Letters to the Editor

Many fans feel coaching changes should be made after this season

Coaching is root of team's problems this season
Hi Todd,
I wish I knew why the top people in the Packer organization make the decisions that they make. What is their reasoning?!!! As a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers, I am embarrassed and angry.

I am not a football coach, but sometimes I think the fans could make better coaching decisions than the decisions being made by the current coaching staff. I think the team would be much better off if Jim Bates had been offered the head coaching position. Actually, by the way the defense is playing it looks like they're not even coached at all. Unless the Packers win the rest of their games this season, which is very unlikely, then the coaching staff needs to go. But more importantly, good coaches need to be hired.

Colleen, melck@aol.com, St. Joseph, MI

Hiring McCarthy and Co. was a big-time mistake
PackerReport.com,
My heart has been with the Packers for over 40 years and I've loved them thru thick and thin and ALWAYS will. I've witnessed so much history, good or bad.

Phil Bengtson taking over for St. Vince and doing what he could to keep a winning tradition .... never happened and that was continued, albeit, a brief playoff experience with Lindy, and then Mikey H., a savior and still would've been with us if some egotistical people would have stepped down from their tall horses and given him the dual role that Vince had.

McCarthy and company ... pathetic? You bet!! They hired this guy who couldn't do a thing in SF and expected him to lead the Pack to glory? Huh-uh, will not happen!! Never have I've been so down on the Packers as I have this year. Last year was bad enough and I knew the execs were headed in another Mike Sherman direction. C'mon, TT!!! SEE THE LIGHT, OR ARE YOU IN THE DARK TOO???

Pete Bruner, pete_b46@yahoo.com, Loogootee, IN

Coaching changes just ahead for the Packers
Hi Todd,
Well, it seems like there will be some changes on the defensive side of the ball this off-season. Sanders and Schottenheimer will be let go, and we'll have our 5th different DC within the last 5 seasons. I hope MM brings someone with experience, especially in the 3-4 scheme. No one in the NFC North uses it, and it would be towards our advantage. Think about it, we already have a good group of LB's, maybe we can pick up another DE in free agency, and perhaps move KGB to be our 4th LB-pass rush.

I read an article, and it might just be rumors that Jagz is being considered for the Boston College head coaching job? If he bolts, what is going to happen with the zone blocking, who else is out there for us to go get. This OL needs as much help and guidance as it can get.

What are your thoughts?

Lou, Coral Springs, FL.

Lou, louiem007@bellsouth.net, Coral Springs, FL

Lou,
I haven't heard the rumor about Jags going to BC, but you never know. Any of the assistants could bolt at any time for a better deal. If that happened, I'm sure McCarthy would seek an assistant from Denver or Atlanta that utilizes the same scheme.

Problems the Packers must overcome to win
Dear Todd,
I love the commentary, whether I agree with it or not, of Harry Sydney and the other contributors to the Packer Report. I find that many of the fan responses are quite insightful, but I believe they are missing a couple of elements.

Number one Packer Problem: Inexperience (whether in years in the league or time within the system) and Problem 1A is MENTAL TOUGHNESS, and I believe that both problems are often interrelated.

The 2006 Packers built up our hopes in the first half of the season by playing well and/or beating some flawed and mediocre teams. As soon as the competition heated up (the last 3 games) they have fallen apart. At any level of competition this routinely happens to young or mentally complacent teams (or teams that have not yet learned to be mentally tough) teams. When things go well they play like they can beat anyone in the league, and when things go bad they go really bad.

The old adage when playing a team that you feel is inferior, "Don't let these guys hang around, crush them early and steal their spirit." That is exactly what I saw vs. New England, vs. the Jets, and the second half of the Seattle game. The defense almost looks as if it has given up and the offense couldn't run the ball if it had to. I believe this is more about mental toughness and desire than physical talent and more about the players than the coaches.

I will give McCarthy a pass while he chooses how to respond to the challenges he faces. His position coaches will have to be evaluated by the films and his relationship with them. The coaches do not seem to be reaching the players and the players are acting as if they are more confused than embattled. I have no patience for rebuilding, but it is a fact of life.

I believe that Favre is playing his best football overall at anytime in the last 3 years. I say this mostly because he appears to be playing within the team most of the time. The Packers receivers have woefully underachieved during the last few years with Donald Driver the exception. All the others have not panned out and there is no reason to believe that the current group beyond Greg Jennings is any better. No one ever comes open and Favre still forces as many completions as he does bad passes and interceptions.

