Sydney Speaks! A well-deserved break's Harry Sydney summarizes the Packers' off-season, including his opinion on why the summer break is coming at a good time for the organization.

This has been a long off-season for many Packers fans. Some had high hopes, expecting that Ted Thompson would take advantage of having serious dollars to make the Green Bay Packers major players in acquiring talent during the free agency period.

It was your dream and that's all right because it was my dream as well, but it didn't happen. Believe it or not I respect Ted Thompson for having the guts to stick to his game plan and doing what he thinks is right. Even though I might disagree with several of the off-season moves, Ted Thompson, whether you love him or hate him, has a vision and nothing, and I mean nothing, is getting him off course.

Besides free agency and what they did or didn't do this off-season there were many small fires that were either put out or started by Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy or Bob Harlan. Let's take a look at where the smoke came from.

Let's take a walk down memory lane to prepare us for, hopefully, a smooth training camp, especially since Mike McCarthy has already given the team Wednesdays off during the most important month of the football season. I know there is a method to his madness, but this one escapes me because you usually don't give people things until they earn it. That is one heck of a reward for finishing 8-8.

This wasn't a playoff team or, for that matter, a good team. This was a team that just caught people at the right time and took advantage of the situation. I guess I'm a little bitter, I guess. I don't remember back when I was with the San Francisco 49ers winning Super Bowls going into training camp and getting days off to rest because the season was long. But I know I have to start understanding that this is the age of babying the professional football player.

Then this off-season there was the Brett Favre meltdown because he felt that he was mis-lead. Trust me, I felt for Brett and thought he had every right to feel the way he did. I just think he went about it the wrong way. It should have been done behind closed doors. Unfortunately, because of that reaction, many in the media had another opportunity to question Brett's intention. Worse yet, question why he was still playing the game.

Everywhere you turned there was either a situation on the field or in the front office, and either way there was drama. Before we deal with the front office, Mike McCarthy couldn't get away fast enough because he got blind-sided last weekend when the leader of the defense put himself in a bad situation.

I'm not the judge or jury, and I know there are two sides to every story, but Mike McCarthy must have said to Nick Barnett "What the hell were you thinking?" or better yet, "Why weren't you thinking?" He must have felt like he was kicked in the gut, especially after he talked to the players about that type of situation a week earlier.

Don't get me wrong, it's never a good thing to hear that one of your players put themselves in this type of situation. McCarthy might have expected it from some rookie that doesn't understand, but not a seasoned veteran who knows what to expect in the nightclub scene, especially because he owned one.

Of course there were other things that happened as it related to the players, but I have to be fair and start with the front office. I won't touch Ted Thompson and the Randy Moss issue. I know I said I wouldn't mention that again, so I'm not going to talk about it except to say Ted Thompson should have put water on that fire before it started to grow. It never would have rocked the boat and, trust me, it did. Besides Ted letting that situation get out of hand only time will tell whether or not his draft will pass the test or not. Of course I have my opinion, but soon the talking will be done on the field and, for his sake, I hope it works out because I believe he stuck his neck out for some of these picks.

Then finally we have the John Jones saga and what really happened? Everywhere I go I get asked that question, which makes me believe that the Packer Nation isn't buying what the Packers are selling! I know football fans love football year-round, but the players, coaches, trainers, Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson and Bob Harlan all can use A WELL DESERVED BREAK!!!!!!

Harry Sydney

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

Packer Report Top Stories