Sydney Speaks! Whirlwind of activity

There has been so many things that have happened as it relates to the Green Bay Packers that if you haven't been paying attention you just might have missed them. So let's do a little review before things get crazy with free agency and draft issues!!!

Let's take a quick walk down memory lane and review all the things that have affected the Green and Gold in the last 13 months or so, and they won't really be in perfect order. I guess we must start at the end of the season with the Brett Favre retirement talk. Then Bob Harlan relieving Mike Sherman of his GM role and bringing in Ted Thompson, stating that he was worried about Sherman's health and that he had always felt that dual roles are too much for one man to really handle. Then there was the hiring of Jim Bates - what a great move. After that it was the departure of the two starting guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle, which was soon followed by Darren Sharper, the team leader on defense. Then I believe Thompson and the guys went out and replaced the guards with two busts - Matt O'Dwyer and Adrian Klemm. Around this time they also matched the offer that the Minnesota Vikings made on Aaron Kampman, which when you look at it, was one heck of a steal wasn't it? They also signed linebacker Ray Thompson from Arizona. These are just some of the things that the Packers dealt with in such a short time.

Then the draft happened, and what do they do on the first pick? They draft as their number one pick no other than Aaron Rodgers because he fell to number 24 and they felt they were forced to take him. Trust me, I really do understand why they took him and that's because they had him rated as a number 1 pick on their draft board. Makes sense, right? Also because they knew they had to plan for the future in case Favre had decided to retire, what would they have done for the future? So they drafted Rodgers saying that same thing that every head coach says about their first round draft pick, and that's that they are so happy with getting a player of his caliber in the first round. Whether it turns out to be a mistake or not, only time will tell. Thompson followed that pick by selecting Nick Collins, which was a great pick and that was proven because of his selection to the all rookie team.

Other players that were chosen that I believe will have bright futures are Mike Montgomery, Roy Manning, Brady Poppinga and Will Whitticker. I believe last year's draft was definitely a building block for the future. Then there were the mini-camps that Favre was allowed to skip, which I feel was a mistake because at that moment different rules were established in public. What I mean is that everyone knows there are different rules for different players because of their status, but when it comes to a mandatory functions such as a mini-camp everyone should be there that's under contract, even if they don't practice. Stupid as it sounds, it's the little things that are the difference between winning and losing.

Then it was training camp and the offense could never settle on a starting offensive line which hurt the running game immensely. Whether it was because of Larry Beightol or Mike Sherman it really doesn't matter because they both are gone so we will never really know the truth. Then it was the Bubba Franks hold-out, which I never understood because if anyone deserved money it was him. And let's not forget the Javon Walker saga. I almost did. Here's another guy wanting to hold out, thinking he was a superstar because he went to the Pro Bowl and hung out with T.O. Also there was the Favre comment advising Walker on what he should do with his agent and why, which gave the media all the fuel it needed try to start fires between the two of them. Amazing year so far wouldn't you think? Then the saga of training camp continued because Grady Jackson and Cletidus Hunt were hurt most of camp. Out of this finally the truth was discovered that Hunt couldn't play and was cut, making room to see which one of the youngsters wanted to play. Finally, Bubba made it to camp. I almost forgot that Thompson rewards Sherman with a two-year contract extension for roughly $3.2 million a year without a buyout clause.

The injury bug hit as the season started and the casualty list started to grow. Walker out for the year, then Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, then Terrence Murphy somewhere in there. Other guys that just couldn't stay healthy were Mike Flanagan, Na'il Diggs, David Martin, Bubba Franks as well as Robert Ferguson. Then reality set in and that was that the Packers couldn't run the ball, which meant that Favre would try to do too much. That translated to 29 interceptions and a 4-12 record. The season ends and Sherman is fired on Black Monday, leaving everyone thinking that Bates will be the next coach of the Green Bay Packers, but not so fast. In comes Mike McCarthy, a young coach that has never had that title before and out goes Bates, opening the door for the fourth defensive coordinator in as many years. Now we are again wondering will Brett retire?

One heck of a year, but do you really WONDER WHY?

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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