Letters to the Editor II

More remarks by fans on Ted Thompson's decision to fire Mike Sherman as head coach of the Green Bay Packers

Sleepless in Jefferson over Sherman's firing
They showed a clip on channel 12 out of Milwaukee several times yesterday. My jaw just dropped when I saw it. I think it's after the Seattle game and Sherman's walking over to the sidelines from one direction and you also see TT coming right towards Sherman from the opposite direction, and TT looks away from Mike and walks right past Sherman with a royal snub … a very telling clip.

I think TT came here with a plan for sure. The first of which was letting some good players go and diminish the talent. He never even talked to Wahle ...just let him go. Maybe he thought that's how he'd "retire" Brett … no protection and he gets hurt. He gave Sherman a bunch of mediocre players so he was destined to fail. It was obvious they didn't see eye to eye on some (a lot of) things and probably never would. What if … by some magic miracle Sherman shaped this team up and we finished at 11-4? How would he have justified firing a winning coach?

I also think TT has a huge ego and it's all about him. Everybody talks about the Ron Wolf dynasty or legacy ....TT wants to build the Ted Thompson dynasty and doesn't want Sherman to be a part of it. The press conference was hard for me to watch ... this man loved Green Bay Packer football and everything that went with it. I figure the reason TT didn't give him a reason for the firing is because it's as simple as "I don't like you" and that reason would float like a boat on snow and sound ridiculous.

Sorry this is so long, but I've had 2 sleepless nights over this ... nights I call "the hamster refused to stop running on the wheel!" Another thing I see as being a problem for Ted is the relationship between Mike and the players, a very tight group. I think Ted wanted Favre to come out of the game more and let Rogers play or bench Brett, and Sherman wouldn't do it. This could be the "potential problem" down the road. I see a lot of people packing in Green Bay. Bus Cook was on the radio this morning and said Brett wants to play one more year and Mariucci would make it a given because they're best buddies. I think he'd do a good job as coach. He did well in San Fran. I think Sherman would have had a winning season next year with talented veterans back and a few changes in the staff.

Ingrid Adams, packergirl@jefnet.com, Jefferson, WI

Thompson made an idiotic decision
I agree with the writer from Kansas City - firing Sherman was the most idiotic decision that could have been made. I have been a Packer fanatic for over 30 years and this has to be the least thought out move made by any GM. Worse than the trade for Hadl or some of the lousy No. 1 picks. The Pack had a lousy season but name one single coach in the NFL who could win with a 7th string RB, three of the top four WRs out, as well as playing most of the season with a backup TE. Not to mention it was the GM's call to let two Pro Bowl caliber offensive linemen leave via free agency (probably a valid decision but at the cost of a substantial reduction in pass protection and the running game). I guess Thompson thinks the injuries, the lack of solid replacement linemen and the absence of a pass rush must be Sherman's fault. Maybe Thompson would fire Andy Reid for having a losing season.

I live in Seattle (hate the Seattle SeaBucks and their band wagon jumping fans) and I don't hear anyone give any credit to Thompson for building that team. It was like he was invisible here. That is looking like a good thing compared to the lousy job he is doing for the Pack.

The worst part of the firing is the availability of great coaches is limited and seven or more teams will be hiring. Worst time to be looking. I thought the Pack had strong potential next year- albeit dependent on the recovery of Walker, Green, Gado and the return of Favre. Now who knows? I doubt if No. 4 will be back. The future does not look to bright right now, although I am rooting for Thompson to prove me wrong and get the Pack back to the top! Hopefully, Brett will also be back.

Steve Tholl, s.tholl@comcast.net, Seattle, WA

Sherman deserved another season
I have to say that I don't think Sherman was a great coach, he never seemed to be trying to win, just trying not to loose. Therefore I am not all that sad to be getting a new coach. That said, I don't think Sherman should have been fired. I personally blame Thompson for this season much more than Sherman. Why didn't we pick up any free agents when we were loosing starters right and left? We now know our practice squad can really compete. For third string players, they were in almost every game. Is that because of Sherman? Who knows?

Maybe Thompson fired Sherman because he wants Favre to retire, that gives him millions more to play with, and with Favre gone no one would expect much from the Packers, so he would be in the clear with another loosing season. I hope Favre comes back for at least one more year. If he doesn't, I hope the Packer organization does something for him during the season so that we the fans can show him how much he has meant to the team, and to the state of Wisconsin. Brett Favre may leave the Packers, but he will always be a part of Wisconsin.

Mindy Katz, mindeal@sbcglobal.net, Milwaukee, WI

Get Mike Martz!
This guy can coach GB out the post-Favre era. Let's not wallow about, pining for the good old days for another 30 years like we did after the "Glory Years." Get Mike Martz!

Mike Gleason, mikie@sleepyeyetel.net, Welch, MN

Sherman good, but not a great leader
Personally, I think it's about time Green Bay management saw Sherman for what he was and finally got rid of him. Mike was a good coach, but not a great coach, nor in my opinion would he ever be a great one. We have lost to many opportunities because of his decisions, or at times, lack of decision. The firing of Sherman should have came one or two years ago.

