But let's remember the good things that have happened this off-season. One thing that seems to have been overlooked is that there is a new guy in charge - head coach Mike McCarthy - and he has this team going in the right direction. I'm not talking about free agent signings; I'm talking about working with the guys that are here. These players believe in what McCarthy is doing and you can see this by how hard they are working with the off-season workout program. He has begun to change the attitude. He is bringing in toughness to a team that some across the land have seen as a soft team.
I trust what Mike McCarthy is trying to do with the Green Bay Packers. He has come into Green Bay like a man on a mission. This might not guarantee wins but he has a plan on how to improve and that's by going back to the basics. Even when we coached together he had total knowledge of the West Coast offense. He could dissect defenses, plus he had the ability to communicate his philosophy to the players as well as the other coaches without disrespecting them. When he first got the job I, like you, was shocked at his hiring because a lot of us assumed it was Jim Bates' job. But after looking at the big picture what better coach to have when you are rebuilding then a young energetic first-year head coach that's trying to prove his worth.
Also, I like the fact that even though McCarthy could have hired another defensive coordinator he didn't. He selected Bob Sanders to keep some consistency in the defense from the Bates era, which is a great move. Jim Bates was a motivator and so is Mike McCarthy. Bob Sanders is an excellent teacher, so this could be an excellent move because as we saw this defense improved greatly from the previous year more than anyone of us thought was possible with the talent that they had on defense. Sure there are still some holes but there is a bunch of youth that will just get better and they have something that you just can't teach, especially in the secondary and at linebacker position and that's SPEED. We can't forget all of these positive things.
Yes, this off-season has been full of distractions for various reasons. Egos of certain players like Brett Favre and Javon Walker have taken away from some of the good happening at 1265 Lombardi Ave. What about Aaron Kampman re-signing with the Packers? Now understand this I am a Kampman fan because I love his hustle, his work ethic, his never-say-die attitude and how he brings it at every practice and in every game. And even though I think the Packers paid him too much money, I don't have any problem with him taking it. What's he supposed to say, ‘Thanks guys, but I'm not worth that much. Only give me half? Sure they might need some more help on defense, but coaches only coach the guys they have and I believe whoever takes the field will play hard, play smarter and do the best to help this team win.
On offense I believe we will enjoy what Jeff Jagodzinski will try to do with this offense along with Mike McCarthys input. Together they will bring back that smashmouth brand of football that the Packer fans enjoyed back when the run game was a force to be dealt with instead of an afterthought. The new run-blocking scheme, in my opinion, is tailor-made for Ahman Green because of his patience as a runner. The new zone blocking scheme will give him opportunities for big runs. The best thing about the running backs this year are that they all have something to prove. Ahman wants to prove he's still is a big-time back, Samkon wants to prove last year was no accident, and Najeh wants to prove he can stay healthy. What great competition and this will only make the team better. As well as Aaron Rodgers wants to prove that he is worthy of a number-one pick. Kevin Barry wants to show the world he can start and not just be a blocking tight end in the U-71 package, and Will Whitticker and Scott Wells are fighting for their football lives.
This is a proud organization and an organization that has stood the test of time. They have faced many obstacles before and they will face many more before it's over, but sometimes we as fans concentrate on all the distractions and the negatives instead of all that is good. WHAT WE ALL HAVE FORGOTTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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 PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at email@example.com, and he will forward it to him.