I want to start off by saying thank you for being objective and unmerciful in your columns, and not looking at the Packers through rose colored glasses like so many others columnists and fans. I have been painfully watching these last three games and a few things are very evident. Coach Sherman was in over his head as a GM and even more so as a head coach. He does not know how to call a game, prepare his team for their opponent (especially during the playoffs), manage the time of a game, and (as you said in your most recent article) doesn't call the right plays for the situation like running the ball up the middle against a smallish defensive line.
But one of the things that has really bothered me is the fact that he doesn't reel in Favre when Brett likes to throw into double- and triple-coverage. It almost seems that he is scared of Favre and scared for his job. Maybe if he doesn't get on Favre, it WILL mean his job. Personally, I believe that Sherman is gone after this year anyways, but that's just my opinion. Let's face it, excluding the Raider game after his dad died, Favre has become more famous for his interceptions than his touchdowns.
I know that it is not all Sherman's fault, because Favre's head is not in the game this year, the defense is young and in need of playmakers, and we lost key people on offense, but wouldn't a game plan that stressed ball control via running and short crossing routes and passes down the seams, and not chucking it down the field aimlessly, take some pressure off of a young defense, build a cohesive offensive line and make a former MVP look like a MVP again?
Those are some of my thoughts and thank you for taking time to read them.
Looking forward to your next article,
Jason Anderson, Fargo, N.D.
It's not all Favre's fault
Dear Packer Report,
I am sick of people blaming Favre for the 0-3 start. Yes he's had picks on some bonehead throws, but he has been doing that for 14 years AND he makes up for it with his winning non-selfish attitude and 5 times as many great plays. Did anyone pay attention last year when he had one of his best years on a just above average team? He's not young but he's only 35 (yes Michael Irvin, you can play in your mid 30's when you don't snort coke your whole career)!
Can we finally admit that our emotionless head coach is never prepared for the start of a season? Can we admit he has driven a championship team on a continued nose dive over the last 5 years? Can we admit that players don't seem to connect with him at all? Can we admit a majority of his draft picks and coordinator selections were busts and it has finally caught up with them? Can we admit that in just 6 months Ted Thompson has proven he can draft better and make better decisions for coaching positions (i.e., Bates)?
The ESPN "analysts" seem to think the orginization left Favre behind. No, the orginization took too long to realize what they got in Sherman and hopefully his new two-year deal will be his severence package.
Wade Waltz, Waunakee, WI
Seems like we are off to a tough start again this year 0-3. WOW!
Been hearing from the family back in Wisconsin that all-in-all fans are not pleased.
Living here in Seattle and what Holmgren is doing for these Hawks, I have to cringe when I think of my beloved Pack. They certainly don't seem to have a "fire under their belly" as they did a few years ago. I know they have lost several senior players again. It's hard to step back in time and wish they could be what they once were. Someone has to step up! Brett, bless his heart can't be the only one with that desire to win.
Hope there's light at the end of the tunnel... cause I'm not seein' that Train a comin'.
Oh, by the way ... please fire Sherman.
Erik in Seattle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fire Sherman and Thompson!
I think that the Packers should fire Ted Thompson and Mike Sherman. Promote Jim Bates to interim head coach, allow Rossley to finish this season, and in the off season Find a new GM, New Head coach & New offensive coordinator. Another thing, bench Favre immediately and start Craig Nall.
C.J. Frommeyer, Rockledge, Fla.
Some changes would be good
I've been a die-hard Packer fan since I was four years old and will continue to be one until I die. It's unfortunate the direction the Packers are going in right now, but let's not forget we've had 14 consecutive non-losing seasons, too. We've been drafting at the middle to the end of the draft for some time now. Again, I'm grateful for the past 15 years. I'm grateful for having No. 4 and some of the other great players we've had the opportunity to watch during this great run, but I think it's time for change.
We need to bite the bullet. The run is over. If we were fortunate and got hot we might make the playoffs. It would be short-lived. The Packers today are a younger, less talented team than we've become accustomed to over the past 15 years. I would rather see us start rebuilding right now instead of a couple years from now. Start trading some of our talented veterans off to teams for picks. I'm a big Ahman Green fan but it is time for us to let Najeh step up and play. We could get something for Ahman right now or in the near future, and let Ahman have a chance of ending his career with a winning team. At the end of the year the Packers won't be able to retain both backs anyway. We can get more for Green right now and he is older. The same thing with Mike Flanagan. Let's give Scott Wells a chance at the center position. I think we can probably still get something for Flanagan. If it wasn't for the Walker injury I believe trading Robert Ferguson could have benefited us also.
On defense I would recommend trading some players, but I don't believe there is anyone that would really bring any additional picks. Our defense is missing a pass rush in the biggest way. Right now it's pretty much KGB or bust. We absolutely can't afford to lose him otherwise opposing q-backs might have hours to look for receivers. Of course that would never happen because our coverage isn't good enough at this point. Maybe we could get something for Al Harris but I don't think it would be anymore then a 3rd or 4th round pick. He's solid but not a true shutdown corner because he lacks speed.
