Sydney Speaks! Is it all about blind faith?

While other NFL teams, like the New England Patriots, are filling needs by signing free agents, the Packers continue to sit idle, which continues to frustrate's Harry Sydney, who asks: Are the Packers hoping for the best in 2007 from players who were ineffective or injured last season?

As I sit back and watch what is going on with free agency I must say I am amazed at how many smart, football-minded people just put their hands over their ears, or close their eyes, as if they just want to pretend they don't know anything about football. All of a sudden they act like they don't know what can help this team become one of the better teams in the NFC.

Trust me, as I meet many of the Green Bay faithful after the season we talk about the Packers' needs and what they should do in free agency, and they have a million ideas. When it becomes free agency time everyone goes into some form of zombie-like state. They forget what the team's needs are and they get caught up in the fact that this team has done a good job with the salary cap. So many fans just want the Packers to save money, like if they don't spend it the fans will get some back. Guess what, people? You are not, and your ticket prices are going up.

Remember when Lambeau Field was renovated? Bob Harlan and everyone was on the campaign to get that vote. One of the reasons the tax money in Brown County was needed was so the Packers could go out and sign those free agents to stay competitive in the NFL.

I understand that Green Bay Packers fans are special, but I don't understand why some of you think that the Green Bay Packers know exactly what they are doing and every other organization that is signing players must be just plain stupid and know nothing about signing players or evaluating talent. All I have heard from many fans is that other teams keep paying too much for free agents. Like how could the Broncos pay that much for Daniel Graham? Well, he's probably one of the best in the game, and if he would have come to Green Bay he would have helped fill a huge void in the offense. But no, this organization doesn't want to pay for a proven commodity. It would rather pay their own and hope that they can all of a sudden get it back. We haven't seen Bubba Franks stretch the field in roughly two years, but instead of getting better this team does a lot of hoping.

For example, the Packers are hoping that Marviel Underwood, who is young, unproven and injury prone, can get it together and become a starter so he can take the place of Marquand Manuel, who we all saw and must admit isn't the answer at safety. Manuel isn't close to being in the Leroy Butler or Eugene Robinson mold as a player or leader.

Trust me, I understand the need for Ted Thompson to build from within because it serves two purposes: One is it shows that he has a real eye for talent and the other is that way he doesn't have to apologize for mistakes because that's one thing general managers hate and that's to have to say they were wrong about a player. So I try and ask myself why wouldn't the Green Bay Packers have gone after someone like a Deon Grant, and for the life of me I have no answer.

I just don't understand why the Packers' haven't come up in any form of conversation about the possibility of them signing or have signed any players. I'm not talking about anything with the Randy Moss situation because there doesn't seem to be much happening there, either. I can't believe the Packers don't think they need help, or that all they need is for the players on the current roster just to get healthy. That would just be plain silly, or stupid. I know there are other teams that believe that they have good talent on their rosters, but also realize that they just might need a player or two. But like I said earlier, are we supposed to believe that the Packers are smarter than New England? If I'm not mistaken they have gone to a few Super Bowls recently and they went out and signed Adalius Thomas, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth to fill needs. I believe they will be better because of it and I think they know a little about winning and building a dynasty. But according to the Packer philosophy they must be doing it wrong because they are spending money in free agency and not just signing their own.

Or what about Denver, Seattle, and Washington, for that matter? Even the San Francisco 49ers are trying to improve because either you improve or get worse. You can't stand still, but what do they know?

As I understand it, the purpose of free agency and the draft is to have two avenues in which you can improve the team because you use free agency to fill some holes then you use the draft to finish the job. As I see it the Packers haven't even begun. As a matter of fact they have gone backwards with the loss of Ahman Green, and even though it was expected, they still have to deal with it.

I know Fan Fest was this past weekend when many of the Packer faithful spent time in the Lambeau Field atrium talking with some of the players, and they even got a chance to hear some encouraging words from Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson about how they are sticking to the plan. That all sounds good and it would even sound better if either one of them - Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy - had a proven track record, but they don't. So I guess as Packer fans we are JUST SUPPOSED TO HAVE BLIND FAITH.

Harry Sydney

Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

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