Sydney Speaks! Many have a lot to prove

Harry Sydney is ready for the start of Green Bay's 2006 training camp, which opens tonight at Clarke Hinkle Field. The former Packers fullback and assistant coach feels that this camp will be one of the most competitive in years because many players must prove that they belong on the team.

Finally football is here as the practices start tonight. I will be out there with eyes wide open. This will be the Packers' first real practice, so I would expect that Mike McCarthy and his staff will be out to send a message. And what would that message be?

At first, I would think that McCarthy wants the players to understand that football is a physical game, so I will be looking to see how much contact he will allow because that's important for the mindset of the team. I will be looking to see how much hitting he will allow because this might be the most competitive camp since I've been involved with the Packers.

We keep hearing about the youth along the offensive line, so now I'm hoping to see if there is toughness that goes along with it. Daryn Colledge looked good at the OTA's. He ran well and looked very athletic, but now it's time to hit and block someone. I want to see how he measures up to Kenderick Allen, who is the projected starter because this will be a true test. Even though it's a zone-blocking scheme, Kenderick stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 328 pounds compared to Colledge (6-4, 299). Then you have Junius Coston battling Ryan Pickett. Do you think they both have something to prove? Coston wants to prove he is a starter and Pickett wants to prove he's worth the money he got paid. The only way he can do that during training camp is to be a force in practice and in the games. Then you have Scott Wells who wants to prove that he can play smart and be the leader of the offensive line.

As we move out to the receiving position Donald Driver wants to prove that he's worth the contract extension and that last year wasn't a fluke. Robert Ferguson hopefully understands that this just might be his last shot, so he has to be the player he has told the world he can be because if he doesn't he might just be on the outside looking in. Then you have Greg Jennings who wants the world to understand that he is just that good regardless of the division he played in at Western Michigan. Also, you have Rod Gardner who wants the football world to understand that he can still play and it was the schemes at Washington and Carolina that stopped him for reaching his potential, not his head. After that you have Leo Bookman who has all the intangibles that you want in a receiver - size, speed and the ability to make a hard catch - but has to prove he can play at this level. Marc Boerigter left Kansas City to try and star here in Green Bay and he might not get to see the field unless he can stay healthy and get the coaches' attention.

What do you think Bubba Franks will be trying to prove? Maybe that he is still a Pro Bowl caliber player. What about Donald Lee? Think he's upset that he's fourth on the depth chart? At running backs everyone of them - Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport and Samkon Gado - want to prove that they can still play. Vonta Leach wants to prove that it's his time and that he can catch the ball, and William Henderson wants to prove he still can play the game at the highest level.

Now to the defense Aaron Kampman wants to prove his motor won't stop because of his pay day. Michael Montgomery wants to prove that he is good enough to start. Kenderick Allen wants the world to forget Cletidus Hunt, and Pickett wants the thought of Grady Jackson to be a memory. Kabeer wants to be an everydown player, not just a pass-rush specialist. Colin Cole wants to prove that he is better than Cullen Jenkins or Corey Williams. Ben Taylor wants to make Green Bay his home and get a longer contract while Brady Poppinga just wants to stay healthy to allow the coaches to count on him. Nick Barnett wants to prove that he can handle being a middle linebacker in the National Football League. While Abdul Hodge wants to prove that he can be an impact hitter like he was in college. A.J. Hawk wants to prove that he is special. Roy Manning wants to prove that he belongs in this league. Charles Woodson wants to prove he still has it regardless of his injuries. Al Harris wants to prove that he needs to be paid with the big boys, and Nick Collins wants to prove last year was just the start of something special and he is worthy of wearing number 36.

As for the kicking game, Jon Ryan wants to prove that B.J. Sander never belonged, and Billy Cundiff will try to do everything to not be compared to Ryan Longwell. So, as you can see, EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO PROVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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