Sydney Speaks! Q&A with fans

Former Green Bay Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney gives his take to questions submitted recently by Packers fans:

Why isn't there more talk about Craig Nall taking over after Favre is done? He has been with the Pack a couple of years now. After the first year they sent him to Europe and he had a good year there. And last year when he played for Favre, he played good. That's why, before the draft this year, I was surprised to read so many articles saying the Packers needed to draft a QB. And granted Aaron Rodgers might make a good NFL QB but why draft a QB when there is a fine replacement already in the system and when there are more pressing needs?

My prediction: Nall is higher in the QB depth chart than Rodgers at the start of the season.
Kris Sperry

Harry says: Kris, I just believe the coaching staff really hasn't given him a chance. During the pre-season and in minicamps last year he didn't look as sharp as he should have. Yes, he knows the offense better than the other two, but he doesn't show that most of the time he hasn't really done anything to make them believe he's the future. The coaches don't seem to have the confidence in Nall or they never would have drafted Rodgers. Kris, even though Nall might be higher on the depth chart, Rodgers is the heir apparent to Favre.

Where are the Packers improving, and why will we have a chance to beat the Vikings, Bears and Lions?
Jay, Milwaukee, WI

Harry says: Jay, I don't want to burst your bubble, but the Packers aren't improving, in my opinion. Here's why:

On offense, which was the one thing you could count on last year, there are questions: How can they be as good as they were with two Pro Bowl-caliber guards missing and replacing them with two injury-prone journey men? Brett Favre is still good, but at what level and what has he really done to win the important games in the last five years? The Packers have a Pro Bowl TE (Bubba Franks) ticked off and wanting a contract, and Javon Walker is holding out for huge money. Ahman Green is in his last year of his contract. That's just on offense.

On defense the line is average, or below at best with hope that one of the young guys will step up. The linebackers are good to average, and the secondary, besides Al Harris, is totally unknown. Heck, they are even fighting amongst themselves.

As for beating the Bears, Vikings and Lions, it will depend on how much they have improved. But on paper I see a split with the Bears and Lions, and the Vikings taking both from the Packers. Remember that's on paper and if everything progresses the same way and everyone stays healthy. However, injuries change everything.

How refreshing to finally get some raw honest answers from a player/journalist about our beloved Packers! We all love the Pack kinda in the way we love our own kids, but every once in a while you gotta dish out some discipline and, Harry, you ain't afraid to do it!

That being said I would like your help in clearing up this draft issue. It seems that every year between May and July many Packer fans become unnecessarily involved in personnel matters concerning the Pack. Despite each fan's professional background they become experts of post-draft analysis. Truth is that no draft can be effectively graded, regardless of qualifications, within four years after any given draft. I've heard hundreds of times that we didn't address any of our 'needs' in this year's draft. How is that? We haven't played a game yet. Our "need" is to be a better football team, isn't it? Are we? Who actually knows? People are acting as if we made no attempt to improve our defense. Well, as far as I know (S) Nick Collins, (S) Marviel Underwood, (LB) Brady Poppinga, (CB) Mike Hawkins, and (DE) Mike Montgomery all made it to camp this month. Could everyone at least give them till late August to show what they got?

Harry, what's your opinion about Packer fans jumping to conclusions after they've scanned The USA Today's sports page (finding a C grade for the Pack) the day after the draft?
Brett Bernacchi, Phoenix, AZ

Harry says: Brett, that's better than the grade I would have given the Packers. Every one of the guys you mentioned are guys the Packers hope turns into a player. But most of these guys are projects. It is difficult to determine right now where they will play. The draft is about quality not quantity. Green Bay's biggest mistake was drafting Aaron Rodgers because he fell to them. Guess what? Rodgers fell to the Packers because 23 other teams passed him up because they had more pressing needs.

Don't the Packers want to win now instead of rebuilding for the future? What if Brett Favre plays for 2 to 3 more years? What impact would that No. 1 pick have done for the Packers? Brett, the reality is Green Bay's draft was a reach. The Packers took a QB with their first pick, then took a big reach to get Nick Collins in the second round, a guy that's wasn't on most teams board until maybe the fifth or sixth round. But like you said, wait for a while and maybe someone will surprise. RIGHT!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Submit questions for Harry Sydney to managing editor Todd Korth at Sydney will answer questions each Friday on

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