Sydney Speaks! Dazed and confused

Last week, former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney was up in arms. This week, his head is spinning over recent signings made by Green Bay. Sydney wonders in his column today if general manager Ted Thompson is moving the Packers forward, or if Green Bay is stuck in neutral.

I am simply at a loss for words. I keep seeing the Packers making moves, but the only problem is that the moves do not make any sense to me. I understand I'm not the general manager and don't coach anymore, but something just isn't sitting right with what I am seeing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please try to understand what I am saying. Are they rebuilding and going in a different direction? How is that happening when they are signing the same players back. I don't know if it's Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy, but I seem to be missing something. This was a 4-12 team with average talent and all the Packers seem to be doing is rewarding the old talent by giving them another chance to prove they can play. On one hand it's nice to see a new head coach believe in himself so much that he thinks he can make it work with anyone. Mike McCarthy believes in his scheme so much that he's willing to sink or swim with guys that no one wanted. I know that sounds harsh, but reality is reality. Look and some of the guys that signed back with the Packers, for example, Najeh Davenport.

Davenport has been out their as an unrestricted free agent and as a restricted free agent last year, but what has he really done? OK, he was a pretty good kickoff returner until he got smacked in the eye because he ran to high. But can anyone count on him if he needed to be the starter for a few games? NO! He's what I would call a coach killer because every time the coach might count on him to play the only place they find him is in the training room. Sad but true. Not only that but with all the money the Packers have under the salary cap, why are they signing some of these guys for only one-year deals? That tells me two things one is that the organization isn't sure if they really are players of the future or that this is a one-year audition and that no other team was willing to give these guys big money or average money for a longer time.

For the last couple weeks we have been hearing about this guy Ben Taylor and how the Packers really wanted him like he was going to be a difference-maker and it was between the Packers and Cleveland. Were you waiting on pins and needles like I was? Well, we finally signed him for this big-time blockbuster one-year deal. Are you kidding me? All the hype for one year? And what about the receiver they just signed from Kansas City, Marc Boerigter. He has all the size in the world at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, but then again he missed the 2004 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. McCarthy has said he like's everything about him so what do the Packers do? They sign him to a one year deal.

With all these one year deals it makes me ask myself in what direction is this team really going, or are they just sitting in a holding pattern? Because how can this team really be planning on the future when either it is paying too much in some cases. And if the Packers are not doing that, they seem to be getting excited about signing their old players back that no one wanted in the first place. And if that isn't enough they are giving one-year contracts to marginal players that if they have a good year they are going to demand the bank next year when they might not be so cap friendly. This will create the same holes that these players hope to be filling this year. See why I am scratching my head and am somewhat confused.

Trust me, these are only my opinions but they are based on years of NFL experience as a player and coach. What about McCarthy and him having only a three-year contract? He doesn't have the luxury of wasting a year trying to figure things out. Most new head coaches usually have a five-year plan and it usually goes this way: The first year they put in their scheme; the second year to see who really fits in and if not get their own guys; the third year to start winning; the fourth get into the playoffs; and the fifth win it all. And if you are lucky years one and two will naturally cross over which will lead to years 3, 4 and 5 being good times.

For any of these to happen you need players that are committed to the rebuilding process, but how can they if they are only under one- or two-year contracts. McCarthy, I believe, has a clear vision of what he wants to do. I'm not sure why his hands are being tied, but in my opinion they are.

The Packers had more than enough money to have been BIG TIME players in free agency but for some reason they haven't really been up to this point, and time is running out. Maybe they are just waiting to get Charles Woodson and LaVar Arrington the middle linebacker and shock the world. But then again I am DAZED AND CONFUSED!!!!!!!!!!

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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