Sydney Speaks! Coaching blunders cost Packers

It's not about blame or finger pointing. It's about facts. And the facts are that every team faces all kinds of injuries each season. Even with the injuries, the Green Bay Packers were in position to make a huge statement against the Minnesota Vikings and didn't get it done. There are real reasons why, so let's deal with what happened on Sunday!

What was Mike Sherman thinking? You can't go on the road in a place like Minnesota and act like you are scared to win! You can't play for a tie, especially when you're up 17-0 at halftime. I don't understand how as a head coach there wasn't a feeling that the game was slipping away when Minnesota scored 17 straight points. And how did the game slip away? Yes, there were injuries but how come the Vikings adjusted and the Packers didn't? Is Mike Tice that smart? Please tell me NOT!

Usually I break down the players offensively, defensively and special teams. But that wasn't the problem in this game. It was mostly about coaching blunders or mistakes. Let's look at them!

How could this staff go into this game as if it were a powerhouse or something, as if it thought the Vikings would quit. Didn't they understand that just as much as the Packers were fighting for their lives so were the Vikings? They were both 1-4. Don't the Packers remember when Brett's father unfortunately died and the whole team rallied around him and played an unbelievable game against the Raiders? How could they not have expected a great effort by the Vikings? Their jobs and season was at stake.

I don't know if it was Mike Sherman or Jim Bates, but who called off the dogs? Why did they stop blitzing? In the first half Green Bay's defense had Daunte Culpepper not knowing whether he was coming or going. They had so much pressure on him he couldn't find a receiver. He was running in circles. Even when they didn't sack him he had to throw it quick, which allowed Ahmad Carroll and Al Harris the ability to have blanket coverage. Then what happened? They stopped and someone please tell me WHY? Talk about a tale of two halves! Because of this the momentum shifted and the Vikings when from panic to patient, which changed the game.

Because the Packers called off the dogs, the Vikings put drives together which kept the Packers offense off the field allowing for Culpepper to gain confidence. Guess what happened? They started to believe they could win and stopped playing scared. We saw the results. Often I have heard that a team takes the personality of their coach and I saw it against the Vikings. Sherman coached like he didn't want to put his foot on the throat of the Vikings. I saw NO KILLER INSTINCT and because of that this season, I believe, is over. Yes, the players played hard but they can only do what the coaches allow them to do. The game adjustments were so terrible that Tice must feel like he is inside Sherman's head. How scary is that!!

Injuries hurt but everyone has injuries, so what does that mean? Does that mean that the coaches aren't coaching up the backups? Remember the backups are the guys this staff selected. If they aren't good enough to get the job done when they are called on why are they on the team? The loss of Ahman Green hurt, but he wasn't used anyway because there wasn't anywhere to run. The guards aren't getting it done in the running game. I feel bad for Robert Ferguson and his injury, but it seems that it's part of his makeup. I know everyone likes him, but how can you plan on him being there to make plays when he can't stay healthy? The Packers have a lot of players that are unproven and young, so why not just say it's a rebuilding season because that's what's happening. Quit making MORE EXCUSES!!

Why run a reverse on a team that you haven't been able to get outside on because of their speed? Especially when the offense is in a two tight end set, which brings the defense in tighter? You can't get upset when it doesn't work. Also, the play was used at the most important point in the game.

In a game that the Packers had to win, Sherman's first option on a crucial third-and-two was to put the ball in the hands of running back Tony Fisher to run behind center Scott Wells, and guards Adrian Klemm and Will Whitticker. Then he put it on the foot of Ryan Longwell, who already missed twice. Sherman took the ball out of the hands of three-time MVP Brett Favre, who was making awesome decisions throughout the game. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Enough of this, ‘We were close. If only this, or if only that.' Let's deal with facts, and the facts are that the Packers are 1-5 because they are not that good. Yes injuries hurt, but that's part of the game. NO MORE EXCUSES.

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, and he will forward it to him.

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