Letters to the editor

Here are opinions on the Green Bay Packers received this week by PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth:

Coach not a motivator
Has Coach Sherman shown any real emotion since Sapp cheap shotted Clifton a few years ago? I just don`t see Sherman as a coach capable of inspiring a winning attitude to his team. Motivation is a coaching requirement in pro sports as well as high school, college, little league..... Coach Sherman inherited a good team with a winning team attitude, now this team is a group of players who feed on personal success in their motivation to get picked up by another team. Can`t blame financial greed of players on Sherman but it sure would be nice if players were inspired to show some emotion other than the lame celebrations after a big hit seen rarely so far. College football is a treat on Saturdays, to bad the same game isn`t played on Sundays.
Mike (mjpie1060@yahoo.com), Green Bay, WI

Longwell shouldn't point finger
I am just like all the other fans and very disappointed that The Pack is letting so many games get away. As I have said for two years, I think the worst problem is bad coaching and terrible play-calling.

But this week I was extremely disappointed in Ryan Longwell claiming his holder is causing him to miss. When things are not going well the last thing you need happening is players blaming other players. If he is really having problems the thing to do is talk to the coach about it and let them study what they think is wrong. I am sure that some of what he claims is wrong should be visable on film.

I am sure every player out there would like to be able to blame some one else but that does not promote teamwork.
Jim Simon (donna-jim@sbcglobal.net), Idabel, OK

Still a Packer fan
Once again I feel compelled to respond to the comments made by other fans in reaction to Sunday's game. I would like to start with the gentleman who claims he has too much emotionally invested in this team to see the Packers play so poorly. I am a die-hard Packers fan and will be until the day I die, regardless of their success on the field. This is coming from someone who has not suffered through a losing season since he was 12!

Regardless of the success I have enjoyed and expect from the Packers I understand that it does not last forever. I have INVESTED a whole lot more emotion into my wife and four-month-old daughter than to allow a football game to so infuriate me as to ruin our entire Sunday evening together. So first, get your priorities in order, and second, if you are such a fair-weather fan that you are tired of watching them lose because you have been spoiled by success, then stop watching. It is one less person we have to listen to on Monday!

Next, to the gentleman who suggests this is all Bob Harlan's fault: I would much rather have Bob Harlan as president, someone who also allows the managers manage and the coaches coach. Or would you prefer Al Davis (Raiders) or Dan Snyder (Redskins) sticking there nose in everything. The Redskins seem to have turned the corner because Joe Gibbs doesn't allow Snyder to stick his nose in where it doesn't belong. Bob Harlan has done great things for this organization (i.e., bringing in Ron Wolf and Mike Sherman) along with building our amazing new stadium. You also suggest the last six drafts have been wasted. You mentioned Davenport and Walker, excellent picks, but what about Mark Tauscher, Bubba Franks, Nick Barnett, Nick Collins (who had been playing well before injury), Robert Ferguson, Na'il Diggs, Aaron Kampman, and Chad Clifton? These are just some of the players drafted starting in 2000. You would have to include Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila who was a free agent in 2003. While not all of them are Pro Bowlers, they have been quality players who continue to improve. You also mention the new stadiums being built. Get your facts straight. The Brewers finished the year at .500, not below, and appear to be a team on the rise.

Third, this is directed at several individuals. Prior to the start of this season, the Green Bay Packers had a better record than any other team since the start of free agency. They won a Super Bowl and have made it to a second. Also, prior to this year they have not had a losing season. With free agency, it is virtually impossible to maintain a high level of success indefinitely. The Patriots are in the midst of a great run, but they are in the middle of the pack in the league this year. Green Bay has maintained their success without hardly any top draft picks. Some of the top draft picks they have had, (i.e. Bubba Franks and Javon Walker) have developed into excellent football players. Some of them have not. That is the nature of football. So many teams that have had top draft picks year after year still have not pulled themselves out of the bottom.

Fourth, to the gentleman who suggests we let Rodgers play. If you do let Rodgers play, Favre will definitely retire, not just consider it. Favre deserves the respect of being able to make that decision himself, not being forced out.

Finally, to all who think Ted Thompson should go. GIVE HIM A BREAK! He has been here for not even half a season. There is no way to blame this all on him. It isn't his fault he didn't have any room under the salary cap. It isn't his fault one of his draft picks is hurt for the year. This could turn out to be an excellent draft, (i.e., Collins, Rodgers, Murphy, Poppinga, Whitticker). Allow him the time needed to fill the role of general manager. Some of you said Sherman was only successful early on because of Wolf, another said Harlan shouldn't let Wolf make all the decisions. What all of this comes down to is the fact that we all think that we know better. Maybe the Packers should hire me as head coach. I played football in high school, I coach grade school football, and I watch it all the time, so by that logic I MUST know more than everyone else how to coach.

For my part, I will continue to support the Packers in any way I can. I will where my Green and Gold on Sunday, I will wear my Packers tie to school every Monday win or lose (I am a teacher), and I will continue to cheer them on either from my seat at Lambeau or my couch in the living room. GO PACK GO!
Justin (justinvanderhoof@sbcglobal.net), Neenah, WI

Those worth keeping in 2006
Just wanted to offer my thoughts and see if you agree or disagree, in regards to this year's Packers.

