I know this is a rough year, aside from Monday night's game, to let each game appear to be in our grasp, yet slip through our fingers has been a bitter pill to swallow. True, in past years we have been spoiled with great seasons, but no one likes to see their beloved Pack play the way they have.
This season remains basically to see what we are working with next year. Risking injury to starters needs to be considered, but you also need quality players in to evaluate other positions. How good is Rodgers supposed to look if he has no receivers running routes, and no protection to let him throw? We are thin, but we need to use these games for something, not just go through the motions.
What can Sherman do with these younger players? I have not been impressed with his play-calling, his halftime adjustments, and especially his clock management this season … he needs to be evaluated first and foremost. Next, what are No. 4's plans? We need to know that information. We may need a different starting QB if Rodgers isn't ready to go. Offensive line? Running backs? Receivers? Walker? Fergie? Tight Ends? Kickers? Kick Return? There are so many questions that need to be answered, and answered now.
I think the only area we are fairly solid is our defensive line. Keep that group together and let them grow under Bates. Whether we like it or not we are in a rebuilding year, but what can we do in that time? Start now. Let that be the focus. I am going to the game on Sunday and I will be cheering as loud as I always do. I accept this season is a rough one, but like all true fans, I am not going anywhere. Let's use this season to grow and make decisions so we do not have another 2005 next year. We want Lambeau Pride back!!!
Jason Eckes, firstname.lastname@example.org, Middleton, WI
Summing up Green Bay's 2005 season
400 words or less to sum up the 2005 season. Oh my, I'll try. Mike Sherman ... he stays. He was re-signed. He has a good overall record, you might as well keep him. He's not the one out there playing, and he did seem to keep the player's enthusiasm up even when the season was lost. He's not solely responsible for drafting anymore. Besides, who are you going to replace him with, a college coach? Don't make change just for the sake of making a change. Just a couple of suggestions though, Mike: Penalties, turnovers and mental mistakes - there is a reason one team has very few and another team has a lot. Also, when the camera is on you, try to look more like you are in control, even when things get out of control. As an example, Tom Landry comes to mind. Vince Lombardi is a given.
Brett Favre: God bless you, Brett. You brought entertainment and fun to the game and I am grateful for it, but those "rookie type" throws you seem to be determined to make because you "can't change the way you play" are seriously shortening my life. I still love to watch you, but you're killing me. You are better and smarter than that. You used to make defensive backs nervous just thinking about going up against you. Now, as the league's leader in interceptions thrown, you have them all drooling every time you drop back to pass. I was hoping to see your true talent catch up to the wisdom of a veteran, but I don't see it happening. Nevertheless, I would love to see you stay. You have a knack for making the highs outnumber the lows.
Offense ... Injury plagued, no question. Samkon Gado was a breath of fresh air. As good as his numbers are, I'm not convinced that he's the real deal. Hang on to him though, just in case. William Henderson has shown no signs of slowing down. I really appreciate his play over all the years. Offensive line ... you must be getting it together. You look better than the first few games. Antonio Chatman...toughest little guy on the field. You made some great plays and survived some good hits. Donald Driver ... You have never failed to impress me since first putting on the uniform. Thank-you.
Defense: It got better this year. It kept the offense in the game most of the time. Aaron Kampman looked good. Grady J. was a "big" help again. Nick Barnett seems to be catching on a little more. He is quick, sometimes too quick. Nick Collins looks like a young LeRoy Butler wearing that number 36. Ahmad Carroll ... suggestion ... if you want to endear yourself to Packer fans, don't celebrate excessively for doing something you are paid to do unless you can be on the field for 30 consecutive snaps without being penalized, missing a tackle, or for getting burned by a WR. Al Harris is aging like a fine wine. He's a little guy making big plays. Jim Bates ... keep it up.
Special teams: Watching Brady Poppinga on special teams makes me want to see more of him at linebacker. He must have heart. B.J. Sander ... get better. You are a punter, that was drafted in the third round, playing in the NFL. Have you tried using your other foot? Ryan Longwell ... your lack of leg strength was always overlooked because of your accuracy and reliability in the clutch and we love you for it, but what happened this year? Also, can we get a punt/kick return program than can advance the ball more than 10 yards? Other teams do it. Just copy them. I'm starting to miss the Desmond Howard days.
