Sydney Speaks! No killer instinct

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney breaks down Green Bay's 34-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Sydney explains why the Packers had every opportunity to win the game, but didn't because of questionable coaching and mistakes by players.

What more could this team ask for after getting its butts' kicked by the Chicago Bears? They had the New Orleans Saints on the "Frozen Tundra" having not won back to back road wins in 42 years. The weather was great and the Saints gave the Packers more gifts than Santa on Christmas in the first quarter. Drew Brees gave the defense two fumbles and one interception before some fans could get into their seats. All the Packers had to do was take advantage of the situation and they just didn't do it, did they? So let's break it down!!!

I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I can't because this is a game that they should have won hands down. The Saints gave this coaching staff 13 points to work with and they didn't do nothing with it.

Mike McCarthy had the opportunity to slow things down and make the Saints have to gamble, and all he had to do was commit himself to the run. He should have shoved the ball so far down the Saints' throat that they couldn't breathe. They should have gotten Ahman Green up the middle and around both edges. He should have carried it as much as Brett Favre threw it, or more. It was like the game got away from him and he was trying to prove something, and get this team a win that it really needed.

All off season we heard offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski and McCarthy say that they want to run the ball. As soon as they got an opportunity to do so, they didn't seize the moment. Not only that but when they did attempt to run they did it with tight ends leading the way. Are you kidding me? How committed to the run are they?

Also, as long as we are talking about the offense, the coaches need to have a better feel of the game. I thought the offensive line did a pretty good job on pass protection, so I don't think they needed to hold the tight ends in for protection as much let them get out in the pattern more. It would be nice to allow them to stretch the field.

How much more do we need to see Brady Poppinga on the field in pass coverage to realize that that isn't one of his strengths? Come on, Bob Sanders, haven't you seen what everyone else has? It's time to let the veteran Ben Taylor on the field in those situations, or coach him better. For example when he was lined up over Joe Horn at least coach him up enough to get within the five yard zone and get inside and jam him. You can't just let him release inside. That can't happen.

The coverage units were coached very well. The Packers contained Reggie Bush. He wasn't a weapon at all in this area, but for all the hoopla about Koren Robinson I don't care who's back there, the kickoff return blocking scheme is absolutely horrible, and that falls on special teams coach Mike Stock.

Just like the rookies have to pick up their game, so do the veterans. This game in was a game filled with mental breakdowns. The sharpness wasn't there. Of course there were too many dropped passes. Bubba Franks had his share as well as Ahman Green which is simply a lack of concentration, just like Green's fumble. I know Ahman likes to carry the ball in his left arm, but like I've said before when he runs to the right he exposes the ball to the tackles which is a fumble waiting to happen.

Brett Favre played one of the better games he has played in a while, but unfortunately he had an interception at a crucial time because he was trying to do too much. That is usually when mistakes happen.

I thought the offensive line played very consistent and gave Brett opportunities to make throws. I know Packers fans might be down on the run production, but I don't think the offensive linemen were allowed to establish any running tempo. Think about it - only 19 rushes by the running backs in a game that was never out of reach until the end is a joke. It reminded me of the Mike Sherman era

Donald Driver is just playing outstanding, especially considering that everyone knows he's the go-to guy, and he still is putting up crazy numbers such as 8 catches for 153 yards. He can't do any more than he has been for the Packers.

A.J. Hawk showed off his speed by beating Reggie Bush to the corners. Hawk is a good tackler and what a bright future this guy has! I believe he is worth all the hype.

Brady Poppinga is not a cover guy he is a downhill, physical tackler - nothing more and nothing less, so whatever happens when he is in coverage isn't his fault because he never should be put in that situation again.

As for Aaron Kampman, thus far he is money well spent because against the Saints he got results with the effort. Kabeer also showed his ability to get to the passer, but that's not really any surprise.

It also wasn't a surprise that on Deuce McAllister's touchdown he was driven so far to the sideline that he almost ran over the chain crew. Also talk about an interesting game for Nick Collins. He made some outstanding tackles as well as great individual plays tipping the ball, allowing for Al Harris to get his interception, but then again, getting turned inside out on Marques Colston's 35 yard touchdown reception.

Without a doubt, Ahmad Carroll hasn't learned a thing about what it takes to be a good corner in the NFL. His lack of technique is hurting this team and Marquand Manuel isn't too far behind.

Also, I believe Nick Barnett played but I wasn't sure until I remembered he was the guy seen swinging at Reggie Bush's shoes as he was flopping on the ground.

This game was lost because the Packers made a crucial error on Sunday and that was they didn't put the Saints away when they had them on the ropes the longer they were in the game the more dangerous they became. Along with learning how to coach and play they must also develop that KILLER INSTINCT!!!!!!!!!!< p>
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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