Sydney Speaks! Adjusting to a victory

Former Packers fullback and assistant coach Harry Sydney analyzes Green Bay's victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Sydney explains how the Packers put it all together, especially Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff, for a much needed win.

This is an understatement, but Sunday's game in Miami was a must win for so many reasons for the Green Bay Packers, and how they won was the key element to the win. After the bye week the Packers put so many pieces to the puzzle together, and we saw the results against the Dolphins. What did we see? Let me tell you what I saw!!!!!

This was the coaches' best game up to this date in so many areas. I say that, but to be honest with you I was wondering what they were they thinking as they started the game on offense. Once they realized that Chad Clifton was out of the game at that point they should have gone left-handed by keeping the tight end on the left side, or start off chipping with the running back to Jason Taylor to protect Brett Favre's backside. This would allow him to feel comfortable. I just wish they would have gone into the game with that in mind because against a better team those sacks and fumbles could have put them behind the eight ball.

I understand they have faith in Daryn Colledge, but he was going against maybe one of the best pass rushers in the league. They did make the adjustment which was better late than never, but I also liked the killer instinct that was displayed by Mike McCarthy. He called the game trying to win instead of just trying not to lose. The aggressive nature I saw, especially passing on third and short, and even the reverse to Donald Driver took some guts. I liked seeing that style of play calling. After they got the protection straight he called an excellent game. He stuck to the run just enough to keep the Dolphins off balance, then he would use the bootleg to stop Brett from sitting in the pocket too long. Then he used the slant plays, hitting all the receivers, allowing Brett to spread the ball around. We saw many passes to the tight end in the middle to take advantage of the Dolphins' Cover 2 defense, which leaves the middle of the field wide open. But one of the biggest things I liked was that on the first offensive play they went deep, stretching the field and making the Dolphins respect the long ball.

That was on the offensive side of the ball, and now to the defensive side. I have been very critical of what Bob Sanders has been doing, but against the Dolphins he had an excellent game plan and he showed an aggressive side, which I loved. I loved the fact that he blitzed early and often. He started off with sending Charles Woodson and he got home. I also like the fact that he had the corners playing aggressive man-to-man because they knew that none of the Dolphins receivers could beat them deep because they lacked the overall speed to take it to the house.

The only other problem I had with the coaches was game management right before half. I don't think they took advantage of their timeouts and lost out on at least three points before half because they ran out of time due to a penalty. Also, it was nice to see the staff get excited on the long touchdown run from Ahman Green, but just like I tell the players: Act like you've been there and please do the same as coaches, but GREAT WIN!!!!!!!

Great game for Donald Driver, but then again he plays this way every game by giving everything he has. The touchdown catch he made showed awesome concentration. Hats off to the young receivers Ruvell Martin and Chris Francies. They answered the bell when their number was called with big plays at crucial points in the game. Not only them, but the youngsters on the offensive line Tony Moll, Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Scott Wells gave Brett time to throw as well as opening the hole on Ahman Green's 70-yard touchdown run. As for Brett Favre he had an average game. He threw some nice balls, accounting for two touchdown throws as he moves closer to Dan Marino, just 15 touchdown passes away from the record. He also got away with some lucky throws, but that's all part of who he is isn't it?

As for the running game, I was glad to see Ahman Green show that he still has the speed to take it the distance, but let's not be fooled. Take that long run away and the running game would have been 28 carries for 76 yards, which would average right around 3 yards a carry. That really isn't good enough, but I know this offensive line is a work in progress.

It was nice to see David Martin in the end zone after showing great concentration when he scored on the touchdown pass from Favre. Just like the coaches stayed aggressive, so did the players because each of them seemed to have the mindset that they weren't going to wait for someone else to make the play. Each individual took it on themself to be the playmaker and the result was a BIG WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, the two corners are playing like shutdown corners. Al Harris and Charles Woodson seem to be getting it together, especially Charles, after turning the game around by picking off Joey Harrington and taking it to the house for a 23-yard touchdown, giving the Packers a 13-10 lead.

Besides the corners, I think the linebackers played incredible, especially A.J. Hawk. He was all over the field making physical tackles (12 total) and a key sack. Nick Barnett as well has picked up his game, and even Brady Poppinga had an interception. They all contributed to the win.

Even though Harrington had the game of his life throwing for 414 yards, he still had three interceptions, though, only one really was his fault. Turnovers are turnovers and they allowed the Packers to take advantage of it. With all that said this team won the game without any consistent pass rush. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Aaron Kampman aren't getting it done, and there is no pass rush unless Bob Sanders calls a blitz.

Mike McCarthy and his staff have struggled in the first five games because they stuck to their game plan too late in games when it didn't work, but against the Dolphins we saw WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE ADJUSTMENTS.

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