Sydney Speaks! That's my role!

Over the last several weeks I have talked about the role of the modern athlete, especially when it comes to putting on the Green and Gold, or any uniform. Part of wearing it means someone just might be looking up to you. I have talked about Mike McCarthy and how he is putting his stamp on things. Then as I thought about it, I realized I need to explain my role again.

My job is to tell the truth about the sport I love, whether it ruffles feathers or not. Football has always been a major part of my life and if it wasn't for the game I don't know where I might have turned up, or which direction my life would have taken. So as you can see I hold the game of football in very high regard. Because of this respect I must speak the truth about what I see. My job isn't to try and make friends, but communicate my knowledge of the game in a way that helps you the readers see things in a way that maybe you might not have before.

Oftentimes you might have seen me write about being a football homer first. I have to be because that keeps me objective. Sometimes in the past you might have felt I have been too hard on Brett Favre because I won't allow for reasons to be excuses. Or I might have been hard on some of the mistakes that Mike Sherman committed in the past and some of you might have gotten upset and thought I was unfair. As I look back and get a chance to reflect I realize I probably was too nice now that I think about it.

Trust me, I like and respect this new regime being headed by Mike McCarthy, Jeff Jagodzinski and Bob Sanders. I like everything they have done up to this point. When McCarthy was hired, believe me, I had my doubts just like many of you did. I had the same questions such as, ‘Was he ready to take control and be a head coach in the NFL?' I wondered how he would handle different situations such as the Brett Favre saga and the Javon Walker drama, just to name a few. I wondered how can he teach his players and assistant coaches how to win when he never really has been part of winning tradition. Then I remembered our year together on the coaching staff and the conversation that would take place with myself McCarthy and Jagodzinski as we would discuss things like game planning, reading defenses as we watched a lot of film.

Then I look at all the other coaches that I have some form of relationship with. Winston Moss, the linebackers coach who I know from personal experience, is one tough son-of-gun. I remember his physical play from when he played linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We met many times on the gridiron. If he can get his guys to play like he did, look out.

Then there is James Campen, the assistant offensive line coach. We played together in 1992 and I know the knowledge he possesses. I know no one will out-work him. The receivers coach Jimmy Robinson has been around a long time and is the ideal coach to work with these young receivers. I got to know Jimmy when we were together on the Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League when he was on the coaching staff. Then there is Eric Lewis. Besides knowing him from the days of when his father and I coached together at Green Bay, I coached him his senior year of high school football out in California. Of course, there is Lionel Washington, defensive nickel package/cornerbacks coach. We were together on the 1999 staff together as well. Edgar Bennett, the running backs coach, was my running mate in 1992 and it's funny while at practice the other day he had the backs running through the gauntlet - a machine he hated when he played. Talk about a flash from the past!

Besides the coaching staff I have very good relationships with Reggie McKenzie, director of pro personnel, besides playing against each other. I respect the job he is doing. Andrew Brandt the director of player finance/football operations is has just agreed to sit on my board of directors for my non-profit organization - My Brother's Keeper.

The only reason I am telling you about these relationships is because I want all of you to understand that when I speak my mind it's my mind. The things that I say are based on my experiences, my knowledge of the game, and not on my relationships. My loyalty is to the game. I could do like some of the columnists that write for other web-sites, papers or that talk on some of the local radio stations, and just sugarcoat everything and act like they bleed green and gold and make excuses after excuses. I promise you that I will shoot you straight even if you don't like it. Even though I respect this staff and like what I'm seeing, if they don't get it done you will hear about it from me because THAT'S MY ROLE!!!!!!!!

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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