Sydney Speaks! Packers lack leaders

Who is the LEADER OF THE PACK? Leaders are anointed not appointed, so let's clear that up first. So many times fans think that because someone makes a lot of money or throws touchdowns he's the leader. That's not necessarily the case.

The leader is the guy the other players count on to do the right thing at the right time. Often a leader is quiet on the field but loud in the locker room or in film sessions, and he can be because he walks his talk on the field as well. Great teams have more than one or two leaders. They have a group because everyone holds each other accountable. If you look back at teams that some might have considered dynasties, like the 49ers, Cowboys, Steelers and the Pats and, yes, even the Packers of the past, they all had certain things in common ¬- solid leadership. Who are the Packers' leaders, if any, this season?

First, let's look at the offense:

Brett Favre. He will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played the game in many eyes, but he so inconsistent that many fans go to the game to see what he will do. Part of leadership is handling your job first before you can question anyone else about theirs and this is where Brett falls short. Over the years he has made great plays and he has made some serious bonehead plays as well.

I know it's a team sport but how could this team win the big games at the end of the last few seasons when the gunslinger, the man that pulls the trigger, has played the way he has. Not only that but for him not to take part in the off-season minicamps, even though he was excused by Mike Sherman, was something that a leader doesn't do. Especially when he is talking about someone else's business who wasn't there, either. It wasn't like the Packers finished the 2004 season like they were on fire. They got beat at home by the Minnesota Vikings. This year there's new linemen and everything. The real team leader is there and shows by example not by absentee ballot. Remember all for one and one for all!

William Henderson. He has all the tools necessary to be a leader. He works hard keeps his body in shape and leads by example. However, he doesn't have a big enough role on the team. The players see it, but they also see that the coaching staff has tried to replace him for what this is going on the third year. Also he is not a vocal guy. Most of the time so he's not going to call anyone out. Leaders call people out. They hold them accountable. They get in their face because they are secure in their jobs and they know how important they are to the puzzle.

Ahman Green. He's very much like William as far as mannerisms and work ethic. And his role is much bigger. This should be his team but, he's not the type to get in someone's face to get them to play better.

That's it, except for maybe center Mike Flanagan. If he can stay healthy, he will get in someone's face, I believe. At least I know he speaks his mind and that's the first step. Besides that there is no one else on offense. I left out receivers because rarely is any receiver asked to get into the pits and stay there. Usually they are too pretty to get dirty. Leaders get downright dirty and love it.

Now, the defense:

Nick Barnett. He is the guy you want on defense to take that role, but he might be too young and unsure enough about his play that he can't lead others. You don't want a cheerleader or a rah-rah guy for a middle linebacker. You want a hard-core, physical, knock the snot out the nose guy on defense to lead by example and Barnett is not there yet!

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Wants to be a leader but can't play every down. Kabeer is a pass rush specialist that gets abused verses the run so he can't lead. The eye in the sky doesn't lie when it shows Kabeer against the run. He can't hide. No leader there!

Al Harris. Corners aren't leaders because they have to be to concerned with what they do. They can't worry about anyone else. He's not verbal enough, either!

Aaron Kampman. Trys to lead through his effort, but as an organization and coaching staff they are always looking to upgrade him because he's just not good enough!

Overall this team is void of a true, clearly defined leader on offense and defense. This team really doesn't have a leader on defense, or anyone that the other 10 guys on the field can look at with confidence and say he will get the job done. This team is what it is and that's a team with potential on offense and a nightmare on defense. Jim Bates doesn't play so he doesn't count on the field!


Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney's column appears each Tuesday on The former Packer fullback and assistant coach answers questions from fans each Friday on If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at

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