Case in point for Favre's frustration: Late in the Seattle game down 10 he throws two interceptions into double coverage trying to make something happen downfield. On the final drive he dumps to backs out of the backfield for short gains, clearly taking what the defense was giving. Had he done that on the first drive something downfield may have opened up, but with the current cast I can see how that thought may seem far-fetched. He is probably not the answer, but he is the best at this point for the team and may very well be the best for the team next year. The rest of the team will have to grow as well and one more year of stability at the QB spot my be necessary to help grease the skids for Aaron R. or whomever the next guy might be!! Pack fan for life.

Tom Nash, thomas.nash@gm.com, Indianapolis, IN

Seahawks' chief apologizes to Packers fans
Dear Mr. and Mrs.. Haas:
I was forwarded your letter from the Seattle Sports Commission and wanted to directly contact you. I am sorry and disappointed to hear of the treatment you and other's received at the Seahawks/Packers game at Qwest Field. Sadly, there is a small segment of fans that take their loyalty to extreme and ruin the game experience for visiting fans. I assure you, we take this poor behavior seriously. When we witness poor behavior or have it reported to our staff we have been aggressive in ejecting fans, issuing trespassing citations and revoking season tickets.

I realize these words can't change the poor experience you had at Qwest Field. What you witnessed is a small segment of fans, and not a reflection of the broad fan base who are passionate about their home team but respectful of visiting fans.

Thank you for sharing your story. If you have any further information on the seat locations of the fans that were using profane language or throwing food, we will follow up and take the appropriate steps.

We'll continue to be vigilant in our efforts to weed out fans that spoil the experience for others.

John Rizzardini, Sr. Vice President/CMO, Seattle Seahawks, JohnRizz@Seahawks.com

Sydney is too hard on Favre
Mr. Harry Sydney,
I just read your article this morning. I must tell you that I disagree with you about the way you speak of Favre. It seems you do not want to trash him directly, but you do not want him as the QB and you are blaming him for this team's poor showings last year and this.

I realize that Favre is making mistakes this year and last, as you pointed out. But he is doing so with very little talent around him. His talent has not faded. It is the people around him, the line, the receivers corp, the tight ends, the running game (except Green) that is the real reason he is not leading the team to victory as much as you would like.

Stats are stats, and you can bend them any way you want, but when the whole team - offense and defense - were very well balanced and coached, Favre played better than anyone. But when he has no team around him he performs to their standard. You tell me one QB ever that took a bad team all around to a division winner, let alone into the playoffs?

Besides Mr. Sydney do you really think that a QB other than Favre would be winning more games in Green Bay this year if you could pick any from the other 31 teams?

If so, I am open to listen and please explain why you feel this person would be able to do more for the Packers than Favre can right now.

I am a diehard packer fan since 1957. Go Packers! Beat them Niners!

Jerry Ingaldi, jerry04pack@msn.com, Erie, Pa.

Jerry,
I respect your opinion but it all starts with the quarterback, and as good as Brett has been he has been on the decline over the past five years. Just look at what has happened in the playoffs when the Packers did have a pretty good supporting cast. He didn't get it done.

I know it's a team game, but if you look at mistakes by a quarterback we could look at the Rams, Falcons and Eagles and how Brett's mistakes contributed directly to the losses. Is it all his fault? Certainly not, but how can you tell the followers not to make mistakes and the leader is making more than his share. And as for quarterbacks that have done pretty good with not a lot of talent around them, I will throw out Tom Brady. He has realized he didn't have the supporting cast and chose not to try and win it by himself and put his team in trouble by not taking unnecessary chances, unlike Brett. I know everyone says he gives this team the best chance to win, but up to this point what's the proof?

Like I said, I value your opinion and I respectfully agree to disagree.

Harry

Thompson in no way should trade Favre to another team
Todd Korth:
In regard to your "Letter From the Editor" in the January 2007 Packer Report magazine, if GM Thompson trades Brett Favre he should be run out of Green Bay on a rail. If anybody deserves to retire as a Packer it is Brett. Business or not, comparing the situation to the San Diego Chargers is a reach at best. To trade or release Favre would be a slap in the face of every Packer fan, the team and the organization itself. The hardest slap would be to Brett Favre's face.

A lifelong North Dakota Packer fan.

Tony Gross, agross@nd.gov, Bismarck, N.D.

Youth, coaching combine for poor record … and 1970s all over again?
Todd,
I believe the youth of our team obviously has a lot to do with our performance this season. The coaching cannot get much worse in all three phases of our team, but one basic philosophy about our defense is overlooked by the powers to be and that is we have to be strong up the middle! Pickett is horrendous stands straight up and gets blown off the ball - run or pass. Barnett is more than adequate, but might be better suited outside, and Marquand can't cover or tackle.

If Ted continues to think he can build a winner with second-tier free agents and rookies he won't be around very long. Our direction, short term, targets to reach our long-term goal, should show some signs of impending improvement which is not happening in Green Bay.

