Sydney Speaks! Packers' best kept secret

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney explains why Director of Player Finance Andrew Brandt plays such a key role with the Green Bay Packers. Sydney says that one of the reasons the Packers have been successful since winning Super Bowl XXXI is because of Brandt and his ability to help keep the team together.

When we think of the necessary tools to be a success in the National Football League we might think of all the things that happen on the field. We might think of the players involved like Brett Favre, Charles Woodson, and Ahman Green. Or we might think about the coaching and Mike McCarthy and his staff. Also, there is Ted Thompson. Unfortunately, we forget about one of the most important people in this Packer organization and that's ANDREW BRANDT!!!!!

Some of you might be saying, ‘Who?' I hope not, because in my opinion he might be the glue that has kept the Green Bay Packers in position to stay competitive in the post-Super Bowl era. His insight as a former agent and player representative has allowed him to understand the needs of players, but at the same time express the concerns of the organization. By being able to communicate money matters in a non-threatening way. He has quietly become one of the more respected Directors of Player Finances in the NFL.

When we talked earlier this off-season about how much money the Packers had under the cap it was due largely to his ability to wheel and deal and his ability to see the big picture, keep a level head and not get caught up with emotional needs. His knowledge of the game allows him not to just see a player and his worth but to put the right price tag on him which sets him apart from many others in the league. But this doesn't surprise me if you understand his background. He graduated cum laude from Stanford and Georgetown University law school. After graduating he worked with ProServ, Inc., which at the time was one of the leading sports management firms in the country. Some of his clients were guys like Michael Jordan and Boomer Esiason, just to name a few. He was involved with the World Football League in 1992 when he was general manager of the Barcelona Dragons. Trust me, this guy knows what he is doing and the Green Bay Packers are lucky that they have him because he is that valuable.

As I see it I hope no other team comes a calling because Andrew Brandt is President material. He can build an organization from the ground up. I know the World Football League is different from the NFL, but building a franchise is building a franchise and that's what he did. He was the youngest general manager in a major professional sports league while at Barcelona. Under his watch they were the league's winningest franchise. This is a football guy that understands business and he knows when and how to pull the trigger.

Look at what has happened under his watch while he has been with the Green Bay Packers. This organization is on solid footing because it has handled its money. In my opinion it has been because of Brandt. He has been the voice of reason. Look at the players that he has dealt with, guys like Javon Walker, Mike McKenzie, Mike Wahle, Marco Rivera, Bubba Franks, Donald Driver and Brett Favre. Don't think for one minute that Andrew wasn't in the middle of these negotiations expressing his opinion saying yes to some, but no to others. And now while everyone is on vacation, he is working his butt off trying to get everyone signed and ready for training camp. He will do his best to get everyone signed but he won't mortgage the future. That's not his philosophy. When it comes to the salary cap there are so many ways that a player's salary can affect it that you need someone like him to figure it out.

I just wish that the rest of the league isn't noticing the job that he is doing here in Green Bay, but I know they are. Bob Harlan has passed the torch to John Jones as he starts to remove himself from the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. My hat is off to John Jones because he is a good man and is very qualified to handle the role of president. Hopefully he is doing very well recovering after his surgery and will be ready to assume all the responsibilities that his new job will demand from him.

The Packers are very fortunate that they have someone like Andrew Brandt that isn't rocking the boat and not letting his ego get in the way by making demands. He is all right with the position of Director of Finance. The thing I do know about Andrew is that he isn't going to promote himself because that's not his style, but everyone in the National Football League wants more. That's the nature of the beast. Assistant coaches want to be coordinators, coordinators want to be head coaches, head coaches want to be general managers, general managers want to be presidents. Everyone wants to advance. The only problem is that not everyone that wants to advance up the ladder is qualified. Not everyone can handle the pressure, they just think they can. Andrew Brandt is different. He can handle the pressure. I believe he will be an excellent president in the National Football League one day. I just hope for the Packers sake they take the phone off the hook and give this guy a fat contract with some promises that make him real happy because they can't afford to lose him. He is the Green Bay Packers' BEST KEPT SECRET!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 it will be forwarded to him.

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