Sydney Speaks! Don't get the wrong idea

Though's Harry Sydney has been critical of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy for their lack of aggressiveness in free agency this off-season, he explains why he has all the respect in the world for the two as well.

In recent articles it has come to my attention that some of you that read my column might not understand my intentions, or think that I might be too hard on the people leading the Green Bay Packers. Some might even think that I don't like Ted Thompson, or Mike McCarthy, and nothing could be further from the truth.

First, let me talk about Ted Thompson and how I respect this man very much. That started in 1992 when we were together when I played here. I like very much the way he has turned this ship around since he took it from the clutches of Mike Sherman. There is no question that he has improved this team. He has pulled the trigger in many ways, from getting rid of the dead weight that was holding this team down, like Ahmad Carroll or Cletidus Hunt. He even got rid of Joey Thomas whom many thought could be the corner of the future without batting an eye.

Besides getting rid of players who weren't helping the team he went out and got players like Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett, who really improved the defense. And as for the draft he has tried to build this team the right way. He is trying to build a solid foundation and I think it's working by drafting guys on the defense like Will Blackmon, A.J. Hawk, Abdul Hodge, Brady Poppinga, Marviel Underwood, and Nick Collins. Everyone should make a real impact on the Packers in the future.

On the other side of the ball, the key to any team isn't on the arm of the quarterback. A lot of the responsibility is on the guys up front, and when it comes to that, Ted Thompson just might have gotten it right. The future of this team is up front on the offensive line and it couldn't be in better hands. These guys can grow together by staying healthy because the experience they got last year was worth their weight in gold. The more Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, and Jason Spitz play with tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher the better the Green Bay Packers will be.

I know the big x-factor will be how will Aaron Rodgers be when Brett Favre finally walks away from the game, if he is the guy to replace Brett?

I like the majority of the things Ted Thompson has done since he has been general manager. Whether you like him or not, anyone would be a fool to not like the things he has done up to this point. And that's the problem. I like what Ted Thompson has done at this moment, but the job isn't finished and he has been sitting on his hands like the job's over. He has not given Mike McCarthy everything he needs to become a contender in the NFC at this point.

This team now has to hit on every draft pick later this month. It can't afford another Corey Rodgers bust because it has too many important holes to fill and some of them could, and should, have been filled in free agency. That's the problem I have with Ted Thompson at this moment. I feel that he might have too much belief in the ability of Mike McCarthy as a coach to take young players and make them great, even though McCarthy still hasn't proven that he is that good of a coach yet.

Mike McCarthy needs more quality players and he doesn't have a long time to show his stuff. Remember, he only got a three-year deal, which is interesting to me because if he is or was Ted's guy, why did he give him such a short deal? Most head coaches get five-year deals.

I also have a bunch of respect for Mike McCarthy. He earned that from me when we coached together and, believe it or not, I don't give that up easily. I respect his philosophy, his knowledge, and his positive attitude. Trust me, I find it refreshing most of the time. And he also has mastered the coach talk at such a young age.

The only thing that so far has me questioning McCarthy is the fact that he said he was going to run the ball and threw it more than anyone in the league, which means that he loses focus and lets the game control him instead of him controlling the game. Remember he is the head coach and play-caller on the field. The buck stops at his feet.

But for a first year head coach I can't and don't have much to complain about when it comes to him. I enjoy the fact that he believes in himself because that's what the players need from their leader. So when you read my articles I want you to understand where I'm coming from. I'm a football guy and because I respect them, which I do, doesn't mean I won't question what they are trying to do, so DON'T GET THE WRONG IDEA!!!!!!!!!

Harry Sydney

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

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