I grew up watching the Packers routinely lose 10-11 games a year. Then came along the Ron Wolf era. One of his picks was a gentleman named William Henderson. William Henderson is my idea of a sports hero. As someone who will never see a million dollar check, much less one for a few hundred thousand (league minimum), here are the reasons I think of Mr. Henderson as a hero:
1. He goes about his job quietly, efficiently and with little to no extravagance whatsoever.
2. He is not afraid to let other players take the credit when his hard work is the reason for much of their success (See a few of his highlight blocks or just one swing pass where a safety bounces off of him). How many 1,000-yard rushers has he blocked for? Three, if I'm not mistaken.
3. Loyalty. He was willing to go elsewhere, without raising a stink, and only if a deal with Green Bay was impossible. It's my opinion he went to Minnesota solely to test his "outside" worth and get the Pack to pony up some of what he is worth to the organization.
4. Mr. Henderson doesn't score many touchdowns, but he sure does pave the way for others to do it. TEAMwork.
It was great to see the Packers do the right thing ... AGAIN!
Rich Sigmund, firstname.lastname@example.org, San Diego, CA
Why do players suddenly want out of Green Bay?
I'm just wondering if you can shed some insight into the recent outspoken and disgruntled players leaving, left, or attempting to leave the Packers organization. For me it started with Mike McKenzie, and now has come to the forefront with Javon Walker. We've lost Longwell, and look to be slow on signing William Henderson.
I am used to a Packer organization which looks to retain its good players, and I understand with the age of free agency that players rarely stay with the same team throughout their career. What I am having a hard time understanding is the bitterness directed towards the organization, and the embracing of once rival teams (Vikings). There seems to be little thought towards the fans by the players or the organization.
Jon Olson, JOlson8990@cs.com, Andover, MN
Unfortunately, a lot of players think about themselves first, then the team that has paid them well over the years. The league is dealing with a lot of "me" players, led by Terrell Owens. I'm glad Ted Thompson is putting his foot down and holding firm with Walker. The Packers and other teams pay these guys huge amounts of money to play a game, but some, like Walker, get carried away and think it's all about them.
Where are the big-name signings?
It makes me wonder as a Packer Backer, especially living in "Viking Teritory" what is going on in this free agency period. I can see that I am not the only one considering the remarks of Harry Sydney and Steve Lawrence on PackerReport.com.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement has been signed and the Salary Cap has increased. Both Green Bay and the Vikings have closely the same amount to go out and sign players to fill the gaps that prevented them from achieving lofty goals.
The Vikings do not have a General Manager, but they do have an owner who is willing to spend the available money to get players to plug the holes.
Ted Thompson was hired as General Manager to handle the selection of personnel in both Free Agency and the Draft. The money is there, not to be hoarded, but to be spent to put Green Bay in a competitive position. He should be active and not let the All-Pro players get away. We knew it would cost money to keep Ryan Longwell and Darren Sharper in the fold. We had the money, but instead pinched the bucks and lost them.
The Packers are a top-notch franchise in regards to the physical plant and FANS. The fans pay good money to see top-notch football, but at the rate Ted and crew are going, Arena football may be a better alternative. Come on guys, we need your help.
Dr. Vince Winter, vwdoc504@Yahoo.com, Minnetonka, MN
Walker not worthy of wearing Green and Gold
Dear Packer Report,
Javon Walker is turning into a Randy Moss wannabe. Yes, he's an awesome talent. He tried getting a new contract last year and didn't, and now he doesn't want to ever play in a Green Bay Packer uniform again. Don't let him, he doesn't deserve the honor. Cut him and kick him in the rear as he exits the building. Look, he took a chance last year to prove he deserved a new deal, he got hurt, too bad so sad. You signed a contract, honor it. The money will come later. But now, after an injury hes a scarred athlete and should be treated as such. Id hate to see him go but its time to let him. Hes disrespected the Green and Gold and now its time for him to see what its like somewhere else. He will wish he never left.
Kevin, email@example.com, Palm Harbor, FL
Good job on re-signing Kampman!
