Sydney Speaks! Why the Packers will be better

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney explains in his column today why the Green Bay Packers should be an improved team in 2006. Sydney says the new coaching staff's plan is among a few keys for potential improvement.

Finally, I can start to smell real football in the air. This is that time of the year when I start to look at the Green Bay Packers and try to predict how well they will do. I look at it as if everyone will be healthy and play their best, then I look at the schedule and their opponents at home and away. Then I look at coaching matchups, player matchups, and the intangibles, then make my predictions. SO LET'S GET IT STARTED!!!!!!

I think this is a very good coaching staff that has a plan and is in tune with what it wants and needs to do to be successful, or in other words, win games. Mike McCarthy knows he's only responsible for coaching football and that's what he loves to do. He trusts the people around him, which gives the Packers a better chance of winning than in previous years. He will not be distracted; he will stay focused. You will see McCarthy during the season being involved in the game, but not stepping on toes of his assistants. I believe you will see McCarthy and his staff understand clock management and not panic. I know the offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski will do what it takes to win, whether that's run the ball 50 times a game, if necessary, because he's all about moving the chains just like Mike McCarthy.

I know these guy's will take advantages of mismatches and game plan accordingly. These guys on offense will go by the old saying which is KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Don't get me wrong they will call an aggressive game plan, but they won't go away from something that is working just because the defense might stop it a time or two. This offensive staff understands the value of what it is going to do and what it does best, which means their opponents have to stop them. They aren't going to stop themselves. Jeff understands the need for play-action and a strong running game. That's another reason I believe they will do better this year because they won't go away from either one. They will not put Brett Favre in the position of thinking he has to win the game and make everything happen. The men on this staff are coaches, not cheerleaders. They know that Brett Favre, as good as he is, isn't as good as he was, and bad things happen when he is forced to carry the load. Because of this approach on offense the defense will be better because I don't believe it will have to play with its backs to the wall.

Last year the defense seemed to have to overcome so many of the offense's mistakes. They did a lot of bending, but rarely did they break completely. With a smarter offense, the defense will be allowed to set the tempo as opposed to being on their heels. It's definitely easier to make up a game plan that says our offense will score 24 points, so if we only give up 17 on defense we should win. So, as you can see, so much of this team's success depends on what the offense will do. Another old saying is the best defense is a methodical offense that puts long drives together and doesn't turn the ball over and scores points.

As I remember my time with the 49ers and here in Green Bay, especially during the Super Bowl years, the offenses put so much pressure on the opposing offenses to keep up and match score for score that the defenses loved it because they knew when offenses tried to do something they couldn't turnovers would happen. This is what I think could happen this year, or at least I'm hoping it does. I am counting on Brett Favre to play a smart game at quarterback by taking what the defense gives him all the while just simply moving the chains. Then I'm expecting the offensive linemen to really take pride in themselves and become that run blocking machine that this zone-blocking scheme allows them to be because they will be the key to the Packers' success. Guys like Scott Wells, Daryn Colledge, and Jason Spitz have to take on the challenge of playing in the National Football League and decide if they are going to just be happy picking up a check, or are they going to make a difference. This offense now needs difference-makers. If the horses up front do their jobs, guys like Ahman Green and Samkon Gado will have a field day running behind them. Not only will these backs have high averages but as fans we will see some long runs if everything is executed the right way. If this works out, the play-action passes now become a thing of beauty because the defenses won't know whether they are coming or going, so then they would have to play it safe which would play right into the Packers' hands.

As you can see I do believe they will be much be better and these are just a few of the reasons. In my next column on Friday I will further explain WHY THEY WILL BE BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

Packer Report Top Stories