In regards to coaching, I like Jim Bates. Our defense, despite no rush and no turnovers, has actually been respectable. I also think we're tackling better then last year so he's made a difference for us. As for Sherman, I'm not sure. I'm not in the locker room etc. but it sure looks like we lack fire, motivation or something. The fact that Johnny Roland left and was slamming Sherman because of all of the meetings didn't leave me feeling warm & fuzzy about Sherman either. He seems very disciplined which is good but he's also very predictable. Our play-calling is so predictable. I can almost tell what we're doing very play before it starts. That's okay with good solid smash-mouth football team. The Packers definitely aren't there. Sherman, I think has good coaching abilities but I think we need a coach with a little more fire for rebuilding the program.
Last but not least, I know Brett needs to retire a Green Bay Packer. I couldn't imagine him playing anywhere else. He's one of the greatest players to ever play the game. His leadership, arm and love for the game are unquestioned. However, I think we also need a coach who as an ego big enough to sit him down when he starts throwing or forcing balls. We don't have the talent right now (Sharpe, Freeman & Jwalker) to win the throw it up and give the receiver a chance to get it mentality. With this team and our rebuilding programe we need a conservative quarterback who doesn't throw the ball up for grabs.
We're in a delicate position right now. Everyone wants the legend, Brett Favre, to finish his great career in style like the storybook. Me too, because I think that would be nice. However, I want to see our franchise start taking winning again seriously. I don't think that's going to happen with Sherman and the current direction of the team… I'm hoping the plan isn't for three years of mediocricy while Favre entertains us. Then we'll fire Sherman and start rebuilding. Let's get that over with now. No need to put off for tomorrow what can be done today… We all love the Packers, Favre etc… but it's business. Let's do what needs to be done instead of milking it.
Robert Strebel, Rancho Cordova, Calif. (RobertStrebel@AmericanChiller.com)
Trade Brett Favre?
As a die hard Packers fan, it saddens me to hear people calling for the trade of Brett Favre. How quickly we forget. Is this not the same guy who led the Packers back to the Super Bowl after 30 years of mediocrity or worse? Yes, Brett will make some bad plays now and again. I would still rather have him with the game on the line than any other QB in football. I call that loyalty. I think the biggest problem with the NFL is the lack of team loyalty. Brett has always been loyal to the Packers organization, even restructuring his contract to free up salary cap space. He was given his heart and soul to the people of Green Bay through his charitable foundations. Now some of you want to get rid of him due to your own inflated confidence in your abilities to successfully run a professional football team.
My biggest reason for wanting Favre to play in Green Bay forever is so that my children (my only daughter is 3 months old) can see someone with his pure joy of the game out on the field. He doesn't care how much he is paid. He doesn't dream up extravagant celebrations to make himself look better. All he cares about is helping his team succeed. Favre can still be seen running around the field after a touchdown with a smile bigger than the smile of a two year old eating ice cream.
As a father, teacher, and coach, it is so hard to counteract the pompous, self-absorbed attitudes of many big name athletes in sports today. They choose players like Terrell Owens and Randy Moss as their favorites. Brett Favre is a shining example of how I hope the children I teach and coach continue to play the games they love for as long they play them.
Harlan to blame?
It seems like it may be Harlan that is making the bad decisions. Why would he have ever made a novice like Sherman the GM? So far it doesn't seem like a "brilliant" move to have hired Thompson as GM. It is clear that Sherman is not a very good head coach. Plays and play calling completely lack any imagination. I am not very knowledgeable, but it did seem to me that the Pack need to go for 2 points after their failed point after. Sherman just doesn't seem to get it. Am I wrong about him? Look at Seattle when they got Holmgren...and took away his GM duties. A coach makes all the difference in the world, and the Pack has steadily gone downhill with Sherman at the helm.
Favre is obviously not getting support from the offensive line or his receivers, but he is making some poor judgement throws into coverage. The media loves him and keeps glossing over his mistakes, but it does seem like he is making some bad decisions. It also doesn't help that their play designs stink. I like plays where the receiver is moving and he has to run under the pass. It seems like too many of the Packers plays are designed for the receivers to run to a place and stop. Dumb, dumb, dumb! But what do I know other than watching the plays and executions of other teams.
I'm hoping that if the season seems lost at some point, Favre will be gracious enough to let the Pack put in the rookie and let them find out if he is indeed any good and is the future. Brett is a "hungo" and never likes sitting on the bench but his time is running out.
Grant Thomas, Brookfield, WI
Too many off-season mistakes
I wonder if Ted Thompson informed Brett Favre that he would be rewarding him during his last years in the NFL with a draft of immature, mistake-prone, years-from-productive players as he passes on immediate help (Matt Roth, Dan Cody, etc) especially on defense.
We missed numerous free agents on defense (Corey Simon, etc) that could have came in and made a huge impact. The only thing that was handled correctly was drafting Aaron and releasing Cletidus Hunt. Brett may have just decided to by-pass all this pain. Now we all suffer!
Brad, Cedar Falls, Iowa