Sydney Speaks! Defending their stance

Former Packers assistant coach and fullback Harry Sydney has determined the real reason why Packers general manager Ted Thompson has been reluctant to sign more than one unrestricted free agent this off-season.

There has been a whole bunch of talk about what the Green Bay Packers have done, or not done, in this free agency period. All of us have different opinions on what the Packers should be doing. Some of you, like me, want them to get involved with the process instead of just sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else play.

I wanted them to target certain players that would fill the holes, but they didn't. Guys like Deon Grant, the safety from Jacksonville, or Daniel Graham, the tight end from New England, would have looked awesome in the Green and Gold. It didn't happen, so life goes on, according to Mike McCarthy.

I was reading an article and some words of wisdom from the Packers leader Mike McCarthy. He said about 90% of his players were young and that young players improve. He also said something around the lines that you can't give up on young players because they must be given an opportunity to succeed. As I read this I thought to myself does he really believe that the guys on the roster can be that good? That, or he's doing a great job believing in what Ted Thompson is selling to him and the rest of the world.

As I see it, Mike McCarthy and his staff are going to have to coach their butts off this season in order to compete with the rest of the NFC, especially since Ted hasn't given him and his staff any real help. Mike McCarthy must have done an outstanding job in his interview last year because it's obvious Ted Thompson believes he has one hell of a great coach that can turn average guys into superstars.

I know they signed a third corner back in Frank Walker and are trying not to get in a bidding war for Rhys Lloyd, another kicker, and re-signed Noah Herron and Cullen Jenkins. Part of this is because they don't want to over pay anyone. I even heard they are saving up on money for next year when they think that the free agent crop will be that much better. I think I've heard this before!!!!

I just keep watching and I believe I am starting to see what Ted Thompson is doing. He is sitting back and watching to see just how good of a coach Mike McCarthy is. With Mike McCarthy he has a young coach with his own philosophy that believes in his ability to be a teacher, so Ted's letting him teach and he's not going to give him any other help. Ted Thompson just might be one of those guys that believes that as long as you have Brett Favre you are supposed to win. It's starting to make sense to me now. I'm starting to figure it out.

Maybe what Ted is saying is that he has Brett Favre and Donald Driver and at this time he doesn't really need any other help, especially in free agency. Ted might also be saying that since Mike McCarthy is supposedly the master at using the tight ends, he wants to see him raise Bubba Franks up from the ashes. Not only that, but everyone is expecting the Packers to take a running back early in the draft. However, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't take one until late the first day or early second because Mike McCarthy might have sold Ted so well on the fact that Denver got the running game going with average back at best. He might have Ted believing it's the scheme and not the guy carrying the ball. Nothing, and I mean nothing, would surprise me anymore!!!!

Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy just might be a dangerous combo because they are believing in each other's hype. Even if you listen to some of the players they are starting to sound just like them. Here's what I mean: At Fan Fest, Aaron Kampman said "I believe very strongly that our general manager Ted Thompson knows exactly what he's doing. He said he's had a plan, he's sticking by it, and all of the front office people do a great job, so we just continue to trust them." He finished with saying, "I really feel that we have a lot of great pieces already in place." It was a great statement by the new face of the Packers, Aaron Kampman, but what is he supposed to say? ‘I wish they would have been more active to really improve this team with some solid free agent signing.'

Here's the problem I have: Why should Aaron Kampman feel the need to say anything at all? He hasn't been the only one. I remember Cullen Jenkins saying something similar when they signed him to his contract. I feel it's sad when the players themselves have to make excuses, or give reasons for the organization's position.

This off-season has become something I never expected, believe it or not. I expected Brett Favre to come back and William Henderson to be released, and I expected Ahman Green to leave, but I didn't expect Randy Moss trade talk to include Green Bay. And I didn't expect that Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy would have to be DEFENDING THEIR STANCE.

Harry Sydney

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

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