It just didn't start with Ray Rhodes or Mike Sherman, it started when Ron Wolf decided not to let Mike Holmgren know that if he was patient he would have everything he got in Seattle right here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was mistake number one, and that started the ball rolling downhill. Even though everyone tried not to see it, or more importantly, had to put that happy face on, they were caught up in having gone to back-to-back Super Bowls.
When Holmgren left, the sad thing was that nobody realized a major piece of the puzzle was gone. Then Ron talked Bob Harlan into hiring Ray Rhodes and things didn't work out. I was on the inside and saw what really happened, and let's just say that Ray took the heat and became the picture for everything wrong. He just took the bullet and walked away. Even in defeat I have respect for the man. Then Ron Wolf again talked or suggested that Mike Sherman, even though he never had head coaching experience, become head coach of the Packers. Even though he now admits that he struggled with this decision, Harlan still gave Mike Sherman both titles - head coach and general manager.
That's when things not only in the front office took a turn for the worse, but the players on the team started becoming bigger than the team. So at the same time as you have Mike Sherman in over his head, you also have your leader on offense doing what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted. He wasn't being held accountable to anyone but himself because the guy in control - Mike Sherman - was his number one cheerleader.
Under Mike Sherman, the Packers won a lot of games and were in the mix year after year, but they never sniffed the Super Bowl again. Then Ted Thompson took the helm and gave Mike Sherman a nice contract just to fire him. He then hired Mike McCarthy not only for his offensive skills, but it had to help that he had a relationship with Brett.
How could Mike McCarthy not be a team player? This might be his one opportunity to be a head coach, so he has to make it work and be the peacemaker or buffer? Talk about pressure? So with Ted Thompson at the helm he starts to build a defense even though his Hall-of-Fame quarterback doesn't know whether he wants to retire or play. At the same time, he is questioning other players' motives for doing what they feel they have to do.
So without realizing it, Brett had a major role in getting rid of his most dangerous weapon, Javon Walker, whether anyone wants to really believe it or not. Brett made his retirement a yearly event. His stories and reasons or excuses changed so much that it became a media circus, and even though he might of acted like an innocent victim, he controlled most of it.
So Ted Thompson decides not to tell Brett it's time to move on or thought Brett would get the hint, but he didn't. I guess Ted Thompson believed Brett didn't care about records, either, so he drafted Aaron Rodgers thinking Brett was going to retire - OOPS!!!
So this year with a bunch of money and needs, especially on offense, Ted does nothing to help the offense, which made Brett feel betrayed. We all saw how he showed his frustration when he threw Ted under the bus at his annual golf tournament. It didn't matter what he said in his apology - the blow was dealt. But then Brett lost more credibility to many across the nation when he said he wasn't coming to a mandatory minicamp because he had to prepare for his daughter's graduation. He then back-tracked after he realized what he did. I guess Favre and Kobe Bryant have more in common than anyone realized.
All of a sudden John Jones isn't good enough after being hand-picked to become the next president because he struggles with understanding how to express his opinion in ways that seem to make people more productive? The crazy thing is wouldn't you expect Bob Harlan and the rest of the Packer brass to have figured that out before now? If they don't get things figured out soon, this will be A FRANCHISE IN TURMOIL and nothing special!!!!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.