Sydney Speaks! Better buckle up!

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney previews Green Bay's season opener against the Chicago Bears this Sunday at Lambeau Field. A lot more than winning or losing the game is on the line for the Packers, says Sydney.

All that stuff that happened this preseason really doesn't matter anymore, does it? The records can be thrown right out of the window. Who played good or who didn't doesn't mean one thing come this Sunday when this team faces the "Monsters of the Midway" at Lambeau Field. What does matter is how Mike McCarthy and his staff has prepare this team to face something I'm not sure they are ready for, but then again, how could they be? Then again, they have to be.

This game is more than just about winning and losing for the Packers; it's about starting off this new era on a positive note and making a statement. They want to establish a new mindset on offense, defense and on special teams. Mike McCarthy wants or needs to see certain things; he needs to see the offensive line not play scared. He has to see Tony Moll, Jason Spitz and Scott Wells play with a physical attitude, because if they don't the Bears defensive linemen will punk them on national television. Trust me, that's the last thing that Mike McCarthy wants to see.

I understand that because of the zone blocking scheme the one-on-one battles might be limited to a certain degree, but regardless, whomever these guys face, they must play like they are pissed off and angry at the world because, guess what, the world is watching. This film will be seen by everyone that the Packers will face this year and they don't want the rest of the league's defensive linemen licking their lips to line up and face the Green Bay Packers because they are seen as soft.

In order for the Packers to have any chance this Sunday a new line of scrimmage must be established. They have to be able to run the ball with some success and that starts with the guys up front. If this happens the use of play action will allow the tight ends to get involved in the game, which has been a missing element of this offense for way too long. This game can't turn into what happened last year or Brett Favre might get hurt if he drops back to pass too much. Also, the offensive linemen must protect Brett so well that the only way the Bears put pressure on him is blitzing an extra man. When this happens, the wide receivers - Donald Driver and Greg Jennings - must make them pay.

This game should remind us of why this division used to be called the BLACK and BLUE. It stood for a physical division before all the rules changed the game. Hopefully, Mike McCarthy will have this team ready to play at a high level because all off-season we have been hearing about the importance of taking back that home field advantage. Well, in order for that to happen, they will have to go out and take it from the Chicago Bears. I say take it because the Bears don't seem to want to throw it a lot downfield. At least that's not what they are known for, so it's going to be a field position, moving the chains, last man standing type of game.

This could be a game where the special teams really make a difference. The leg of Jon Ryan when it comes to changing field position could be huge as long as he doesn't out-kick his coverage. This also could be a field goal kicking game with the unproven Dave Rayner being put on the spot against the Bears' second-year pro Robbie Gould. Unfortunately, I don't know how Rayner will answer the bell because he hasn't been tested in any game this preseason.

On the defensive side of the ball this should be a game that the players really look forward to because games like this separate the men from the boys. The Chicago Bears are going to try and ram the ball right down the Packers' throat; it's a simple as that. Guys like A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Brady Poppinga, Kenderick Allen and Ryan Pickett won't have to be looking for the ball. Except for a trick play or two, a couple of play-actions, and maybe a deep throw or two which will involve Al Harris and Charles Woodson, the Bears are going to attempt to run right over the Packers, step on their chests and take no prisoners. This will be one of those games that on defense you can't hide, and you can't blink and show any sign of weakness. This is one of those games that, as a player, you have to love to play because as an offensive linemen you know where they are going to be at and it's up to you to move them out. And if you are on the defense, you know what they are trying to do. Some teams try to trick you by giving you millions of formations and you don't have any idea of what they are trying to do on offense, so you play the guessing game and play tentative on defense. Or if you are on offense, the defense has so many looks that you play careful because you are guessing too much. That can happen, but not this week. So my advice for the Green Bay Packers this Sunday is you better get ready and BUCKLE UP!!!!!!!!!!!

Harry Sydney

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

Packer Report Top Stories