First, let's face it, we needed to clean house. Ron Wolf built a successful franchise the same way in which the Cowboys, Patriots, San Diego, Denver, and other successful franchises have. You have a solid QB and good coaching and you build your team. Once you build your team, you continually bring in new talent, especially at the bottom of the roster, to make sure you are never without good personnel. We slipped when we took was a decent football coach in Sherman and made him the GM as well. His personnel decisions were often suspect with a few exceptions, and his coaching staffs were set so that he had people who would support him and not challenge him. Thompson needed to clean out the dead wood and start somewhat fresh, thus he has cut people like Cletidus Hunt.

Next year I would venture to guess that Green, Henderson, Flanagan, Little, and possibly even Diggs will be gone. In addition, I think Thompson set it up this way for not only the purpose of cleaning our cap which was essential, but to see how the coaching panned out. Basically, he said Sherman is not a lame duck, but he is cheap to get rid of if he does not succeed. We had enough to succeed at the beginning with good coaching, and thus the reason Sherman got a 2-year deal and not a 5-year deal like Bates and his staff. I imagine Bates, or another high character individual will be the coach next year. I also have to assume that the person brought in will not vary the offensive system too much as it would cause us to again have to evaluate our talent compared to that. In this case, Brett playing at a high level may return since he does not need to relearn the system too much. Only time will tell.

As far as the players for 2006, here are my thoughts for what they are worth:

Quarterbacks: Favre (possibly stays), Rodgers, Nall leaves in free agency

Running Backs: Either Westbrook (if Childress were to end as HC) or draft pick (Maroney, Bush, or Williams take your pick), Davenport on a minimum deal, Fisher or Lee

Fullbacks: Leach

Tight Ends: Franks, Martin, Lee

Receivers: Walker, Driver, Ferguson, Murphy, Chatman and draft pick compete for final spot

O-Line: Clifton, Klemm, Wells, Whitticker, Tauscher, Coston, Ruegamer, White, Barry

D-Line: Jackson (incentive deal, make it like the Saints every week for $), Jenkins, Williams, Petersen, Kampman, Kabeer, Montgomery, draft pick (big DT type like Gabe Watson from Michigan)

Linebackers: Barnett, Thomas, Poppinga, Lenon, Manning, draft pick

Cornerbacks: Harris, Hawkins (competes for start), Carroll, Thomas, draft pick, Roman possibly could shift back to this as a Nickel corner

Safety: Collins, Underwood, Roman, draft pick (I love Joel Stelmacher ... simply has that "it" factor)

Basically, I feel that with health, a fresh direction but not a complete system replacement (it was the adaptability and decisions not the system), and another good draft and this team could be just like the Chargers of '04, the Broncos of '97, the Patriots of '03 and the list goes on. It can and has been done.
David Jarvey (djarvey@new.rr.com), Appleton, WI

Show your Packer pride
I felt the need to respond after reading the fans' e-mails on Tuesday. I just want to say that we should take things a little more into perspective. I agree that Mike Sherman should go. His GM moves have cost the organization and he can't seem to win the big games. His play call on third-and-two at the end of the Vikings game was just gross. I would love to know why he took the ball out of Favre's hands on their last play. That being said, I don't think he's the worst coach in the world either. I think he just has his limitations and that will keep Green Bay from another Super Bowl. Give him some due credit and let him go.

The thing that pains me - more than seeing Favre hand the ball off to Fisher, or seeing Mike Tice raise his fists in the air like he really did something special -- is to see Packers fans rip apart their own team after a few losses. I live in Vikings country. I see the emptiness and hypocrisy of being a fair-weathered fan. Regardless of how frustrated we might get, it's important to distinguish ourselves as true fans. Cheer on every play for every game for the rest of the year, even if the Packers find themselves 1-14. Why? Because there's a reason millions of fans across this country choose a town of 102,000 for their favorite team. Because Brett Favre hasn't given up. Because pride lasts longer than 3 hours.
Jeff (gustworks@yahoo.com), Fargo, N.D.

Packers need a new coach
I have been reading all the comments from other Packer Fans, but I would like to also say that at one point in the game when Favre looked over the sidelines for another play, Sherman seemed to be looking for a play. He should have had another play ready for Favre and the other players should not have had to wait for a play. It should have been called in right away. If you are the play caller, you should have had a lineup of plays, and not just shuffling the papers so everyone could see that there was no play ready. I have stuck up for Sherman until now and when I saw him shuffling papers looking for a play, I agree with my daughter that said he should have been gone along with the GM job. It is hard to sit and watch one of the best teams in the league go from very good to very very bad. Maybe they can pull something out of the bag but it had better be soon or there will be no good games played and for sure Favre will not be back unless the team decides to play the whole game. He cannot do it all on his own even though at times it seems like he has had to in order to pull the team out of the rut once again.
Nita (wuanitabowen@sbcglobal.net), Racine, WI

E-mail your comments on the Packers to PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at packrepted@aol.com.

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