The fact that 8 NFL teams (Oakland is still a possibility) passed over a former head coach with a regular season won-lost record of 57-39 says it all. Bob Harlan and Ted Thompson knew what they were doing by firing Mike Sherman as evidenced by the lack of interest elsewhere. It's just a shame Harlan took so long to come to that realization!
Mike Fischetti, firstname.lastname@example.org, Shoreham, NY
Harlan, Wolf made poor decision
Reference your 27 Jan column in Packer Report: Don't Harlan and Wolf deserve huge criticism for promoting Sherman to GM? To the uninitiated it appeared to go something like this: Ron, ‘I've had it, I can't do it anymore'. Bob, ‘But we just hired Shermy, a new GM will probably fire him, wait, I've got it, we'll make Shermy the GM too!' Ron, ‘Sounds good to me if it facilitates my retirement'.
Harry, my anger goes to Harlan and Wolf. In Harlan's case he noted his error later and eventually made the tough decision to demote someone he really liked, Mike Sherman, thus correcting his error. Wolf, on the other hand, a career personnel man, just went along with the promotion of a guy who had little NFL coaching experience and no personnel experience. Wolf lost some respect in my eyes. It appeared he went along with what was expedient for himself and Mike Sherman, knowing this was not the best thing for the Packers.
The Sherman era witnessed a hard working, good coach, stubborn to a flaw, and totally in over his head as a GM. He tried to build a team to take Favre back to the Super Bowl and failed. For this Harlan and Wolf deserve the blame. They picked the wrong GM.
Holmgren did nothing but seek advancement, more challenges and responsibilities. But Wolf as much as I liked and respected him, handled his own transition into retirement poorly. We expected and deserved better from a guy who understood personnel planning and wrote books about the Packer Way. Ron Wolf let us done at his exit.
A final thought. Mike Sherman got the opportunity to be a head coach, a GM, and to continue being paid at the Coach/GM rate after he was demoted and for two more years after he was fired. The Packers did pretty good by him. Holmgren won a Super Bowl and how was he paid and treated?
Harlan and Wolf messed up letting Holmgren go, but this is hindsight. Promoting Sherman to GM should have been obvious folly. For the Sherman period Harlan and Wolf deserve the blame.
Eric Simpson, email@example.com, Racine, WI
Awesome thoughts and I agree with your assessment. The ball started rolling and no one knew how to stop it and because of that everything after that was a reaction. It was like someone putting their finger in a dam knowing that sooner or later the dam would break so they spent their time getting out of the way gathering their belongings, but not letting anyone know until they were on dry ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sherman's mistakes haunt the Packers
I have been reading a lot of comments criticizing Thompson and McCarthy. The truth is that I questioned some of the moves Thompson has made, but if you look carefully he is cleaning up a mess left behind by Sherman's GM transactions. We have a lot of dead cap money around, and that's why we couldn't keep Mike Wahle. Sherman's the one who signed Joe Johnson, where is he now? Signed KGB who gets burned on running plays; signed Hunt and is not even on the team anymore. Sherman traded up to draft a punter (give me a break); he drafted Carroll instead of Chris Gamble; he traded McKenzie, drafted Joey Thomas, who was cut this year, and is now playing along side McKenzie in New Orleans, and failed to follow the simple formula of drafting QB's in the late round or develop one.
In the 2005 draft Rodgers fell to 24th spot, and Thompson had the opportunity of drafting him because Sherman failed to develop one. Thompson had a very good draft. Too bad a lot of the players got hurt. Remember Packer fans the 2004 Dolphins went 4-12, then they hired a new coach Nick Saban he cleaned house and went 9-7, not a bad turnaround. I am not saying that McCarthy is like Saban, but the possibility exists.
Kampman should get the franchise tag, we could either retain him or trade him for draft picks. It would be nice to have two No. 1 picks. The time has come to either trade, or cut Robert Ferguson, and see what can be done about Carroll. He needs to stay consistent. As for Favre we'll have to wait and see, hopefully not too long, because the club needs to know which direction to take, and the fans are desperate to know.
