Sydney Speaks! Can we accept the truth?

So many times as sports fans we don't want to see what's happening. We make all kinds of excuses that blind us from the truth or facts. We want to keep living in the past like time has stood still, but unfortunately it doesn't. Things get better or worse and time doesn't stand still. To get better, things must improve. Moral victories aren't improvements in my book; they are wishes that didn't come true. Let's look at why the Packers aren't winning, as long as you can HANDLE THE TRUTH!

True or False with the coaches
They are paying the price of false advertisement. They sold the fans on the fact that they aren't rebuilding and that's what they are doing. They told the fans that Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera could be replaced without any letdown.

For some reason we all believed that Mike Sherman would be a better game management coach because the GM title was removed, so all he had to do was coach football. We were sold that Bates would come in and make a difference, and that he has the defense playing faster and smarter. But is the defense playing more physical, or is it still getting worn down at the end of the games like against Tampa? Everyone in the world knew Tampa was going to run and the Packers couldn't stop them. Is that coaching?

Green Bay's offense is struggling to some degree because of the play calling. It's not just calling a running play, but the right type of running play. That's play calling. After three games last year the Packers had 27 more rushing attempts by Ahman Green which produced 144 more rushing yards by him alone. What game were the Packers blown out of this season that they couldn't run the ball? The answer is NONE.

In football there are injuries and every team has to deal with them. Let's not use "ifs or buts" because then you give them a reason for failure. Are the coaches helping or hurting? TRUE OR FALSE?

True or False with the offensive players
Everyone that understands the game of football knows that it starts with the quarterback who, like it or not, assumes the role of the leader. He's the key and so far Brett Favre has played like a guy that loves the game, but not in love with the game anymore. It's like he's going through the motions. Just look at his stats this year compared to last year at this time. In 2004 he had after three games: 108 attempts with 69 completions. This year he has 112 attempts with 73 completions. Last year he had six touchdown passes through three games, and he has five this year. Favre threw two interceptions in the first three games last year compared to seven this year. How can you expect the Packers to win when Brett isn't protecting the ball and making rookie-like decisions that effect the outcome of the game? People say it's because he has to do too much, but what does 15 years of experience mean? Isn't this the same guy who was a 3-time MVP and Super Bowl winner? Does that only count when he saves the game on some awesome crazy gunslinger throw that adds to his legend? Truth is the Truth.

I've heard some rumbling by the natives in Packerland. If any other quarterback was ranked 21st in the league and had 7ints and only 5 tds and was 0-3 to start the season, would you still be making excuses for him? Remember this is a "what have you done for me lately" NFL. True or False? Favre is not alone by any means, but I believe everyone feeds off of him emotionally. When he looks like he believes they believe.

Ahman Green's numbers are down from last year as well. Last year at this time, he had 314 yards on 74 carries and two touchdowns. This year: 47 attempts for 170 yards, or 144 less, and no touchdowns. Those are big numbers. Unfortunately Ahman can only run as hard as he can. He can't make the holes. He only can take advantage of them and that's where the linemen have to earn their keep. Since we are talking about the truth, how can we expect William Whitticker, a 7th round draft pick, NOT to struggle as a starting guard in the most physical of sports. On top of that, they have a converted tackle at left guard who is not the most physical of players. And we wonder what's wrong with the running game. True or False?

Yes, the Packers will miss Javon Walker but other teams will miss players as well. Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson need to get it done, simple as that. True or False?

True or False with the defense?
The defense is playing as good as it can. It has no superstars. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is not one nor is Al Harris, Nick Barnett or Na'il Diggs. But Jim Bates has them believing they are and Aaron Kampman has picked up his game. But the Packers still need to find a consistent pass rush, and that has been the missing element that will stop this defense from getting to the next level.

The expectations that I had for this defense have already been met, and that's to be better coached, work hard and hustle. For me to expect some pass rush to develop with the players they have would be unfair on my part because they are what they are. True or False?

True or False? The defense has out-played the offense, and the leadership has to take a hard look at the direction this ship is sailing.

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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