Is there a limit to the amount of players a team can sign during the pre-season, or is there a limit of players a team can try out at the same time during the season? I was wondering if they could sign a lot of people to find a dark horse. This would be a good way to find Mr. Irrelevant of the future.
Brian Walker, Cambria, Wis.
Harry says:Brian. there is a limit of 80 players on the roster during training camp with some exceptions because of teams having players in NFL Europe that join them in camp until the final cuts. There really aren't any dark horses any more because of the advancement of scouting departments, television and the internet. That's why when they drafted Nick Collins in the second round it was such a surprise to so many.
I was just wondering where you would rank Favre on the All time list of both quarterbacks and overall players?
Steven Giugovaz, Toronto, Ontario
Harry says: Steven without putting a number on him I would rate him in the middle of the pack. He's had some great years. He's a 3-time MVP with one Super Bowl win to his credit and has been the mainstay with an incredible starting streak. Because we are Packer Fans we want to annoint him the greatest thing since sliced bread. But do I put him in the Joe Montana, Steve Young, Aikman, Starr and even other quarterbacks class? I can't do it. And for overall players I can't because some players have changed the game such as L.T. - Lawrence Taylor. He changed offensive blocking schemes. Deion Sanders changed the way defensive coordinators coached as well as Barry Sanders. There are so many great players that have done so much more than Brett. Think about it, as great as Brett has been what has he really done lately except contribute to the Packers early departure in the playoff? I'm a fan of his, but let's be real he's made some bonehead decisions in big games that a great player isn't supposed too. And we are talking about big games that count!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It may be too early to tell, but I'd like to know what Harry thinks is the Pack's biggest weakness at this point? What will it take to get this team deeper into the playoffs?
Bob Summers, Waupaca, WI
Harry says: Bob, the biggest weakness at this time is DEFENSE. I don't think they are good enough to be contenders and they haven't really done anything to address that situation. They have the same guys on defense and think because they change the scheme all of a sudden they are going to be world beaters? Give me a break. I have all the respect in the world for Bates but what's he supposed to do? Make Kabeer an every-down player and stop the run? Keep Grady healthy and in shape? Make Hunt better then he's ever been? Heck so far he couldn't even make him come to minicamp. Take Kampman from just being good to making him great? Then get Barnett to play better downhill? Replace Navies? Help Diggs become consistent? Then teach a track star - Ahmad Carroll – how to play without holding? And stop him and Joey Thomas from dogging each other, and then find a real safety? And, oh I forgot, WIN!!!!!!! It might just be to much to ask, do you think? And, Bob, for this team to go deep in the playoffs a miracle must happen, which I don't think it will but I have been wrong before.
I've been a diehard Packer fan for the past 35 years and have seen the good and the bad. While the Pack still has offensive talent, do you really think they can compete for the Super Bowl in the upcoming season with the questions on defense, considering that they have made no real changes in personnel? Defense wins championships and I can't see the defense improving that much just because of Jim Bates' influence.
Mike Goodridge, Independence, KY.
Harry says: Mike, some people that bleed green and gold want to believe that this team is Super Bowl bound, but then again they probably believe in the Wizard of Oz as well. The Jim Bates influence will be great but he's not the one that tackles, covers or blitzes. He doesn't play, so really how much can he do? This defense isn't that good regardless of all the praying, hoping and wishing, and changing that anyone does. Players play and the Packers aren't that good!!!!!!!!!!!
How much input did Ted Thompson have in the decision to hire Bates? I just have a hard time believing that Mike Sherman would hire a DC that he didn't have previous ties with. This has been a subject of many debates on some Packers message boards and I am curious what your thoughts are. Thanks for keeping it real.
Herbie in Oxnard, CA
Harry says: Herbie, I believe that Bates is a future head coach in this league and that by hiring him now they have someone in place if Mike Sherman and the Packers can't agree on a future contract. I believe this may be part of why Sherman hasn't signed a new deal. Ted is doing the wait-and-see approach. I think Ted had a lot to do with Bates' hiring because, like you said, that's not normally the way Mike works usually it's his friend or a friend of a friend. But then again Mike and Ted did work together in Green Bay and Seattle so there was a relationship. What I feel is that if Mike doesn't get the job done Bates is right in line to succeed.
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