Luis Mora, firstname.lastname@example.org, Coral Springs, FL
Give McCarthy, staff some time
After reading Bob Fox's article about Ted Thompson, I was struck by reality, or I should say smacked right across the face by it! I have to admit that I can no longer hold onto the fallacy that Packer Fans are "Unique" compared to the rest of the sports world.
Although I have resided in California for most of my life, I was born just north of GB, in Oconto Falls, so its a given to root for the Pack.
Geographically and population wise, yes, Green Bay is VERY unique, and, yes, Green Bay has some of the most loyal fans on the planet. This is without any doubt. But where that uniqueness ends is exactly were it all starts - In the Win and Loss column.
The true colors of many fans have came out over the past couple of months. I have seen a majority of fans scream for Sherman's head after a loss. Scream again after another loss, and another. Then after a win its, "Oh, Mike's doin' a good job." This went on ALL season long. I was paying close attention to this phenomenon. Then up until the last week of the season, right before the Seattle game, Sherman's approval rating was a whopping 24%. That was just about his average rating after a loss that I monitored coming from surveys taken by ESPN and SI News every week of the past season. After the win vs Seattle, it went up to 68%. Sixty-eight freaking percent?!!! It almost tripled in ONE week!! I marveled at this complete fickle fan behavior with utter astonishment! Then Sherman gets fired. Holy S#@%! The flood gates were opened! "What the hell is going on out there!," the thundering hordes commanded to know!! What is this Thompson Idiot doing? Still others bellowed in disbelief!
Do you see what I'm getting at here? Talk about the power of the almighty Win! Finally after about three weeks, I've noticed more cohesive, intelligent , and thought provoking insight coming from fellow Packer Fans via the "Letters to the Editor" columns.
What's done is done, and I personally WELCOME the changing of the guard in Green Bay, Wis. Hey, I've got a radical thought: Let's give the GM and Head Coach a chance to prove themselves! How 'bout it?! Does that seem reasonable enough? People, it was time for Sherman to hit the road. He had six years with a talented team and did not do anything special, but waste money as GM, and always lose early in the playoffs. There is some new blood in town now, so let's give him half a chance before we nail both of them to the proverbial cross! Let's look at the big picture. We will get a good idea of where the team is headed by the end of next year. Don't expect a Super Bowl Trophy next year. Let's look for progress, and team chemistry for the long haul. What good is it to go 10-6, and hit the ceiling by losing in the first round of the playoff every year? Personally, it does nothing for me.
I think things are going to be fine in Packerland with this new crew running things, and If I'm wrong, I'll be the first to admit it. Let's reserve judgment for a while, but not for too long, because we live in a win-right-now world.
Gary, email@example.com, Sunnyvale, CA
Better drafts will turn Packers around
The GM is the key. Look at the draft Ted Thompson had in his first season as GM of the Pack. Poppinga, Nick Collins, top 5 potential Aaron Rodgers at #24. Will Whittacker was a nice pick to fill a void on the O-Line. Montgomery played pretty well in his limited time. Terrence Murphy looks like he has a lot of potential at WR. A team is only as good as the players drafted. 1 or 2 key adds doesn't hurt, but overall drafting is the way to make a team better. Note how well the Vikings defense did after all of their off-season moves. Sharper, Winfield, Smoot, etc. NOTHING!!
Can you even name a notable draft pick from Sherman's tenure? Walker still hasn't proven that he's in the top 10-15 receivers in the league despite all the credit he's being given. Barnett is about the only player worthy of mention from Sherman's drafts. I think Thompson has built a solid core of players for the Pack's future in only one season. I can't wait to see how this year's draft improves the team.
Bill Schanke, firstname.lastname@example.org, US Soldier in Germany, (Hometown: Reedsburg, WI)
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