Sydney Speaks! What is Bob Harlan thinking?

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney breaks down the state of the football operations for the Green Bay Packers from president Bob Harlan's perspective. What could possibly be going through Harlan's mind through this forgettable season? Sydney offers his thoughts:

During this season many writers, fans, coaches and players have spoken about the stress and strain this losing season has brought to the Green Bay Packers. At 2-10, many questions have been brought up about the future of this proud organization and how its football team has become one of the disappointments of the NFL. Packers president Bob Harlan is a very proud man. Anyone that has ever met him or heard him speak knows his commitment to this organization and to the people that worship the Green and Gold. I'm wondering: What is he thinking, and I'm not talking about the things that the company line require you to think or say, but the other stuff, AREN'T YOU?

Do you think he might be thinking, ‘What the heck is going on?' Do you think that he might be asking himself why Ron Wolf suggested that Mike Sherman become head coach even though he had no head coaching experience and then recommended that he become general manager? Do you think he might be looking in the mirror and asking himself what was he thinking? Where the Packers are right now is directly related to the direction this organization has gone since that very decision.

The sad thing is that it's not Harlan's fault because he trusted the man that brought this organization back to the top. But then again the same man, Ron Wolf, brought Ray Rhodes in here as well. The Packers only went 8-8 and the organization didn't like the direction the team was heading, so Harlan and Wolf made what they thought was the necessary change after only one year. They saw the mistakes made by that staff at the time and made the necessary corrections even with the sporting world questioning ethic's timetable and even questioning if Rhodes was given a fair opportunity to create a winning environment considering he was following a legend which is Mike Holmgren. But Harlan never wavered. He stood tall because he trusted himself and Wolf's advice.

So after the Ray Rhodes mistake, Wolf convinces or endorses Sherman and Harlan says ‘OK.' Sherman rights the ship or does he really? I was wondering that before Harlan brought in Ted Thompson as GM because of the Brett Favres and the weak division and winning percentage. Sherman does represent no question about it if Harlan had turned a blind eye and settled for just being good enough. I was glad I was wrong because there is nothing about Harlan that would make me believe that what we have witnessed this year is good enough. I also wonder if he's allowing injuries and excuses to factor into the direction this organization is going. Except for this year the major injury bug has avoided the Packers and they still have nothing to show for it except early exits.

I also wonder if Harlan is being torn between his loyalties. He has watched Favre almost single-handedly be the best show in the NFL and now he's watching him throw interception after interception. Let's understand that Harlan is the president of the organization, but he's a true fan. Let's not ever forget that. On the flip side, he is responsible for putting a winning product on the field, and that's the business side of football. He, unfortunately, has a responsibility to the hotels, restaurants and every business that directly benefits from the success the Packers bring to Green Bay. Please don't say that winning and losing don't effect the Packer fans. I was talking to an individual that has watched every game that the Packers have played for 42 years and he said last week against the Bears was the first time he ever turned the television off at halftime and walked away because he felt sad that things have come to this. It's December, and instead of thinking or talking playoffs, we're discussing the draft!!!!!!!

So now with four games left in the season does Harlan let the fans know what he is thinking? I know he lets Thompson run the football side of the organization, and I believe Ted has done a great job acquiring talent through the draft. Everyone has a role. Harlan has done his. Thompson has done his. Has Sherman done his again? I WONDER WHAT BOB HARLAN IS THINKING?

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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