Sydney Speaks! Standing at the crossroads's Harry Sydney explains why the Packers will have a lot of questions to answer in the final 11 games, beginning with Brett Favre's future in Green Bay.

I hope the players and the coaches got away on their long weekend. The bye week came to the Packers at the perfect time. Their record is only 1-4 with perhaps some games they can win coming up and, trust me, they need to win for so many reasons. If they don't, so many things will have to be addressed, such as who is going to be the captain of the ship if winning doesn't happen?

One of the things that everyone thinks about but doesn't want to talk about is what do the Packers do at quarterback? I know this is a sticky subject to many, but the reality of the situation is that if the Packers keep losing, Aaron Rodgers is going to have to see the field unless Mike McCarthy and/or Ted Thompson goes to Brett Favre and asks him what his plans are for the future. I believe that if Brett Favre says he's in for the long run and can commit himself to another year or two, then Rodgers sits on the bench - end of story. But if Brett says this is the last year, or he doesn't know what he wants to do, then McCarthy and Thompson have an obligation to the organization to get Rodgers some quality playing time. That's what business is about and in football if you can't win you do things to prepare to win.

This isn't about Brett's starting streak or how close he is to the touchdown record. It's about the future of this team. I know the other argument is that Brett Favre gives this team the best opportunity to win, and that may be true, but how many games have they won up to this point? That's why I feel this team is at a crucial point in the season. I know Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson don't want to be put in that situation, but if they don't win they will be standing right between a rock and a hard place. I know for sure that when Mike McCarthy took the job as the Packers' head coach nowhere on his resume did he want to see in print that this was the coach that sat Brett Favre down. Trust me, he doesn't want to do that on his watch and for that matter neither does Ted Thompson, but if the Packers keep losing and they get no real commitment from Favre, what choice do they have?

Please understand that even though I might be critical of how Brett plays at times, I also understand what he has done for this team and the city. His legacy will last forever, but football is about interchangeable parts. Unfortunately, this team isn't surrounded by Pro Bowl players and they aren't just one player away. They are a long way from being contenders. On offense, besides Donald Driver and an emerging Greg Jennings, who else can take them over the top? Even though the offensive line has improved, it still is far away from being consistent. If anyone thinks Noah Herron is the answer, or an injured Ahman Green can return to the form he once was, probably doesn't understand what it takes to be good in the National Football League.

On the defensive side of the ball, just how inconsistent are they? There is still no steady pass rush by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Aaron Kampman. Yes, they get there in spurts, but not play-in and play-out, which is evident because of what teams are doing to this defense in the passing game. The linebacking group up to this point has been under-utilized with A.J. Hawk making the most of the opportunities. Except for an interception he dropped, he has been the most consistent of the group.

In the secondary, I hope Al Harris took time away during the bye to figure out the only way he's going to get the payday he wants is to earn it on the field, because talk is cheap. And, yes, Charles Woodson has had his moments, but then again they are 1-4 so just how good are they????

That's why it's so important that this team comes back from the bye week on fire and starts kicking butts and taking names. They have to come out and play like their lives depend on it because if they don't, and continue losing, they open up the door for change that has to happen. The future for this team is right around the corner, because if it's not Brett Favre anymore it has to be someone. Everyone replaces a legend and it's part of the game. I know for sure that's not what the fans, coaches or players want, but it has been part of the game forever. It's not a question of whether it will happen, but more of a question of when?

So I hope during this time off the coaches have done their homework and put together a plan for success in the future, because winning cures a lot of things. When teams win they can hide things, they can excuse things, they are allowed to overlook situations. But then again when they lose they have to really be critical of every decision and they have look at what happened, why it happened, who made it happen and how long it's been happening.

So when it comes to Brett we know what he has done and we know how long he has done it, but we don't know how much longer will he do it and that's the problem. That uncertainty and losing makes for a bad scenario, one that if the Packers keep losing will be something that Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson won't be able to hide from. If Aaron Rodgers is to follow the legend when is it time for him to place his hands under the center and make this team his talk about STANDING AT THE CROSSROADS.

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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