I've been a Packer fan since I was 6. I'm 44 now. I know all great teams go through a down phase. Like the 49ers, Cowboys, Bills. I can accept that. What I can't accept is the players quitting. And they quit in the Ravens game. BIG TIME! And Sherman always looks like he doesn't have a clue to what's going on. I would dump him, the special teams coach, Sander, the o-line coach and the o-line while we're at it. And the Ahmad Carroll experiment is over. He'll never get it.
I'll always love the Packers and I can't wait till draft day.
Bob Gates, email@example.com, Hamlin, NY
Too many injuries
Besides Favre, Sherman, Tom Rossley, Larry Beightol, and Barry Rubin (strength & conditioning coach) must also be canned. How come the Colts have not lost a single starter to season ending injury?
C.J. Frommeyer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rockledge Fl.
Overlooking Boise State players
I am a Packer fan living in the Boise, Idaho area, the home of Packer great Jerry Kramer. Why has the front office not looked at some of the great players from BSU?
They have won their conference (WAC) four straight years in a row. In fact, one of there star running backs who use to play for the Bears is sitting on the sidelines right now. Why don't the Packers give him a shot since they are in desperate need of a running back. His name is Brock Forsey, let's give him a chance.
Otto Bennig, email@example.com, Boise, Idaho
Columnist was right all along!
At the beginning of the season I thought you were trying to make a name for yourself by stirring up controversy. As the season progressed I remembered what you had wrote and knew all too well that you were right all along. There seems to be a lack of strong leadership within the Packer organization. That affects the attitudes of both coaches and players. The Packers have not drafted really well over the past few years, we have not gone deep into the playoffs, we are no longer a place where players want to come, etc. Remember Ron Wolf? He hated mediocrity. We need a GM like him and a coach like him. Nothing else is going to turn this ship around. All the best, Go Pack!
Robert Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, Pasadena, CA
Open letter to Brett Favre
This season is not your fault.
You have not lost a step.
You are still the best.
If you retire, the team will suffer.
The fans will suffer.
The world will suffer.
And my three kids will have one crabby mother.
Please come back.
You are still the best thing about pro football.
Lisa K. Nelson, Pack1962@aol.com, La Grange, IL
Off-seasons do's and don't's
Although I know there is another game left to go in this season, for all practical purposes it is meaningless and the season is over. This will be the most important off season for Packer fans in the Favre era. Everyone will have their opinions on what should happen and I am no different. I have got to share some thoughts and look forward to hearing from other Packer fans as we look to the future of our team.
First of all, another winnable game got away Sunday and when you look back on this season, the Pack was only out of maybe one or two games. They had chances to win most every game and that is really amazing considering all of the injuries and other problems. Have we ever seen a season with so much "bad luck?" Not in recent memory.
So what does it all mean for next year? Let's start at the top - coaching. I would still give Sherman another shot but I like the idea of getting Mooch in the fold in some capacity. If that means with Sherman as a coordinator/co-head coach or if it means Sherman goes and Mooch is head coach I think it would be a positive move given Mooch's ties to the Packers. The staff should be shaken up one way or another. New special teams coach for sure. I would also do some serious looking at the strength and conditioning program. Injuries happen but as many as the Packers have had this year just doesn't seem right.
QB - What of Brett? All of the media pundits seem to think he should hang it up and that he is terrible now. I disagree strongly and think he has another couple years in him. But, only if the management is willing to do what it takes to make the team better. The team is NOT that far away folks. If they can make a few changes and most importantly stay healthy they are right back in the hunt. Yes, Brett has made some bad decisions but I truly believe he is simply trying to do way too much and make every play when he simply does not have the personnel to do it. Brett and management need to sit down sooner rather than later and have a serious discussion on the future of the team. Then Brett needs to make his decision, no dragging it out. If he decides to retire that likely means they will go into "49er" mode - clean house and rebuild which would frankly not sit well with this fan, and I would hope most all fans. Only because it does not have to happen. If Brett comes back then here is what we can do, and maybe he can re-work his contract a little as well to help the team. He has in the past and he may have to now, No. 4 is not immune to being asked to make some sacrifices for the team either:
RB - Ahman is damaged goods and still has a reputation as a fumbler. I love the guy but for him to come back he will have to take the same or maybe even less money. It sucks for him for sure but it's business and it's the team. Otherwise we reluctantly have to let him go. Davenport - let him go. He has one good game a year then is injured the rest of the time, see ya. Gado - if he gets healthy give him a shot. Same for Herron. Draft a RB - there are some good ones in this class!! Wish it could be Bush but chances are not good for that. Keep Henderson also!
