Sydney Speaks! How will Packers respond?

The reality of the Packers' loss to the Vikings is that they now have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. We all know that, but to me the interesting thing is how will they respond and who will respond? Here are some questions:

How will Coach Mike Sherman respond?
Will he coach with a sense of urgency, or will he learn from his past mistakes? First he has to acknowledge that he made some crucial mistakes last week, and I haven't seen or heard of any of that happening. Will he put and keep the ball in Brett's hands the whol game, which gives him the best chance to win? Or will he rely on Tony Fisher or Walt Williams to win the game in a crucial situation? How will he adjust with no real playmakers on the field, except Brett?

We all have to believe Marvin Lewis will take Donald Driver out of the picture by double-teaming him with a corner underneath and a safety over top. What will his answer be? Will it be a bunch of two tight end sets? I hope not because all that does is bring everyone in the box, which will only cripple and already wounded running game. Will he go back to Mike Flanagan at center and put Scott Wells on the bench?

Also, how will Sherman handle the defense? Will he let Jim Bates handle it? I hate going back to the Vikings, but I can't get the images of Daunte Culpepper running for his life due to the heavy dose of blitzing in the entire first half. Then all of a sudden it stops and to this day I can't figure out why. I know I should let it drop, but I can't because as all of us saw the effect the blitz had on Culpepper. When the Packers retreated, the game changed. Remember that as much as this defense has improved, it will be facing a Cincinnati offense that takes no prisoners. Green Bay's defensive staff has to be on top of its game plan. GOOD LUCK!

Brett Favre
How will he respond? How can he play much better than he has the last nine quarters? He has played with poise confidence and shown true leadership without question he has elevated his game to a new level. He hasn't tried to force it he has been playing the game with his head instead of his arm, showing his true wisdom and realizing that this team can't win when he is careless with the ball. But here's the problem: Favre has been doing it Sherman's way, being conservative, taking the safe risk, making the sure throws, and it still hasn't worked. So how long does keep it up? How long until he says enough is enough? How long until he says ‘The heck with this stuff and goes down the way he came in - a GUNSLINGER? At 1-5, what does Favre have to lose? They're not going to bench him because he is this team's only chance to WIN!

Antonio Chatman
How will he respond to being the No. 2 receiver? Can he be productive against the Bengals' starting corner, because he will have to be the man if the Bengals decide to double Driver. We know he can get open against a team's third or fourth defensive back, or when a team is in a ‘prevent defense,' but how will he do when he's in there on the first play? Trust me, it's a big difference. I wish him luck!

Tony Fisher
How will he respond to being the guy? Can he handle the pressure and the pounding? Remember when he's only the nickel back that roughly 25 plays a game, but now as a starter he may get 65-70 plays, not including all the reps he got in practice. I hope he did some extra running this past week. OXYGEN PLEASE!

Ryan Longwell
Can he handle missing another field goal? Will he blame it on the guy that cut the grass at Paul Brown Stadium because he cut it going north to south as opposed to east and west? WHICH WAY IS THE WIND?

Special Teams
How will they respond to that performance last week? Who will step up and make some plays? Whether it is Chatman or Andrae Thurman that returns the kicks or punts, can the Packers get something out of it? Besides Brady Poppinga will someone else make a play on coverage teams? The Packers drafted a bunch of youth with speed. Are they trying to keep it a secret? Also can anyone create a running lane so that whomever is returning might have a good return? PLEASE!!

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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