Sydney Speaks! Disrespecting the old

Like many Green Bay Packers fans, Harry Sydney has been trying to decipher comments made by quarterback Brett Favre earlier this week that the current Packers are just as talented as any team that he's been on. Sydney, in his column today, compares the 1996 Green Bay team, which he helped coach, to this year's team, then offers his thoughts on what Favre was trying to say.

This past week the Green Bay Packers' on-the-field leader made a very bold statement that could have been taken a whole bunch of ways. Some could say he was trying to motivate his new teammates by comparing them to the talent of the team that won the Super Bowl 10 years ago. But he didn't say that did he? He said it's the best talent that he may have ever seen while at Green Bay, so what does all that mean??????

What it means to me is that Brett Favre should have learned sometimes it's best just to say NOTHING, so you don't have to insert foot into mouth and have people question your sanity, especially after all the crap that happened this off-season. So, as I sit here I'm thinking of the comparisons between this team that has so many unanswered questions and the Super Bowl team that beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. I was coaching on that team. I remember that team that went 13-3, so I'm just wondering what could have been going through Brett Favre's mind at that time when he spoke the quote heard around the world. Then I thought to myself, maybe he said what he said to help the young guys believe that they can play at this level. Maybe he thought disrespecting Reggie White would help Aaron Kampman work harder because this endorsement will help Aaron develop a signature move of his own which will allow him to put fear in the eyes of the tackles he will face. Let me see, Reggie White had the ‘club' move and, if I'm not mistaken, he had more sacks in one season then Aaron has combined thus far in his career, but this is a more talented team, according to Brett.

So let's take a closer look at other positions on this side of the ball. This is a nice group of linebackers no doubt, but then again which one has weathered the storm and been consistent enough to say they have arrived. Nick Barnett has been the only bright spot, but would he have been good enough to start over guys like Bernardo Harris, George Koonce, Ron Cox or Brian Williams? All of us hope that A.J. Hawk can be half as physical of a player as Wayne Simmons; may he rest in peace. And if any of you think that Ryan Pickett and Kenderick Allen at this time can compare to Gilbert Brown and Santana Dotson, I can only ask you: What ARE YOU THINKING?

OK, now back to reality, which is the defensive line and linebackers. Let's go to the secondary right now where the Packers have two good corners, or at least they hope they do in Charles Woodson and Al Harris. In 1996, the Packers had Craig Newsome and Doug Evans, so this might just be a wash at these spots. When you throw in Nick Collins and Marquand Manuel and try to compare them to Leroy Butler and Eugene Robinson, it's not even a fair comparison. I'm still trying to figure out what Favre was talking about, so maybe I can find it on the other side of the ball!!!!!!!!

Maybe I can find more talent on offense, so let's see. Maybe it's at the offensive line because with Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton you don't have any better tackles in the league. On the inside there are three unproven guys that we all hope can play, but no one really knows how Scott Wells, Daryn Colledge or Junius Coston will do. We don't even know if they can even work together like the linemen of the 1996 team who were Earl Dotson, Frank Winters, Aaron Taylor, Adam Timmerman and the old man, Bruce Wilkerson. That line got the job done. Now when it comes to running backs I know the guys I had back in 1996 were better than this group. I would take Dorsey Levens, and a younger William Henderson because he was young back then. Add Edgar Bennett and sprinkle in Travis Jervey and Calvin Jones, and there's no question in my mind we would run circles around this present group.

As for the receivers: Andre Rison and Antonio Freeman verses Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson. You are kidding me, right? The only position that's left is the tight ends, so ask yourself would you take Bubba Franks and David Martin over Keith Jackson and Mark Chmura? So now it all comes back to the man himself. Who would you want? The Brett Favre of today, or the one that led the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI?

So, as I think back to what Brett Favre said, I can only imagine that he was just trying to encourage his new teammates, but I just wish he wouldn't have done it by DISRESPECTING THE OLD!!!!!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

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