TE - We should be in good shape if Bubba and Martin can get and stay healthy. Add Lee to the mix and that is nice depth.
WR - Show Walker the money (assuming he is back healthy). He is ready for a Chad Johnson like year. Add a healthy Walker with Driver and we have one of the best WR combo's in the league. Ferguson - adios. Why? See Davenport. Again, it maybe isn't fair but it's business and he has never panned out. Chatman - fight it out with Murphy and may the best man win. I would really like to see Rod Gardner get a shot. If the Packer staff can get his head right he could be a steal as a No. 3 WR.
O-line - SIGN A DECENT free agent guard (Hutchinson??)! They can probably get by then with the rest of the guys they have now.
Kicker/Punter - admit the screw up you made and cut Sander. The experiment is over. Save the money, use it elsewhere. Flinn didn't look terrible. Longwell your time may also be up. Not your best season to be sure and it wasn't the holders fault. Let him go, again save the money for other areas. If Mason Crosby comes out early snatch him up in the draft.
Def. line - Try to keep Grady but don't give him "Hunt" type of money, that move was one of the more costly for the ream. The younger guys have potential also. The rush ends need work. Kampmann is valuable and a keeper but they have GOT to get a serious sack artist in there. KGB is not what he used to be, sign a FA rusher or draft one but get one in there!
Linebackers - Barnett gets better every year but he has little around him. A linebacker in the draft may be the way to go (Hawk?) Or, sign a good FA. Diggs has got to stay healthy and if he can't then he has to go. Lenon is not the answer either.
Secondary - Collins I must admit looks to have potential. Pair him with Roman again next season. Carroll on the other hand still looks lost most of the time and no one else is any better. A FA corner may be a must also. Harris is as reliable as they get. Hang on to him at all costs.
Bottom line - the Packers are in one of the best positions in the entire NFL when it comes to cap space, use it and use it wisely! Some very difficult decisions will have to be made and some veterans may have to go but such is business. I just don't see that they are that far away from being right in the hunt again. I for one will be watching every move with great interest. Let's give Brett one more chance to win the big one. GO PACK GO!
Jeff Dummer, email@example.com, Kearney, NE
My two cents on Packers
I see everyone is giving their advice on who should be the next coach, who stays and who gets canned. Well here are my 2 cents.
Some of you out there would like to see Jim Bates become the next head coach, and that's fine, but he will need to bring in an offensive guru to run the Packers offense, someone like Mariucci or the offensive line coach for New England or Denver's if Mooch turns it down. The reason for this Bates was under Wannstedt and we all know his play calling too well here is south Florida - run, run, pass, punt - but to give Bates the benefit of a doubt, he is an excellent motivator. Second we definitely need someone who won't be afraid to scold Favre for making bonehead plays ala Holmgren style (that's why Mooch would be great + it looks good in his resume and gets to stick it to the Lions).
Lease, and I say lease, Terrell Owens for one year on a highly incentive pay contract. I know some of you are saying what? But Owens and McNabb did some excellent thing their first year together, that's why I would only offer him ONE YEAR. And get rid of Ferguson. He gets hurt and is inconsistent (trade him at least) now we got Favre throwing to either, Owens, Walker, Driver....not bad. Who's going to run the ball? Well, we are going to end up with a top five draft, and that would be Deangelo Williams, RB Memphis. I bet if we trade down 2 or 3 spots we can still land him, and more draft picks in order to address the offensive line or get a good pass rusher.
Coaches that need to hit the road are Rossley and Bonamego, and perhaps Sherman if he's not willing to let these two go and hire quality assistant coaches and trainers, who can call plays.
We did have a lot of players get injured, and some of you might think that's why we are in disrray, but so did the New England Patriots, and look at them, what is the difference..COACHING!!!!
I would sure love to land the next Nick Saban. Look how hard those guys are playing, went from a 4-12 season, to 8-8 possibly 9-7 in one season. Maybe we should be trying to lure Charlie Weiss, but that's a long shot.
Well, folks that's my 2 cents, us hardcore Packers fans will be watching every move you make in the of season Mr. Thompson, do not let us down.
