Mike's Remarks

Mike Sherman's opening statement in final address to media

Former Packers coach Mike Sherman addressed the state media this morning at Lambeau Field. Here are his opening remarks that he read off a prepared statement before answering questions:

"Well, I appreciate the opportunity I was given in January of 2000 to become the 13th head football coach of the Green Bay Packers. The past six years have been very special to me and have been very special to my family. I am honored to have coached this great franchise and to be a part of this history. I am honored also to have coached some great guys over the years and the relationships that I've built with them will be life-long. I feel privileged as well to have worked with some excellent football coaches on our current staff and on our previous staffs. I appreciate all of their contributions to our successes. I'm deeply indebted to the many staff members and co-workers here in the Packer organization who have helped me do my job. I owe you very much. You've been as much a part of our success as anybody.

"I also want to thank the Green Bay Packer fans. You're love for this team has been inspirational to me. I felt a huge responsibility every time I walked out onto that field representing you. If we came home with a victory or came in that tunnel with a win, I felt great and happy. When we didn't, I felt disappointed and sad. The conversations that we've had through the years, whether it's walking down to practice or through the gate, letters, e-mails, phone calls, tailgate parties that I would visit after a win … I'll always remember that. Your passion for this franchise is what makes it so special. You are the Green Bay Packers.

"I have no regrets over the last six years. I gave this job everything that I had. I'm proud of what we accomplished over that time. When we got here in 2000, they said this team was in decline after a couple of Super Bowl seasons. I thought we were able to resurrect things and win some football games, and I'm proud of that. I was anxious this past season and fully expected to go out and win our fourth straight division title, something no Packer team had ever been able to do. I'm disappointed that we weren't able to do that and more. We obviously fell short of that this season. But I must admit that I am very proud of this past football team. I'm proud of them as players, I'm proud of them as men. As much as any group I've ever coached. The way they handled adversity, their honesty and accountability, the way they fought through tough times together was extraordinary. I know a lot of that doesn't mean much when it comes down to winning or losing necessarily, because we didn't win consistently enough, but they came to work every day trying to win football games. They know how to be professionals. They know how to win. They know how to handle adversity quite well and I'm proud of them for that. They did everything I asked them to do – be accountable, do your best – and I thought they did that for the most part, and I'm proud of that. That doesn't dismiss the fact that we weren't disappointed. We didn't fulfill our goals of winning consistently on Sunday.

In closing, I'll be honest with you, I'm disappointed that I'm not head coach of the Green Bay Packers anymore. I was looking forward to getting back to work and getting going on next season, and get us back to a position that we're more accustomed to being in at this time of year. It's difficult to let go of something that you've embraced so passionately for six years. It's difficult when all of your efforts have been in one direction and now, obviously, the reality is that they can't be, but that is the reality. As I've said, I've been honored to be head coach of the Green Bay Packers. This is an unbelievable franchise. Not one time did I ever take that responsibility for granted or lightly. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been home to me and my family for eight years, two years as an assistant coach, and six years as the head coach. It has been very special to us. We have some tremendously fond memories of our times here in Green Bay and in the state of Wisconsin. The people that we have been associated with will always be a part of us. This chapter of my life will always be looked at be my and my family very fondly. I am sincerely grateful to all of the people that took part in that."

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