I was pushing for them to go sign Daniel Graham from New England but for some reason they didn't see it as a need, or they didn't want to spend the money, or they think that Bubba Franks can come back and be the player that once visited the Pro Bowl. Graham signed with the Broncos, who beat out the Seahawks in battling for his services.
Did I think Graham could improve this team? I have no doubt in my mind that he would have, and I don't think I'm alone because apparently Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan saw the same thing or they wouldn't have made a play for his services. The price tag wasn't too much.
Instead of the Packers trying to improve the team the biggest news is that they are entertaining a fullback in Justin Griffith, so what's the big deal? The fullback in this offense might catch 20 balls a year and I believe they have carried the ball maybe four times in the past two years. WOW! This guy is really going to improve this team.
All last year we heard about Brandon Miree and just how he was perfect for this zone blocking scheme, and now the big free agent media coverage is about a fullback? Are you kidding me? This is the wheeling and dealing that the Packers are doing to get them to the next level? Someone, please tell me this is a joke, right?
Not only that, but besides Griffith the Packers are searching for the guy that's going to take Ahman Green's place in the backfield. That is going to be hard to do because everyone left are out there because their former teams didn't want to keep them, and that is a red flag in itself. No team can have enough good running backs and those that are still out there are the ones that are mostly going to fill the void as backups, not difference makers. That doesn't really help the Packers, does it?
I know they couldn't keep Ahman because of the money that the Texans were offering. It was just too much, which leads me to believe they know they are going to have to draft a running back with one of the picks in the first two rounds of the draft. So why not fill some of the other holes on the roster? The world knows what this team needs. It's not a secret they need a running back, safety, receiver and tight end. Of course they could use a real defensive end, even though they signed Cullen Jenkins. Until I see him have an impact when it counts I am not sold on him yet.
Up to this point in the off-season, the Packers haven't filled any of their biggest needs, so how can they be improving? I am a Ted Thompson fan and those that read my columns know that, but I have to tell you I don't like what I've seen up to this point. I understand playing it safe, but when I hear that Joe Horn is on the list of potential receivers because he once played under Mike McCarthy, I say to myself ‘Hasn't this guy has missed more games in the last two years then just about anyone?' Not only that, but they need someone that can stretch the field, and Joe horn isn't that guy. Plus, he's 35 years old and injury prone.
I know as fans we are supposed to be patient. Trust me, I understand that, but I need something to believe in. Please don't ask those of us who are fans to just sit back and say, ‘Well, Ted has a plan, or he has a method to his madness, and that this team will be all right.' I know that, but I want this team to be better than just all right. I want this team to be more than just a team that has room under the salary cap. At the end of free agency I don't want to hear that conversation about how the Packers didn't sign anybody because they didn't want to overspend. Or that they are setting themselves up for next year's free agency because they are building for the future. This team had money to spend and hasn't filled one hole as of yet. The Packers still need the same things they needed before free agency ever started except now they have no starting running back. I don't know if the Randy Moss trade is still out there. Many believe it is, and I hope so because up to this point instead of going forward, the Packers have gone backwards.
I hope Ted Thompson didn't overvalue what happened at the end of last year. The Packers went on a run at the end of the year and I hope because of those wins he doesn't think this team is better than it is, and doesn't feel it needs to improve. I hope that the 8-8 record didn't fool him and that's why he is sitting on his hands. Mike McCarthy and his staff did a good job turning things around, but let's be real. It's easy to turn things around when you are playing teams that are bad, and they did play bad teams.
This team needs help and it's up to Ted Thompson to bring in the talent and sign guys to help this team improve now, like this year. No one can live on what they did last year because the business has changed. The Woodsons and Picketts were great additions, and the drafting of A.J. Hawk was a solid decision, but that was then and now is now. Times have changed. The league has changed, and I believe we all must change with it because it is all about WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW THAT COUNTS.
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.