Sydney Speaks! Packers must protect their house

THE FROZEN TUNDRA years seem to be over. Teams now come into Lambeau Field with no fear of the Green Bay Packers. That bothers myself and those who have made this place special. Last week this team laid an egg on Reggie White Day. Now this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Packers have a chance to redeem themselves in front of their fans and many NFL alumni who are here for a charity golf event to raise money for "CARING FOR KIDS". Here's what we must see from the Packers:

We must see a bunch of guys playing like the game matters. I want to see players playing with emotion for 60 minutes. I don't mean some rah-rah cheerleader crap, but guys playing like it's a game they love. The old saying goes they get paid for practice and play the game for free. I want to see it from start to finish.

I want to see players playing smart by not hurting themselves with stupid penalties. I want to see Mike Sherman get out his box and show some emotion and get into someone's face if need be. I know everyone says that's not his style, but his style hasn't worked. I haven't seen any Super Bowl trophies by his name or Coach of the Year awards. Sometimes you have to be smart enough to know when something is broke and wise enough to fix it. THE PACKERS MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE.

Brett Favre must understand that he's not what he used to be and the coaches must understand that as well by demanding that he plays smart and not force the ball. Brett has to be in such control of himself that he takes what the defense gives him and patiently moves the chains until the Bucs give him the big play.

The offensive line must protect Brett like their lives depend on it and the coaching staff has to help by calling a better game. The coaches need to use play-action passes over and over just to slow the defensive line down because they have to think about something besides getting to Brett. The offensive line has to establish a new line of scrimmage on run plays. It's time for them to take the fight to the Bucs instead of being on their heels all day long on pass protection. Again, the coaches can help by calling more running plays. For Mike Flanagan, Adrian Klemm, Chad Clifton, Will Whitticker and Mark Tauscher, the time has come for them to make the "Packer Nation" forget about what they lost this off-season and take notice of what they have. It's time for them to get respect.

The reason other teams were once scared to come into the "FROZEN TUNDRA" was because they knew they had to play a perfect game to keep up with Green Bay's offenses of the past. Those offenses had a killer instinct. That's what we need to see from everyone on this side of the ball. William Henderson and Vonta Leach need to start knocking people into next week when they lead block. Ahman Green needs to run with that explosiveness that's been missing and stop worrying about protecting the ball. Najeh Davenport needs to run over his shoulder pads instead of running straight up and down. Donald Driver needs to make consistent big plays, not just one every now and then. Robert Ferguson needs to stop talking about how he can be a starter and be a starter - "SHOW UP". And Brett has to play with the knowledge of a 15-year vet, a three-time MVP and not make the mistakes of a rookie. This team is depending on him if they do these things. THEY HAVE TO PROTECT THIS HOUSE"!

Stop pointing fingers and making excuses. Success in football starts with defense. Jim Bates has made the game very simple, so now the Packers have to play it. To play defense they must be physical or at least want to and that starts up front. Football is a violent game so let's play it that way and that starts up front with Grady Jackson and whoever starts next to him at tackle. Bring the wood! Take no prisoners because that's a war zone. It's them or you.

It's time for Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to play like one of the best and not average like the rest. He can't just do it on pass downs. He has to bow up and play strong against the run. Aaron Kampman I believe is giving everything he has, but, unfortunately, he has his limitations. Nick Barnett has to start playing downhill and start hitting people, making them respect his ability to dish out pain and not just run from side to side and be happy with making tackles for a two-yard gain. The secondary has to stop playing like it is scared and has no technique. Penalties come from lack of focus and the lack of confidence.

I don't care how good of athletes they are or how fast they run. This defense has to be able to think and play under pressure. So far it has been like a hot water pipe busting under the pressure. These things must change if THEY WANT TO PROTECT THIS HOUSE!

These guys set the tempo every game because the first play of the game is either a kickoff or a kickoff return. It's time to take advantage of this. The rest of the team and the crowd feeds off of any positive play, especially on special teams, but the air goes out when a penalty nullifies a big play. These units need to take more pride in themselves. Then and only then will THEY PROTECT THIS HOUSE.

What makes teams good or even great is they know that when they play at home they feel at ease because there are less distractions. Their daily routines remain the same. I hope this is the team's mindset. Would you let your enemy come into your home eat your food, drink out of your refrigerator, wear your clothes, sleep in your bed then beat your butt? Then leave and talk about you? WHERE'S THE PRIDE?

Lambeau Field is a place where legends have broken bones, ended careers and had jerseys retired. The fans are getting restless. Packer Players of 2005: YOU MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE! IT'S TIME!!!!!!!

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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