrassing loss I can remember in my 20+ years of being a Packer fan, but what is far more embarrassing is the reaction of some of our so-called fellow Packers fans. I am truly embarrassed to be a Packer fan when I read some of the other Packer fans' suggestions that Favre needs to retire, and that he cannot perform at a level to lead the Packers to the Super Bowl anymore. Wake up, so-called Packer fans, this man is the SOLE reason the Packers were even in the playoffs. It is completely disgraceful and moronic that any of you actually believe that Favre can longer get the job done, and it is utterly embarrassing to us "real" Packer fans to have to be associated with any of you who believe this crap.

Do these numbers sound like they belong to a quarterback who can't get the job done? 4,088yds, 64.1cmp %, 30 TDs, 17 INTs. Please get a clue or find another team to root for. We "real" Packer fans don't want you. Blame Sherman, blame Slowik, blame the underachievers on defense, but don't blame the man that got us to the dance in the first place. Maybe it will take Favre retiring for some of you idiots to figure out how far off base you are, but hopefully you will save us the trouble by rooting for those up-and-coming 49ers or Cowboys instead. Those teams seemed to have faired pretty well after their franchise quarterbacks retired. Yes, changes need to be made (i.e. Sherman), but lets not get confused and blame the wrong man.

Nate Johnson, Marshfield, Wis.

Packer Report,

It has been apparent to me for the past two years that the coaching staff has not been able to motivate the players for each and every game. It is also apparent that some of the veterans have not provided a leadership role for the younger players. Mike Sherman is a very good coach but he is not a great coach. A great coach convinces the coaching staff and the entire football team about the importance of every game - no matter how strong or weak the opponent. An occasional loss to a mediocre team is acceptable. But too many losses to mediocre teams is not and indicates a lack of proper psychological preparation.

Joseph Hajny, Washington, Ill.

Packer Report,

Here is what a true Green Bay Packer fan should be thinking. The last ten years as a Packer fan have really been exciting and something to take pride in. We waited a long time for this last decade to happen. Now we have a pretty good coach. Brett Favre is still a good Q.B., but his days are numbered because of age and needing to move on to bigger and better things, his family. The rest of the players on the team are really talented, and still hunger for another or for some their first super bowl. While we will all miss Brett Favre when he retires, we all should take a look at the motivational challenge Mike Sherman will have when that time comes. Everyone thinks the Pack will be done when Brett retires. Mike will have to convince us and the players that the Pack can move on and have even more success, with a different Q.B. and players. I don't think we need a new coach or new system for our team right now. We need to let Mike Sherman take on this challenge and make our team a contender again. We all know about how head coach shuffling most times isn't the answer, just look at how many coaches we had after Vince Lombardi. Why don't we see what the rest of this team has for intestinal fortitude and who the next leader of the Pack will be. Can we find another leader like Brett? Maybe we can! I grew up in Green Bay and had a dream of someday being a Packer player. Of course not all dreams come true, so we have to put our faith in others and hope they can get the job done. So I say give this team the support they need, because we got a hill to climb and so do they, so let's climb it together.

Brad Luedtke, Richland, Wash.

Packer Report,

God is a Packer fan:

There is no joy at Lambeau

The Packers lost today

The defense came out dressed for work

But came up short ech play.

The kicking game went one for two

The cold and wind to Blame

Why then did it not bother

Our opponenets in the game.

There were miscues by our hero

Four, Five maybe even six

He's not to old but even Favre

can have a bad outing in the mix.

There is a God of football

and He's a Packer fan I'm told

That's why the grass is green

and the sun above is gold.

While Packer fans were drinking beer

Eating Brats and subs made of salami

Maybe God was just distracted

Helping victims of the tsunami.

Tony Habel, Margate, Fla.

Packer Report,

This was one strange season, beginning with the Mike McKenzie hold out; an event that started a chain reaction, and arguably led to the quick exit from the playoffs at the hands of the arch rival Vikings.

Along the way, the team and its fans rode the ups and downs of a roller coaster season that had some great plays, exciting victories, and some inexplicable losses... We saw 2 rookie DB's forced into action before being ready. And the injury bug struck early and often to many key players.

As if these challenges weren't enough for the team to deal with, real life tragedy came into play with the death of Mark Hatley, a fatal accident suffered by Brett's brother in-law, Deanna Farve's battle with cancer, and the passing of Packer great, Reggie White.

Given all that happened, it would have been tempting for a team to lie down. But to their credit, our guys never gave up. With a 1-4 start staring them squarely in the face, and with all the tribulations that came along, they never quit. They rallied to win 9 of 11 games down the stretch and took the division crown. Sure, it wasn't always pretty and the playoff loss to the Vikings was hard to stomach. But imagine how bad things could have been all year long, if the Packers didn't fight, scratch, and claw to salvage what looked like a doomed season?

Just look at the 49ers or the Raiders if your really want to know how things could have turned out much worse. Instead of faltering as those teams did, our Packers turned it around, and gave us all something to cheer about this year. With all they had to overcome, that was no small accomplishment.