Luis Mora (longtime Packer fan), firstname.lastname@example.org, Coral Springs, FL
Are interceptions totally Favre's fault?
How many of No. 4's interceptions are his fault? I once had the sheer pleasure of talking with a young Donald Driver, not yet a star, not yet a starter. I began looking at interceptions differently after that night. Some points from #80 to consider: When Favre throws an "out," like he did against Minnesota that resulted in a interception return for a TD, and the receiver runs an "in," you can bet the house that the receiver is wrong. The fact that Andrae Thurman was the receiver who ran the "in" should be even more proof (Thurman should be bagging groceries at the Food Mart instead of playing football).
More thoughts from Driver: When Favre throws a slant he has to expect the receiver to hit his cut hard and drive to the spot and snatch that ball. Watching Ferguson run these routes this year has me believing he is a well-tanned version of Billy Schroeder. No fight, no crispness, no brains.
Also, Favre is always going to give his receiver the chance to make a play downfield. The job of the receiver is to adjust to the ball in the air and make a play on it. Can anyone really say that the corps of jokers that we have playing the position have done that this year? Did it look like Fergie made any kind of move for the ball at the end of the Philly game? Other than running shallow crossing routes and scampering towards the sideline, has Chatman reacted to a ball aggressively? Have any of them (including TEs) come back to a ball thrown at them, or have they let defenders slip in front of them to break up the pass or pick it off and head the other way?
One simple test for all Packer fans: If Favre throws an interception and there isn't a Packer receiver on your television screen.
David Orgas, email@example.com, Eagle, WI
Here's to Favre, good health!
There is way too much talk about whether the Packers want Favre back next season. YES, we the fans, want him back. There've been no healthy starters to throw the ball to, making it difficult to trust his receivers. The injuries this year makes me wonder what happened in spring training. Where's the conditioning, why so many injuries? We need a coach who will demand reporting to camp in good health and then work on the conditioning, stretching, and all that goes with this and that might help prevent the high number of injuries from occurring. There is no way Brett can do it all by himself, so give him players who are healthy, conditioned, ready to play! Stop the talk of trade, retirement and just play the game!
Kathy, firstname.lastname@example.org, Columbus, WI
Favre not to blame for poor season
Now there is all this speculation about Mr. Favre ... will he retire? Will he be back? Do the Packers want him? Is he done? Blah, blah, blah. This has already gotten very stale.
I'll reiterate ... when considering our dismal season this year, Mr. Favre is NOT the problem! The Packers' record is a collective "effort" made by the team, the coaching staff and the rest of the staff behind the scenes.
If you gave Mr. Favre the O-Line, of say, the Colts, he would have MANY more TDs than INTs guaranteed!
Mr. Favre's skills have NOT diminished and neither should the fans' faith in him. Keep in mind that despite our O-Line being whittled down to third stringers, inexperienced players and "nobody has heard of him" players...we were in EVERY game but 2! Mr. Favre (most of the time) did the best he could with what he had to work with.
No, I'm not pleased with some of the mistakes he made, some were negative game-changing ones, but I'm sure that nobody is as displeased with them as Mr. Favre himself is. I agree that he needs to settle down a bit at times and be more patient, BUT, as of late, I have not seen a player as full of passion for the game as Mr. Favre is, and he gives it everything he's got on the field.
Mr. Favre is a good man, not full of his own ego and self, and he deserves more respect than he is given.
Just think, if he had completed all those passes, everyone would be singing his praises and the staff would be considered geniuses! One fact that seems to fall by the wayside is that in order for Mr. Favre to complete those passes, though, the intended receiver needs to CATCH THE BALL, NOT run the wrong route, give up and slow down or not give it his all to fight for that catch!
If people would stop looking at this from the spoiled brat corner, they would see that we had season after season of winning with Mr. Favre leading the way. This is one bad year and people are being absolutely ridiculous with the negative things they are saying about him. No, he's not faultless, and by the same token, it's not all his fault either!!
I'm sure that given the proper arsenal to work with, we will win and win and win, just like before, with Mr. Favre under center.
Give the man a break and show him the respect he deserves. I'm not making excuses for him about some of the mistakes he made, but he's a human being, not a programmable robot.
I want him to come back. I believe in him.
It's only those who suffer spoiled brat syndrome that don't. Pity.
B. Cunningham, email@example.com, Keizer, OR
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