Sydney Speaks! The long wait is over's Harry Sydney is ready for some football! Sydney offers his pre-training camp thoughts on Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and various areas of the Green Bay Packers

It's seems like it's been a long off-season for football on the field. Notice I said ‘on the field' because we've seen enough in the news about "Knuckleheads" and it's not even worth mentioning names because I don't respect them enough to write their names.

I enjoy watching baseball, at times, and I've even turned into a Brewers fan. I do call myself a basketball fan and I will play golf every chance I get, but there is nothing like the sound of the pads popping on the football field. This year, for the Green Bay Packers, will be very interesting and for several reasons.

This will be a year of change. There will be changes at the top, as those inside with the Packers will start their hunt for the guy who will replace Bob Harlan as President and, trust me, that won't be an easy task. Think about it, they have one year to get it right after they gave John Jones how many before things didn't work on. One source says it wasn't because of his health and the other source says it was. Only those on the inside know what happened and it looks like the fans will never really know the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The greatest thing about football starting now is the fact that it isn't about the front office. It's the players on the field and the coaches that are leading them.

Ted Thompson's job is over at this point. His season is basically over now except for maybe signing some depth here and there. I believe he feels or thinks that he has given Mike McCarthy plenty of ammunition. I don't think so, but then again I'm not making the calls or signing the checks like Ted.

Whatever happens in the upcoming years has Ted Thompson's stamp on it. Either way it's in Mike McCarthy's hands now. What will happen with the Green Bay Packers is his responsibility, and as much as I respect Mike McCarthy as a coach and a man, he just might be in over his head, especially on offense. He might want to do this or that, but without weapons it's going to be very hard to put points on the board.

We talk about the offense needing to improve in the red zone, but how? How is Mike McCarthy supposed to manufacture points? Not only that, but I am very curious to see just how well this young offensive line will grow. Then again what if they don't? Unfortunately, the strength of this team just might be the line, but what if injuries turn this position into a weakness? What happens to the running game? Hopefully Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher can stay healthy and the young guns Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, along with Scott Wells, improve the way everyone expects. But they have to, don't they? If they don't, there will be no running game.

Vernand Morency and Brandon Jackson are high effort guys, but does anyone believe they will get the job done the way they are going to have to for everyone's sake? I hope they can, but what happens to Brett Favre if the running game stumbles in their first few games. I know that Donald Driver had an awesome season last year but, again, he can't do it by himself.

This battle will be something to watch, won't it? What will the order be? I see the battle between Greg Jennings, and Carlyle Holiday for the number two receiver, then David Clowney, James Jones and Ruvell Martin battling for the rest of the spots with a Robert Ferguson on the outside looking in.

Everyone has to be wondering which tight end will emerge as the deep threat? Not only that, but how are they going to use them in the red zone?

Does anyone besides myself wonder what Brett Favre's role will be this year? This year might be the last time he takes a snap wearing a Green Bay Packer jersey. How will Brett be used and how much room will Mike McCarthy give him?

Also, it will be very interesting to me to see Mike McCarthy's philosophy and just how much he learned from last year because I expect him to coach better this year. He's a very smart man with an excellent football mind and he must know and understand that this team needs to come out playing its butts off from the first whistle. His career, whether right or wrong, will be determined largely based on what happened with the Green Bay Packers under his watch.

This training camp will be very interesting and I'm so glad the WAIT IS OVER.

Harry Sydney

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

Packer Report Top Stories