Sydney Speaks! Packers need playmakers!'s Harry Sydney assesses Green Bay's free agency thus far and offers his thoughts on where the Green Bay Packers still need the most help.

If you follow my articles you must understand by now how I feel about what the Green Bay Packers and Ted Thompson have done throughout this free agency period. To say that I think they have done nothing of substance would be a major understatement. All they have done up to this point is lose arguably one of the best running backs to have ever put on the Packer uniform and only hope to replace him with some unproven talent.

The thing about free agency is that when you lose a player one of the things you have to ask yourself is who will we replace him with? Up to this point the Packers have no answers.

If any one thinks that Vernand Morency or Noah Herron are the answers, I have some ocean front property to sell you in Kansas. But then again how can they possibly be looking for a running back when they keep trying to sign fullbacks to compete with Brandon Miree? Like that position is the key to the success of the running game for the offense.

Not to get into any Randy Moss talk, but at this point in time who on the offense has enough respect to make the defense fear them. I know Donald Driver had a great year and went to the Pro Bowl, but ask yourself: Is he really someone that the opposing defensive coordinators spend extra time defending? Don't get me wrong, he does a great job running after the catch and can take it the distance, but can he put this team on his back and carry it? Besides Driver, who else do they have on this side of the ball to put points on the board? I know many might be saying, ‘Well, Brett Favre still has it.' I might agree with you, especially if he plays under control and is surrounded with other players that he believes can get it done, but is he? Even though he played better last year, we all know what happens when he feels the pressure of trying to win a game by himself. This staff can't let it happen again.

Last year Greg Jennings had a great training camp and even had some impressive catches during the season, but as much as I like him I'm not sure whether he will ever be more than a number three receiver. The more I look at him I'm not sure he or Donald Driver has the number one ingredient that destroys defenses, and that's SPEED.

So as I look at it right now the Green Bay Packers are going to struggle scoring points unless I am missing something. I know I have talked only about the running backs and receivers and I haven't talked about the tight ends, but then again which one of the tight ends is a game changer? Is it Bubba Franks, or any of the other ones on the roster?

Talk about a bunch of pressure on whomever the Packers draft. He might just feel like he has to be the savior and carry the load for the offense because, at this point, you have to believe the Packers have to draft either a running back, receiver or tight end. As you look at many mock drafts, three names keep popping up running back Marshawn Lynch, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and tight end Greg Olsen. All are guys that could be available when the Packers pick in the first round. Could either of these guys help this team? Sure, but it will all depend on their learning curve because, trust me, it's a little different playing with the big boys. Talk about pressure.

When you are drafted number one the expectations and pressures are unbelievable, just like when you are that big money free agent. An example of that is what Ahman Green will face with the Texans. When he was here with Green Bay he was rested at practice, got to come out of games whenever he wanted, and everyone worked around how he felt because he had earned it, but things will be different with the Texans. They paid him to be everything and do everything, He will find out the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

But back to the topic of Packers playmakers. Let's just look at how much better the defense got because of the game-changers the Packers acquired last season. Charles Woodson and A.J. Hawk ignited this unit and made the other guys play better. Charles Woodson had a year that many didn't think he could have with his best interception season and staying healthy for the whole year. Between him and Al Harris they controlled the corner and shut down many of the best receivers in the game.

As well as being a football fan I also love basketball, so you know I enjoy this time of the year as March Madness comes to an end. The reason I enjoy this time is because I see these athletes making play after play. Coaches coach, but the players are the ones that make the difference. In order for any team to get better they must understand that it is all about the players.

As I look at it right now the one thing that the Packers have missed the boat on so far in free agency is acquiring more playmakers. I'm not sure whether it's because they didn't want to spend money, or if they didn't think there was anyone out there who could help, but as I see it THEY NEED PLAYMAKERS!!!!!!!!!!

Harry Sydney

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

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