In closing, I apologize for the cynicism and I'd like to thank the coaches, players and team staff for all their efforts. I feel bad for all of us. As much as it hurts to be a fan of a team with such a lousy record, it must hurt even more to be a member of that team. Even so, I'll always be proud to be a Packer fan living in an area full of Bear fans. It was a disappointing season after such a great run. Don't let it get you down. It's still just a game. As much as our lives seem to revolve around this sport in the fall and winter, there are a lot more important things than football. Just ask anybody from New Orleans.
Tim Schmeling, ORPFLOG99@aol.com, Orland Park, IL
Favre thinking only of himself
I shut the game off after Brett's (the "stat padder") first interception, how many times can you make the same mistake (throwing into double and triple coverage) before you learn? It's funny how Brett is perceived as a "throwback", but a true "throwback" would not keep making the same stupid mistakes. Would Vince let this so called "throwback" keep throwing at will?
Brett's personal records would not have been as high if Vince or another "throwback" coach would've been calling the shots, but I'll tell you this much: The Pack would've had more Super Bowl rings. Oh, I forgot, football is a team sport not an individual one, right? I made a bet with a co-worker after New England won its first Super Bowl that Tom Brady would win more Super Bowl rings than Brett Favre based on his ability to think instead of take chances in the name of personal glory. I got the "Ed McMahon" laugh, and my co-worker said, "it's a little premature to making that statement." I guess it wasn't. Bill Belichick realizes that football is a team sport and not an individual one, and three rings later I guess he's right. In the case of the Patriots (a team) true "throwback", championships are more important than individual records in a team sport.
Where was Brett when his fellow teammate (Chad Clifton) got blind sided by Warren Sapp? I didn't hear (maybe because I don't live in Wisconsin). Brett condemning Warren for the "legal" cheap shot. My opinion is that he didn't want to ruin their little made for TV relationship.
Well, I've vented enough. I hope that football fans everywhere realize that football is still a team sport, and the ultimate goal is the Super Bowl and not somebody's personal statistics.
Chris Hebert, email@example.com
The best plan
The Pack should allow Brett to retire with dignity and honor. Let Rodgers and Nall battle it out for the starting job. Fire Sherman and hire Mariucci.
Mark W. Koenitzer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Atlanta, GA
Strength and conditioning coach to blame?
Well this is sure putting the UGH in UGLY! I can't understand why we have so many injuries all the time. Maybe Barry Rubin's not doing his job? This isn't looking good at all. Santa's giving us big bags of coal very early.
Ingrid, email@example.com, Jefferson, WI
My Team just wasn't ready to play
What else is there to say, My Team was NOT prepared for this game. Count them up: 10 penalties for 94 yards more than the running game had put together! 3 Interceptions, but who to throw it to except the Ravens, 2 very costly fumbles! Both by Aaron Rodgers who said " I'm not ready yet to lead this team" This looked like a College game vs the Ravens, NOT! the Packers vs the Ravens. And now Samkon Godo out with a knee injury? Now what? However when he was in Samkon Godo avg. a respectable 7.5 Yards a carry! Bright spots I'm looking for? Well their was not, if at all many to write home about for sure! Don Driver closing in on another 1,000 yards in receiving, OK there is another bright spot! What else was out there? They scored 3 points? I knew somehow this was going to be a bad week for me! An Ice Storm knocked out power in North Carolina for 3 Days, was not able to see the game except for this computer! So for all you reporters shooting off at the mouth that this was Brett's Last Game I say think again, Print it up! "Brett will be back!!!!
For this Man foolish as it seems, WILL NOT GO OUT!! A LOSER!!!! After all it's not all Brett's fault, other players and coaches have the same blame for this foolish mess! AT ALL LEVELS!!!! Not just Brett! He likes to put to much pressure on himself, by holding himself accountable, which we all know that's not the case here. Injuryies have played a huge roll in My Team's fate! THE PACK WILL BE BACK count on it! and let's hope for the sake of the many fans in this great land, that the front Office doesn't make huge mistakes in the Draft!
Tom Fast, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hendersonville, NC
E-mail your thoughts on the Packers after each game to PackerReport.com and Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth at email@example.com.