Sydney Speaks! What I need to see!

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney offers his thoughts on what he would like to see Saturday night from the Green Bay Packers when they play their first exhibition game of the preseason against the San Diego Chargers.

I know this Saturday is the first preseason game, but in my opinion there are something's that I need to see. It won't be about winning the game for me, but it would be nice because any time an athlete steps on the field he wants to win and, trust me, this coaching staff doesn't want losing to be a habit. So what is it I need to see?

I want to see whether Mike McCarthy has control of this team and that the players are buying into his philosophy. This is a dress rehearsal for this staff as well as the players. I want to see whether there is a method to his play-calling. I want to see him be committed to something whether it's the run or pass. I want to see his demeanor on the sidelines. I want to see how he interacts with his players as well as his coaches. I want to see how he handles mistakes. I want to see if he will get in the players face if need be.

Regardless of how much Brett Favre plays I want to see him have command of the offense and not put the team in a bind. I want him to be the intelligent leader, not the gunslinger that threw 29 interceptions last year. I want to see that he understands what McCarthy is trying to do with this team and what his real role is. I want to see if he is starting to understand that it is not about him because he can't make it about him. It is his responsibility to help this team get better not hurt it. I also want to see Aaron Rodgers keep improving just like he has been during training camp. I want to see him come off the primary receiver and go to the second or third option without looking like a deer in headlights.

Now for the offensive line I need to see just a few things, but the first thing I need to see is somebody play with some attitude. I want to see someone dog somebody and drive them into the ground and bury them. I'm tired of seeing this offensive line chest block everyone and try to out-technique their defenders. I want to see Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, Junius Coston kick someone's butt. I know there has been a lot of talk about the cut blocking, which is fine. But sometimes they are going to have to look someone in their eyes and man-on-man win the battles. I sure would like to see that on Saturday, wouldn't you?

At running back I want to see Samkon Gado use some patience and Noah Herron not dance so much that he misses the five or ten-yard run because he's looking for the home run. I hope he takes what the offensive line gives him, plus more. As for William Henderson all I need to see from him is what he's been doing because he still does it better than most. I need to see Vonta Leach be something other than just a blocking back. I want to see signs that Henderson's presence is rubbing off on him. And last but not least I just don't want to see Najeh Davenport get hurt.

As for the wide receivers, I want to see Greg Jennings play like it's no big deal and do the things that I have seen at training camp against his teammates and he will be fine. I want to see Robert Ferguson and Rod Gardner realize that they are fighting for their football lives and make all the plays, not just the hard ones, like in practice. I would like to see no drops from these receivers. I also would like to see one of the young receivers step up and seize the moment, whether it's Cory Rodgers, Chad Lucas or Calvin Russell.

There are just as many things that I need to see on this side of the ball, so let's start up front with the defensive line. First of all I need to see Ryan Pickett play like he's worth all the money the Packers have paid him because up to this point he has been basically invisible. I haven't seen him dominate anyone up to this point. For that matter Kenderick Allen hasn't done anything to make me think their has been any real improvement. I also need to see Cullen Jenkins get to the quarterback instead of getting stoned at the line of scrimmage and reading the quarterbacks eyes to hopefully knock down the ball.

At the linebacker position there are so many things I need to see. I really need to see A.J. Hawk knock the crap out of someone. The heck with seeing him get the right fit, or drop back in the right coverage. I want to see him DOG SOMEONE. I want to have a Wayne Simmons flashback. I also am aware of the Abdul Hodge influence. Trust me, it's being felt not only by the fans but the coaches are seeing it as well. Abdul Hodge is a natural middle linebacker and having a great training camp. I don't think Nick Barnett is, but he thinks he is, so I want to see how Nick will play with someone breathing down his neck. This will be the first real test for all of them. Like the old saying goes, let the cream rise to the top.

I know all the coaches are going to be watching how this shakes out. Like I said in an earlier article, Bob Sanders has a good problem, but a problem nevertheless, such as ‘Who do I play and where do I play them?'

I also want to see how the tandem of Al Harris and Charles Woodson work together and can they start to become the shut down corners I think they can be.

I want to see if either one of these kickers can get it done. I need to see how Billy Cundiff and Dave Rayner handle the pressure of replacing the legend. Also, I need to see if Jon Ryan can cut down his steps and punt with hang time and not out-kick his coverage just as I need to see if B.J. Sander is really a bust or not.

I am sure that in this first pre-season game there are things you are looking for, but these are THINGS I NEED TO SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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