Sydney Speaks! Backs against the wall

It's only Week 3 of a 17-week season, but's Harry Sydney says the Green Bay Packers are in a must-win situation this Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mike McCarthy and company have been saying all the right things, but now it's time to back it up, Sydney says.

It's early in the season. The Packers have only played two games, one in which they had no chance of winning regardless of what anyone thought or believed. Chicago was just to good for them. Then in the second game the Packers took on a team that they were supposed to beat in the Saints but didn't. Not only that they were given every opportunity to win early. Drew Brees practically gave the game to the Packers on a silver platter as he committed three turnovers in the first quarter, but the Packers couldn't, or wouldn't, seal the deal. So how important is this Sunday's game against the Lions???????

First, let's look at the coaching, Mike McCarthy keeps saying the right things and sometimes when you say it long enough you just start to believe in it. But saying it and getting it done are two different things. So far in the first two games his team got out-played in the first one and in the second game the staff got out-coached.

This game against Detroit is so important for so many reasons. One of the reasons is that McCarthy needs this win so that the players will start believing in what he is trying to accomplish. These players both young and old must start believing that he's the guy to follow, and a win Sunday would go a long way toward establishing that.

Mike McCarthy has put his seal on everything from changing practice times, to different meeting times, to a different style of preparation during the week as well as how he approaches things 48 hours before the game. He has brought in a new philosophy to the Green Bay Packers and a win would validate that he knows what he is doing. I listen to his press conferences and hear how he talks and what he says, but in all honesty I don't need to hear about percentages, or game plans, or what they want to establish. I want to just look at the scoreboard and see a VICTORY. Not only that but Mike McCarthy needs a win for his himself. The heck with all of us! He needs a win to get the monkey off his back. He can't afford to go 0-3 with two divisional losses. He has personal pride and he doesn't want to have two of his three losses - if they lose to the Lions - to be by the hands of two other first-year coaches.

Not only that, but he has been waiting for this moment all of his life. To finally have this opportunity to be the man in charge, he doesn't want to see it slipping through his fingers. I know that he has a young team, no question about that, but those are reasons. He isn't allowed to use those reasons as excuses, especially when the last game so much of the fault rested at the feet of the veterans.

Mike McCarthy and this staff need this win desperately. They also need this win so that everything they do as a staff won't be dissected because everything now is questioned. Questions are coming at them from everywhere, such as "if this team continues losing, will Brett Favre be traded?" or " When will Aaron Rodgers get playing time," or how about "Why are they playing Poppinga instead of Taylor in pass situations?" Their press conferences are filled with questions, questions and more questions, and unfortunately, until they win, the questions are about what they did to win instead of lose. Nothing is going to change.

And just as important as the staff needing a win, so do the players. If they don't get a win soon they will start questioning the coaching and once that happens this team is lost. Against the Lions this team has to walk away with a win because the players have worked too hard to have nothing to show for it. Like Aaron Kampman said, this game is about winning. Everyone makes money in the NFL but not everyone wins. Another loss has the players questioning whether they are good enough to compete. Trust me, the players read the paper and hear or see what is said about them. They have pride. They don't want to hear about them being on the clock for the 2007 draft.

And if they don't win soon, even though they will say all the right stuff politically and in front of the camera we'll hear the old sayings like ‘we are in it together' or ‘it's us against the world.' But behind the scenes there will be some finger pointing going on, which isn't a good thing. Not only that but football becomes work and there is no pleasure in going to work when you can't relax and everything you do is under a microscope, because when you lose someone becomes a scapegoat.

So as you can see it's time to stop talking a good game. It's time to fix the mistakes because I for one want to see this team go into a place that hasn't been a great place for them and come out fighting, scratching and clawing like a wounded animal because that's what they need to do to walk away with a win. Yes, it's true, their BACKS ARE AGAINST THE WALL!!!!!!!!!!< 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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