Greg Warger, St. Louis, Mo.

Packer Report,

I need to write about the Packer season that ended on Sunday. The defense this year was awful. Mike Sherman needs to be releaved of his two roles of coach and GM. He has done a poor job of drafting and signing free agents. The team has been and continues to be in steady decline for the last three years. The defensive coaching is poor. The players nebver seemed to know what they were doing. I said the recent drafts have been poor, but the coaching has been so poor that it's hard to tell if these players can really play. If they got some decent coaching, it would help us know where the problem is. Mr. Sherman does a poor job of preparing his team to play. The often look in games during the season and during paly offs that they would rather be someone where else. He has several players on the roster who are being paid far too much for what they produce on the field.

I have been a Packer fan a long time. I have been a fan during the 60's and all the way to this year. If this steady decline in the Packers continues, you can count me out in the future. I would like to see a game in the updated stadium, but I may find something else to to...and now Brett my retire...it looks like a long off season.

holm@ncis.net

Dear Todd,

Even though our playoff hopes ended as quickly as they started as we have seen before, fans try to analyze what caused this collapse so we can justify, not criticize, the organization for it's decisions. Now that we have seen the same thing over and over again, one has to ask why are we doing the same things with the same people and getting the same results?

Are we content with the same results? Is getting to the playoffs, only to lose, or be embarrassed better than the risk of making changes that could change the team's dynamics in hopes of going all the way? I think that is the situation we have here. We love Brett and we all know what he has done and we love the man and his passion, but we have become used to the fact that each year he will throw 30 TD's and 16-20 INT's. They almost offset each other, even though they are not all his fault. Mike Sherman has the same baffled look on the sidelines each year with the pen in his mouth and the play card under his arm, granted they did better for a awhile with him calling the plays but I am convinced that they will never achieve the ultimate prize with him at the helm. He never knows when to callenge either, that is very frustrating....his record there is probably one of the worst. Last year he threw Ed under the bus and brought in Bob. I think we all agree that even though we lost Mike Mckenzie, the D moved backwards overall. No real chemistry, poor tackling, and penalties that aided the other team in victory many many times. I certainly don't have all the answers, but the pain runs deep when you see a team on national televison year in and year out look like a comedy act instead of a superbowl force. I think the only chance this team has to re-identify it's self as a real contender Is do one or more of three things. Get a new head coach, keep Mike as GM...or visa verse. Let Craig Nall have a shot at the QB position and maybe pick up another one to go with the best choice. Lastly, if neither of those are feasible....get a real defensive minded coordinator and move Bob back to another spot or get rid of him. I think if any of these things happen, then the team will have a chance to change it's recent image of folly moving forward, otherwise I guess the team is content and we will have to be too. Thanks for the articles this year and a GREAT column Todd.....GO PACKERS.

Craig Schlomer, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

Dear Packer Report,

As a current stockholder, an avid fan since 1965, and a longtime subscriber to this wonderful publication honoring our beloved Packers (except for John Lombardi), this is the first time I felt compelled to write and share my comments about the season and current state of the Packers. First of all, Say It Ain't So, Brett, those of you who are wanting Brett Favre to retire are committing blasphemy. The way Favre is playing, he can play another three years if he chooses. Without him, there would be no playoffs. I went to see him play each of the last two years and he definitely hasn't lost anything. With a flick of his wrist, the ball comes out of his hand like a cannon shot. There's no better quarterback I enjoy watching then to see Brett - he's the man and always will be. Does everyone quickly forget about the agonizing 25 years A.L. (after Lombardi) and B.F. (before Favre) with only two playoff appearances? Fans are getting a little spoiled in our day, with 32 teams, the law of averages states that each team should make the playoffs once every three years. We've done much better than that. Secondly, I'm not saying everything is OK in Packerland, what needs to be fixed is the defense and special teams. I hate to say but the current defense runs away from contact and it shows with their fear of tackling. Its as if each team mate is saying "you hit him" - "no, you hit him". If anyone remembers watching Deion Sanders tackling, that's what the Packers defense looks like tackling - we have a bunch of "Deion" tacklers. With TIVO, I'm able to watch the games over and over and it amazes me how as one person gets to the ball, everyone else stops. The defense stands around and watches one person trying to tackle rather than trying to gang tackle. And, many of the tacklers are either lowering their head and missing or trying to arm tackle and missing. As an avid football fan, I love to see a good swarming defense with players throwing their bodies around and knocking the s--- out of opposing players - that would been fun to see it done on Moss. Next time he moons, we'll be able to see his soiled underwear. And lastly, special teams, special teams, and special teams. When was the last time we kicked off and held our opponent before the twenty. The punting situation also has to be addressed. Let's draft all defense this year - best hitting players available at any position. Man, I can't wait till next year! Go Packers!

Eddie Villarreal, San Antonio, Texas


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