I was extremely happy to see the Packers put some money and trust in the deserving hands of Aaron Kampman. I believe that by keeping him and treating him right, it will make the entire team better. Not only with his level of play, which has grown each season as he continues to bust his butt, but also his locker room presence and his attitude. I think with younger players coming in, well, I hope they can look to him to see how a true Green Bay Packer should act and live.
The biggest hurdles now are free agency, Walker, and No. 4. I have OPINIONS on each of them.
Walker … see ya buddy. I do appreciate how he said he doesn't want to be a distraction and he would pay back the bonus (prorated), so let's not mess around. You don't want to be here … you are insane. After an injury year, what do you honestly expect? Are we trading Fergie? If so, it will be interesting to see who we get. That safety from Seattle looks like a smart move, too. I would like to see someone come in to challenge Carroll for his job. That can only help us. Not sure who would be a good fit, but I do think that is a need. I am also looking forward to seeing Colin Cole develop. I hope to see him making a Pro Bowl run this year.
I am not sure what to think of No. 4. I honestly wish he would make a decision. IF he does not come back we will be thin on QB with Nall shopping himself. I wonder who will be around to help Rodgers develop? There are plenty of reasons for Favre to retire, there are just as many for him to stay. I simply say this: the longer it takes for him to decide, the harder it will be on the Pack. Please make a decision. True fans will respect either decision you make. If it is time to hang it up, you were a special player who changed the history of the Green Bay Packers. If you come back, I believe the Pack will have a better chance at playoffs (I am going on an limb - 11-5 for '06), but you need to do what you need to do.
I have high hopes for our draft (MARIO!!!!!) and our team in '06. GO PACK!
Jason Eckes, firstname.lastname@example.org, Middleton, WI
Walker only thinking of himself
Javon, do you have any brains? Last year, your demands were uncalled for. When you put up excellent numbers for several consecutive years, then you can consider yourself one of the top receivers in the league. Then you can demand appropriate money.
Brett Favre, as the leader of the Packers, was right to call you out! Now you are not satisfied with your base salary and you are still undergoing rehab. Do you really believe the Packers are going to renegotiate given your circumstances? You signed a contract. HONOR IT! Apparently, the only letters you can read in the word "team" are M and E. And, the only thing that concerns your pimp agents is the money they are going to receive.
Joseph Hajny, email@example.com, Washington, IL
Trade Walker as soon as possible
I think the Packers should trade Javon Walker now. When one of your players says stuff like that about your organization you trade him right away. I think the Packers have enough good receivers to replace him so they should just trade him. I'm sure the Packers can get a relatively good player for him so there you have it.
Eric Cramer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kalamazoo, MI
Packers need more help!
Like it or not, the Packers don't have that much time left to acquire top free agents. My Team has done a fairly good job so far BUT not perfect. Far from it as a matter of fact! In the draft you cannot afford to wait around and see, or pick and choose just for the heck of it.
Playing a chess game in football will lead nothing but trouble, when picking and choosing free agents or draft picks you say, "OK, here he is, how good is he? How can this man help our team? How long can he play?" Kickers can play almost forever, so can punters. I've seen a lot of them retire when they pass 40 years old! We ALL know who they are, the list is big. They say when you reach 35 your football days are over! That's not true anymore. Back in the '50s, '60s, '70s, but NOT anymore! Like it or not! Sports experts, so-called anyway, make fools of themselves by saying these things!
For example, "Brett's days as a quarterback are OVER!" The funny part is that we hear it time and time again and yet the man keeps going. Most sports experts have been saying this since 2001 and in 2005 when just about everyone had injuries, pointless or not! Every Great quarterback I ever saw has their favorite target to throw the football to. History will tell us that if everyone was smart enough to look into it, and think hard about it! We all know or should know how great Brett is! The question is why didn't the coaches, and front office people do anything about this before? Instead let's blame Brett. I don't buy that, nor should anyone else. Take any quarterback and just give them bench players and let's see how they do! And then say, "They're washed up!
Does this make any sense? I don't think so! The Brett Favre watch will continue as it always has since 2001. Will he or won't he? Leave Brett alone there are many other stories in which to follow up on!
Tom Fast, email@example.com, Hendersonville, N.C.
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