I support the move to replace Sherman. The whole central division needed a wake up call and by golly, this year the wish came through. Obviously all Packer fans will be interested in seeing who Green Bay chooses for their next head coach. The time has come to put some umph in the head coaching position. A mild-mannered head coach does not work well in getting into and through the playoffs. Look at the results by Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman. Their records in GB and the outcome of each year reflect on their ability as head coaches. Both came up short in the long run each year. There are many who will say Sherman had a great record and put division titles at Green Bay, but those titles were from talent he inherited, not brought in. Let's put the fire back into the head coach position and be ready for the draft. Rebuild? Yes, from the top on down this coming year.

Dave Wills, packrchip1949@yahoo.com, Elkhart, IN

Sherman wasn't the problem!
Fellow Fans,
I think it is obvious to everyone that Sherman wasn't the biggest contributor to the Pack having a bad year, injuries were. I won't expound on the obviousness of what happened to our running game because of this, nor what it did to our short yardage passing game! Sherman was a fine coach even though I often disagreed with him when he was calling the plays! But we were a powerhouse during his term. Even with our losing record this year, nobody took the Pack for granted! After all, we were beating Seattle's first team 13-7 at the half in Week 17!

We lost 5 games by a field goal or less! Seven by a touchdown or less! It was one or two missteps in each of these games that resulted in the losses. For example, Longwell missing an extra point and a 42-yard field goal in our one-point loss to Tampa in Week 3, or Minnesota winning in Week 7 with a 56-yard field goal in the last seconds of the game (after Longwell missed a 53 and a 42 yarder). Basically the same scenario in our Week 11 loss to them, too!

Don't forget our Week 9 loss to Pittsburgh! We were on the 2 getting ready to go in for a score when two false starts moved us back to the 12, and a blindside sack on the next play coughed up the ball for a touchdown return! This was the game ender, we lost by 7! Week 12 was one of the most frustrating for me! We led Philly 14-10 at the half, didn't score at all in the second half, and lost by 5 on three field goals! In this game the third quarter was the deciding factor! On our second possession of the quarter, Gado fumbled, our defense held! Then our third possession was run, run, run, QB scramble for a first down, run for a 9 yard loss, run, pass for 13 yards on 3rd and 17, punt!

Look, although I disagree when everyone says the Packers are a running team, that's fine. But when your starting (and pretty much only) running back was just signed off a practice squad and was third string at Liberty University because everyone else is in the hospital, YOU ARE NO LONGER A RUNNING TEAM! Yet we still called 46% running plays in this game! This doesn't even take into account the two fumbles on kick-off returns that led to a touchdown in the first and a field goal in the fourth! Yes, Favre threw two interceptions! One that didn't lead to any points in the 2nd, and another on a last minute hail-mary into the end zone trying to win the game when down by more than a Field Goal (like many of his interceptions this year!).

Look, we have a great team if healthy, and a pretty damn good one even when beat-up. Now is not the time to wipe the slate and start over! We need to keep the senior talent while our young rookies continue to learn. There is no reason to assume we have to completely rebuild from the ground up! We can maintain a good mix and stay a powerful team. We started the year with major injuries that only got worse, but our team is a good one. Favre is on top of his game, remember, he was leading all QB's with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions through his first 6 games played. Then we lost our entire running game and he went 6 and 21 for the last 10 games! Even so, he still ended up 3rd in the NFL this year in total passing yards and 10th overall in touchdowns! With the experience our huge rookie and 2nd year base received this year, we have enormous potential for the 06 and 07 seasons!

Getting rid of Sherman will hurt and doesn't make sense to me. But if we lose Favre, too, I think we have can expect a few more terrible seasons ahead. Rodgers isn't ready, even by his own admission. I think he has potential, but not now. It would be disastrous if Favre isn't given the incentive to continue his career, both for Green Bay and for him personally. I think he will always regret his decision if he leaves while still one of the top QB's in the NFL.

Here's to hoping decisions aren't made in haste!

Tom Suchla, thomas.suchla@capitalone.com, (Wisconsin boy now living in Richmond, Va.)

How about co-coaches?

Having an interest who might be the next head coach, could there ever be such a program declaring co-head coaches? Jim Bates as defensive head coach and Steve Mariucci as offensive head coach. They would both report directly to Ted Thompson. I know it is a crazy thought, but why not tap the talent that is available in the area of specialties they both represent.

My prayers are with Ted as he make some tough decisions.

Joe Klimoski, boopa9@MSN.com, Chandler, AZ

It was time for Sherman to go
At last, some positive change has happened within the Packer organization, the firing of Mike Sherman. Sherman was a nice guy, but his play-calling has declined throughout the years. The only bad part about it is the future of Favre, and how this will affect his desision on coming back for a season or two.

