Sydney Speaks! Next step

Packers, Favre need to decide now on quarterback's future

Step one is mostly complete. The Packers have assembled their coaching staff, except for a few position coaches, topped off by the hiring of Bob Sanders as their defensive coordinator. Mike McCarthy hired the best guy for the job if they wanted to keep any sense of continuity and keep the momentum on the defense building from last year. SO WHAT'S NEXT?

As for the coaches they will start the process of getting to know each other and their philosophies, which will be an important element as the Packers move forward in the days ahead. But that's not what I'm talking about, either. The next step is after they fired Mike Sherman they had an order of business that they had to undertake:

1. Getting a staff together;
2. Dealing with the Brett Favre saga

Whether it's Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy, or the both of them, someone has to make the trip to Mississippi and deal with this situation head on. They can't expect this thing to take care of itself because too many things are riding on the outcome of whether Brett is coming back or not. A lot of people say why should he come back to a team that is in the process of rebuilding and will be lead by a first-year head coach and two first-year coordinators? Some would say that he has nothing left to prove to anyone. Some would say that he can still play and has enough arm strength to play for maybe two to three more years. Others will say that because of the fact that he has never been one to have great technique and throws off of his back feet most of the time that his passes have started to float, allowing for more interceptions, like we saw this past season. Others will say that the reason he had a terrible season was that he wasn't surrounded by any talent and he felt he had to do everything by himself. Someone else might say it wasn't his physical skills that cost him but all the mental meltdowns that killed the Packers. People close to Brett might say he was frustrated all year which gave some the appearance that he didn't care. All of these things might very well be true. I have even heard the argument that the firing or not hiring of Jim Bates was the last straw, but then again by hiring Sanders does that change things? So, there are a lot of reasons others might have for him retiring or coming back. Then again, does anything anyone else says really matter?

Brett Favre has to decide his future because of what Brett wants to do, and why he wants to do it. He has to decide if he wants it anymore, and I mean really want it, because the rules of the game have changed. There will be more commitment needed probably on Brett's part. The Mike Sherman approach on handling things, such as letting Brett skip mini-camps, might not be the same way McCarthy goes about things. McCarthy is the new sheriff in town and everything must be his way to create that chemistry teams and leaders talk about.

McCarthy knows he is in a great situation, believe it or not, because if Brett comes back and has a great year he will be seen as one heck of a coach by controlling the gunslinger. If Brett doesn't come back he will be seen as a young coach that will be going through growing pains working with Aaron Rodgers, so any progress will be a winning scenario. And if Brett comes back and plays badly, McCarthy will be seen as a guy who didn't want to sit down a legend. So, you see, he can't really lose, especially in many fans' eyes. So Brett has to ask himself what he is willing to do and how important is it for him to do it? These are the real questions that he must truly ask himself.

On the other hand could this be what the Packers are asking themselves? Is Brett worth $10 million this year? Or, if Brett comes back, how many years will he be willing to give us? Since we have a new head coach and coordinators that are starting from scratch, why not start with a young quarterback, like Rodgers, and grow together? There seems to be a lot of questions that need to be answered and not by me, the fans or anyone else, and there seems to be no better time than the present. While Thompson and McCarthy are traveling they might as well make a stop in Mississippi, sit with Favre, map the Packers' future, and see if he is part of the NEXT STEP.

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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