Sydney Speaks! Getting to be a broken record

On a day when the sporting world focused on Green Bay because of the jersey number retirement of Reggie White, the Green Bay Packers laid an egg. What excuses are we going to make for this loss? Last week in Detroit we all wanted to anoint Jim Bates as the savior because the defense looked like it arrived. Now what? The offense did a great job moving the ball and getting a lot of statistics, but statistics are for the teams that lose the game.

So let's look at what really happened against a team that the Packers should have beat. This may sound like a broken record, but let's take a look at what happened!

Offense
Green Bay's offense has no consistent play-makers. Simple as that. The loss of Javon Walker hurt them against the Browns just like it did against the Lions. Yes, Donald Driver took it 42 yards on a crossing route for a TD, but where were the big plays after that?

Green Bay's offense did a great job of moving the ball from the 20 to the 20 but that was because the Browns were playing basically a prevent defense most of the game by only rushing three linemen and giving Brett Favre all day to throw. To top it off, Brett must learn to only throw it to the guys in the Green and Gold. The turnover ratio that many teams talk about doesn't exist with the Packers. All they do is give it away and haven't got any back.

For anyone to expect Robert Ferguson to stop Gary Baxter from getting an interception on that ridiculous throw from Brett in the end zone doesn't really understand the passing game. A quarterback of Brett's experience knows he puts that ball where only his man can get it or it's out the end zone. NO EXCUSES! Ferguson isn't Walker! Then again, neither is Driver, Antonio Chatman or Terrence Murphy.

The offensive line only gave up one sack and protected better this game, but the Browns only rushed three people most of the game. As far a the running game, 24 attempts between the backs isn't enough. It's better than in Week 1, but the O-line must be more physical at the point of attack. Center Mike Flanagan needs to get back to top form. Again blame must be shared not only with the players but also with the coaching staff.

Game time management I felt was non-existent. The players acted like they had all the time in the world near the end of the game and expected the Browns to just fall down because they were playing at the FROZEN TUNDRA. News flash: No one fears playing at Lambeau Field any more. Why should they? I'm not just putting it on the offense because the sense of urgency must come from the top - Mike Sherman to Brett and Brett to everyone else, and that didn't happen. This offense doesn't put fear in anyone anymore because it doesn't consistently run the ball. Last week it tried a number of screens, but against the Browns no screens. Call me CONFUSED! The staff might want to learn how to use timeouts. This team should be embarrassed for this performance.

Defense
No pass rush. Trent Dilfer didn't even get his uniform dirty except when he tried to get a first down. I keep beating a dead horse, but Aaron Kampman and the crew try hard, however, they are what they are - average at best. If you really want to know how bad this defense was against the Browns look in your local paper and see who led the team in tackles - AHMAD CARROLL. How sad is that. He was first and Joey Thomas was second. Where were the linebackers? They were getting stupid penalties like Nick Barnett's pass interference penalty in the end zone.

The Packers did cut down on penalties, except in crucial times. Does Al Harris not understand what hands to the face means? As a defense it seemed whenever the Packers blitzed it got burned. This is a tough spot for the coaching staff, but maybe it will learn something from Romeo Crennel, which is if you are patient maybe the offense will hurt itself by making mistakes. Does forcing it remind you of anyone?

Joey Thomas got beat because he used poor technique on wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Plus, it didn't help that safety Nick Collins was out of position. Mark Roman came back to earth and showed us what we got accustomed to seeing last year - a safety the Packers need to replace. No wonder Earl Little is moaning and groaning about playing time.

This defense is bad. Actually, it's worse than bad, and don't expect things to change. If you do, IT'S NO ONE'S FAULT BUT YOUR OWN!

Special teams
Good block of an extra point attempt by Cullen Jenkins. Good field goal by Ryan Longwell. Just because Carroll has speed, let's not think he's a kickoff returner. He ran like he was scared to death.

For the Packers to be 0-2 at this time is inexcusable, unless you are a Packer homer. If you are a football fan, you understand the keys to success: 1, a strong defense; 2, a good coach; 3, good special teams; 4, a quarterback that won't hurt you. Wonder why the Packers are losing? A BROKEN RECORD!


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 PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at packrepted@aol.com.


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