Finally I feel it is my time to put my two cents worth in regarding the Packers. For whatever it's worth. I would hope the organization would take the time to read and listen to the fans who after all are paying their salaries. I, too, as a lifelong Packer fan will be sticking with them through it all but one thing I won't do is be a mindless sheep and just go along with whatever the powers that be do to our football program. After talking to other fans and reading other notes from fans I have a few thoughts to share and perhaps we can spark even more constructive discussion.
First of all - this season seemed doomed from the start when Thompson, Sherman and the "powers" decided to roll the dice, and it started a year or two ago and ended this off-season. They gave the big money to players who never produced (Joe Johnson, Cletidus Hunt to name a couple). They got in cap trouble with little to show for it. They let McKenzie whine and get his way, getting little in return. They let their two best offensive linemen go with no real plan for replacement other than hoping the low tier free agents they would sign could fill the bill. They haven't. They draft a QB in the first round when literally everyone else could see the need was on defense. Packers fan can be somewhat patient but I don't see Packers fan putting up with more than one year of "rebuilding." There have been many very questionable draft picks in recent memory, drafting a punter in the third round who doesn't see the field his first season and is marginal his second is a big one. They could have had Kyle Larson (Bengals) in the last round two years ago and used that third round pick for more defense! I am sure the hope was that the little band aids the "powers" used would hold up the Pack would be able to compete this year. Unfortunately, their worst fears were realized as starter after starter went down. Now we are paying the price.
The good news is we still have Brett and even after all of this the Pack has still been in every game and could very well have won every game had they been better disciplined and gotten a break here and there. Folks, this year is all but over as far as playoffs. We will be just playing out the string and hopefully will pull a upset or two along the way. Otherwise the focus is already on next season. I think I speak for most fans when I say Brett can still play and we want him back, and we want the "powers" to do all they can to give him a team he can win with. Make the hard decisions. There should be more cap space next season plus some guys may just have to go or take pay cuts, again some hard decisions. My man Ahman may have to take a cut or be let go. The Pack should see a high draft pick which opens up all kinds of possibilities, all positive. Bates has done as much as he can with the defense, let's get him just a few more players. Another pass rusher, a veteran corner or safety and just one solid linebacker. Longwell - his days may be numbered. Is he earning his keep this season? Hard decisions must be made. I am not a Sherman fan but I would give him one more season, assuming Brett stays and management makes some personnel changes.
It is just a shame to me that it has come to this and I hope to heck they don't plan to let things go like the 49ers. I have a feeling the fans would have a little something to say about that. Come on Packers brass - let's pull this thing back together and make at least one more run while we still have Brett.
Jeff Dummer (email@example.com), Kearney, NE
A couple of suggestions for Packers
There is nothing wrong with saying "We are a bad team". Don't give us the "We are the best 1 and 7 team" garbage. 1-7 is 1-7. Regardless of why it is, as of right now we are a bad team. It is OK to have thoughts of Free Agency and the '06 draft - doesn't mean anyone is giving up. GB is a young team on the rebuild. Thompson and company have to think about the future and do it right to avoid falling into a LONG-TERM NFL purgatory.
Cap goes up next year, GB has an opportunity to retool and gain cap space as well. My suggestions:
1.) Trade Down - GB is still a couple years away. Pocket more picks - reduce your risk. Reggie Bush is NOT the answer. Getting a stud RB with a poor line will only shorten the career of a young promising back.
2.) Focus On Shoring Up D - D will keep you in games as Rodgers and company grow and an offense. Couple of free agents who can help with leadership and solid play - but DON'T Be stupid like the Vikings.
3.) Focus on strengthening the O Line - strong O-Line = better running game, better running game = ball control, ball control usually = wins (especially with point #2)
4.) Get a Veteran RB (ie: like what Holmgren did with Sydney) that is servicable, can pick up the blitz, and is a bit of a threat. Then focus on RB's in '07.
5.) Coach - do what's best for the team. DON'T make the decision based upon what Brett has to say. Brett is gone in a year or two THEN what happens? Get the Best man for the job... and I am not sure that Sherman is that man.
GB needs to get back to the basics, they are not a total loss but there is a great deal to do.. before we are even a GOOD team.
Joe Cousineau, firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's win NOW
Here in Texas I get little information but as Bob Davies says in his college broadcast "from a 1000 miles away" you can see failure.
Thompson has done nothing to help the team instead using his power to stroke his own ego. I fault Sherman, Beightol, and Philbin just as much as anyone but those boys are not allowed to go get a RB, any RB, with more than 100 NFL carries.
I think it is time the Packers affix their minds that EVERY game is a must win and spend to get talent to do so. Dorsey Levens is bellied about a lot and I am not sure he is the answer but his presence has to be more settling than Walt Williams. Eddie George offers little more carries wise than they have but he does not fumble and he is a legendary blocker. Why isn't one of these fellas being brought in to season the young stable?
Thomas Reece, Denton County (Texas) Clerk's Office
Packers need Favre in 2006
So you don't think Brett will retire? Do you think he should? I don't think he should retire. He's playing great football. Yes, there have been many turnovers this year, but how different is that from past years? How many teams would gladly trade their current quarterback in exchange for Brett for the next several years? Yeah, there's probably some risk that he'll suffer an injury and due to his age won't be able to rehab for a year and then return like some younger players can and will do (Daunte Culpepper). But let's take our newest No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith, or even closer to home, Aaron Rodgers. With all of their potential, how many years (if ever) do you think it will take for them to get to the level that Brett Favre is currently at? Maybe Brett isn't at the peak of his career, but how many players are? He's still an awfully good quarterback.
With all of the blind Packers fans out there that still pick the Packers to win every game and that idolize Brett Favre, I'm surprised that I don't read more about people supporting Brett and begging him to return. If Brett wants to hang it up for personal reasons then by all means, he should. I couldn't support him more. But if anyone's trying to push him out after this year -- and their are plenty of people (Michael Irvin), then think again. Hey Michael, Brett Favre is a playmaker! I'd take a 55-year-old top ten quarterback over a 23 year-old unknown any day. When and if Brett's talent/play starts to fall off for real, then it may be time to step away. But can you honestly say that he isn't good and he's all washed up?
Tom Voss, Lincoln, NE
Tom, I think Favre will come back next year for a couple of reasons. He's a competitor and I'm sure he doesn't want to exit after this season. He's in good shape physically. He's probably a little mentally tired right now, but a lot of players are at this point in the season, especially a losing season. Finally, there are some major records out there and he's pretty close, like most TD passes and wins. Favre has always said that he wants to be remembered as the best quarterback to ever play the game. By breaking those two records, he'll be on top of the QB world for a while, or at least until Peyton Manning breaks all the records. – Todd Korth (email@example.com)
Hopefully, Favre will return
I hope Brett Favre plays again next year and the year after that. Not even Marino had his ability to appreciate each completion and each TD. Most interceptions belong to the resevers, most all anyway.
Each time the Green and Gold offense strolls onto the field with number 4 it's a good day.
I'm getting the feeling his love to play will put him in another color next year. I'm real easy when I follow someone like him. He's worth the price of admission anytime anywhere.
I was in the stadium when Don Shula won No. 300, a big feat for a coach. The Dolphins didn't win, the Packers that day prior to No. 4 beat themselves.
Let's start a campaign to keep Brett in GB. I don't care if the Packers are 1-15 this year; it's not his fault!
NFLly yours, Jessie(firstname.lastname@example.org), Oviedo, FL