Sydney Speaks! What we learned from preseason win

Before I break down the Green Bay Packers and their preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans, I want to say my heart goes out to everyone that has felt the wrath of Mother Nature in the South. It doesn't matter what your race or your faith is, or if you are rich or poor, this tragedy effects all of us and our way of life.

Hopefully we all will learn to take a moment and appreciate what we have and cherish it because it can be taken away in a second. Hug your spouse, kiss your kids, tell them you love them, and be thankful for the simple things of life. When you grab your remote and click on your TV and decide to walk over to your refrigerator and get something to eat or drink, or when you turn off the lights and lock up the house, be real thankful that you can. I AM!

What did we learn from Green Bay's 21-17 preseason win over Tennessee? Here are are few:

1. I learned that the offensive line needs a lot more work if it is going to be anywhere close to where it was last year. I also realized that William Whitticker just isn't ready to be a starting guard in the NFL and that Adrian Klemm isn't physical enough at the point of attack to create any running room for the running backs.

The running game is a mirror image of what it has been in the past, but Ahman Green will be lucky to gain 1,000 yds behind these guys. Also that the pass protection is terrible and it's not just one guy. Every one of the starters has struggled, except Mark Tauscher. Because of these things this offense is nowhere near the machine it needs to be to get another division title under their belts

. 2. I learned that their are young guys on the defensive line that play with a lot of effort. Whether they ever can be starters in the NFL I don't know, but they can and will be solid backups. They are Colin Cole, Kenny Peterson and Cullen Jenkins. They all play to the whistle.

3. I learned that Joey Thomas is a player and should be the starter against the Lions on Sept. 11. He not only showed that he has better coverage skills than Ahmad Carroll, but his willingness to tackle impressed me. As well as his ability to play with calmness he never looks rattled.

Thomas seems to be a student of the game. He understands down and distances, putting himself in the right position to make the right play. Understand that I said the right play. Any defensive back can get on the field and show no technique and do nothing but hold, and then complain when they get caught. This defense is bad enough. It can't afford to put someone out there like Carroll. Guys like Nick Collins, Mike Hawkins, Brady Poppinga and Roy Manning will be the future of the defense. These are guys you can count on because they want to get better and WILL.

4. I learned that this team appears to have no real discipline because it seems to have had drawn more penalty flags this preseason than I can remember. Against the Titans they had eight flags accepted in the first half alone and had three refused. Things like that reflect the discipline or lack of it by the coach. That falls on his shoulders.

5. I learned that Brett Favre is one of the smartest people alive. He realized that the handwriting is on the wall this year, so he did something about it and got in perhaps the best shape of his life. He will need to keep himself in good shape if he wants to keep his streak of consecutive starts alive and survive this season in one piece. But someone on the sideline must take control because Brett should not have come back into a meaningless preseason game after hurting himself. Think about what would happen to the season. What confused me is that Cletidus Hunt and Grady Jackson played despite missing so much practice time, yet the coaching staff threw Brett to the wolves when he was already wounded. THINK ABOUT IT!

6. I learned that having Hunt and Jackson on the field really didn't make a big difference. Don't expect them to be saviors. Weren't they on the team last year? Didn't the Packers defense rank 25th in the league? What's going to change this year?

7. I learned that Aaron Rodgers has a chance to be a good quarterback once he understands the offense. Craig Nall is what he is!

8. I learned that the Packers need to revisit the schemes on punt coverage because B.J. Sander is booming the ball, but bad tackling is killing the special teams!

The best thing about it is that everything is correctable!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at

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