I saw the list of available candidates, and it's my understanding that Thompson is an offense guy, he should take a look at Eric Mangini, defensive coordinator for the Patriots, that is exactly the kind of discipline this team needs, just look at what the Patriots have done, but he would need to find an upcoming offensive guru to run the offense, maybe their QB's coach, (look what he's done for Tom Brady) he would be a good fit for Favre and or developing the upcoming Aaron Rodgers.

I also read about Ron Rivera defensive coordinator for the Bears, is also planning on interviewing, I am not sure about him, and Brad Childress was another possibility, but in the system he is in they don't run the ball very much.

One thing I am sure of if you surround yourself with successful people, you will become successful, so Mr. Thompson, do your homework, and bring us someone worthy of leading the team to greatness.

Luis Mora, luis.mora@takemeonvacation.com, Coral Springs, FL

Is Thompson part of the problem?
Mr. Korth,
I read your report and also that of Mr. John Lombardi. I agree with you both that Coach Sherman deserved another year. And now we will see if Mr. Thompson is as wise as he is preserved to be. In my last comment to the Packer Report I asked if Mr. Thompson could be part of the problem because he was the new man on the block. I received an email from some dude that was really irate over my opinion. He did not, of course, give me his email address so I could discuss this further with him. Perhaps if he reads this he will.

Now it is over and we shall see how Mr. Thompson handles everything. He stated he has never selected a head coach before so this should be interesting. I hope, as you do, that he will look hard at some of the coaching staff that is in place and keep them. Running backs coach Mr. Bennett and Mr. Bates come to mind. Mr. Bates as a head coach, perhaps, but we really need a receivers coach, special teams coach, and an O-line coach. I realize that a lot of players were injured last season and we lost some good one to the market. But it will be a challenge to whomever becomes head coach. Too bad it won't be Mr. Sherman.

Carl Nordquist, carmar@windomnet.com, Windom, MN

Brett Favre = player/coach
When the thought first hit me, I laughed at myself. And then I thought about it ... and I laughed at myself. But the more and more I thought about it, the more and more it made a little sense. I've been giving it a lot of thought now, so it makes a lot of sense ... so before you completely write me off as nuts, allow me to offer some reasoning.

1) Brett Favre has already said he wouldn't play for anyone but Sherman ... maybe not using those words, but that's the point I think he was making. In order to bring him back, (which Thompson said he wants, and 80% of Packer fans want) I really think he needs to feel he has a say in who is hired, and playing for himself definitely qualifies.

2) The new coach has to know or be familiar with the West Coast offense. I'd challenge anybody to name 5 people on this earth who know this style offense better than Brett Favre.

3) There is no one the Green Bay Packer team would rather play for.

4) You have an eventual replacement sitting there right now (Bates) ... and I really believe Mariucci is a fantastic fit as an offensive coordinator, so you wouldn't have to level Brett with any of the headache coaching duties.... give those to Bates (and Mariucci?). Name one of the two as the eventual replacement, and they should be gung-ho for the idea.

5) Analysts, columnists, reporters, "experts" around the country are all saying Brett definitely has a few years of ball left in him. They only question is whether or not Green Bay can get it out of him. ESPN.com has been offering a trade to Oakland … where Brett would be questioned and have to re-prove himself, and this would somehow cause him to have the drive to prove people wrong, but throw him into this situation ... (announcing him as player/coach would definitely be well-scrutinized nation-wide) and the Brett doubters will be so loud ... the proverbial coal being shoveled into Brett's fire gets me pumped for opening day. All we would need to do is hire Chris Hovan and Warren Sapp to sit outside Favre's house and sometimes THINK about trash-talking ... and the Favre from 1996 would be re-born.

6) Brett wants a challenge. That is not debatable. He is a future Hall of Famer and that isn't doubted. But think about this: If Brett were hired as a player-coach, and the Packers fell flat and had a season remotely resembling this last one ... Brett's "legacy" would be slightly blurred for those outside of Wisconsin. However, if Favre took this on and the Packers season turned successful... he would forever be known as the first, second, and third best quarterback of all-time. You don't think Favre wants that risk?

7) There is another element that makes this so intriguing. If Brett was taken on as head coach/starting quarterback, the team could fall two ways. The first way is that they would think that the City of Green Bay has fallen too far in love with Brett Favre and that they are putting his interests ahead of the teams'. They would think he has sold his teammates out for his own personal goals ... and things could turn sour very quickly. But things could also go the other way. With analysts and experts criticizing the move and doubting the immediate future of the franchise... the team could take THAT as an insult. With proper encouraging... the situation could certainly take on an "Us vs. the world" feel... and that, paired with a few new high draft picks and return of a few injured players could be an awfully dangerous combination.

I realize Favre has said he doesn't necessarily want to coach, and most would say he hasn't a clue how to coach. But seriously, his Dad coached him all the way through his childhood. He lived with a football coach all that time... you don't think he picked up a little about motivation and leading through that? This is Brett Favre.

Jacob Fannin, fannij96@uwosh.edu, UW-Oshkosh

E-mail your thoughts on the Packers to PackerReport.com and Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth at packrepted@aol.com.

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