Elsewhere in other NFL cities where their new coaches and management were handed the same situation as us are showing signs of improvement. We are not. I challenge Ted and our coaching staff, just like they challenge the team to "Go Out & Make A Play." Hopefully it is not too late and that '70's show doesn't start over again (Fine with Devine; Fresh Start with Bart).

Peter M. Tetting, packtet@bellsouth.net, Cocoa, FL

True fans will stand behind Packers
Todd;
I had to wait a few hours before I could talk about the Jets game after the other two losses. What can be wrong with the Pack? What is wrong with the assistant coaches, and what is wrong with McCarthy?

I am disappointed, but still a loyal Green Bay Packer fan. You have probably heard a lot from Packer fans and probably unhappiness from most, but this is the test of a true Packer fan, and not a fair weather fan. It's the way the ball bounces in a football game, or anything else.

Grant, gddave28@yahoo.com, Rhode Island

Heads should roll after this season
Todd,
Was just reading where MM says that the players didn't necessarily play bad. That they were just overly aggressive mistakes made. Does that mean if they are aggressive they can't think and do their assignments right? Guess to me that means you can't think on your feet. Still think it's a lot to do with coaching. Guess is we need some changes at year's end as it sounds like MM says we aren't getting rid of anyone now. Makes sense as the horse is out now, so there's no sense in shutting the gate at this point.

I certainly will be surprised and greatly disappointed if heads don't roll after the season is done. Wait, guess that's already here. Just playing out the string now.

Steve, branson1@charter.net, Janesville, WI

Two big reasons why Packers are struggling
Todd,
The game against the Jets only confirmed several things I had been seeing for around a month.

Number One - Joe Philbin has no idea how to teach his Offensive Line what it means to keep opposing Defenses from getting under their shoulder pads and lifting them up off their feet and practically on top of the QB, on almost every play. Mark Tauscher's replacement had this happening time and time again. He doesn't even deserve to have his name mentioned after what I saw against the Jets on that right side. Can you imagine what it'd be like if Chad Clifton got hurt? What's more, Scott Wells is NOT the future center for the Green Bay Packers. The O-Line would have more cohesive strength than it does if that was the case.

They should have never let Larry Beightol go. This nonsense with getting rid of the Old Coaches because they "might" and I do mean "might" cause setbacks is ridiculous, especially when it comes to the performance of the new OLC. His assistant doesn't seem to be any better, either. I know this - Larry Beightol knew how to get his players to "talk to each other." Right now, you can tell that's not happening. I don't know what the coaches are pointing to on film, but it's not working. We can all see that.

Number Two - and, this is the most startling. Well, maybe not. From the behavior of the team, especially this last Sunday, all I can say is that it looks like the players are letting the coaching staff have "what for." Meaning, it's high time the coaches learn to fall on the sword instead of pretending everything out there is only the players' fault - each and every game.

You can tell when a company has disgruntled employees, and man, it's certainly what I saw all thru the Jets game. I have no doubt at all (call me wrong if ya like) that the players are internally revolting against the coaches. This means the players don't like being talked to as if they're still in college and having their diplomas held over their heads. They're beyond that, so using that type of tactic will cause any team to implode.

I'll re-iterate: Schottenheimer's abilities were on film from 2004. Why Bob Sanders & Co felt it was a good thing to bring him back is beyond me. Jim Bates (it appeared) wanted nothing to do with him. I would have taken that with a grain of salt, no matter what. You simply cannot run a defense as if it's a corporate office scenario. Bob Sanders has that Mike Sherman approach to coaching. He either needs to get some Lombardi, or even Fritz Shurmur, in him, or walk away for the good of the team.

I think one of the most frustrating things for ALL Packer fans is how none of the Coaches are willing to scream at the players during the game. This nicey, nicey political correctness is for ... the ... birds! There's no better motivator than doing that "during" the game. Drill sergeants do it all the time. It works - believe me, it works!

Let's all chip in and get Woodson (21) a case of stick-um ... he could sure use it. Hell, the whole team could use it. We're seen so many dropped passes or dropped INT's. It's enough to spit blood just watching the damn TV. I'll bet they're stellar at practice with catchin' those things. Is everyone totally scared out there? It sure looks like they're afraid of succeeding, right now! AL HARRIS and MR. WOODSON should both know better.

Again, I'll repeat my last comment when I wrote you last, Todd: I got no problem with Mike McCarthy "firing" any coach who isn't performing, or is more willing to play prevent football, than they are to "go for it." Going for it, means they at least have some stones to begin with. If the coaches would show more guts, maybe the players would begin to feel like they can respect them and return that respect with better play out on the field. Right now, that ain't happenin'!

Cheers from Lambeau Midwest! As always, great job, Todd!

Tony LaRussa, ipbprez@gmail.com, Indianapolis, IN

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