Sydney Speaks! Are your questions answered?

PackerReport.com's Harry Sydney evaluates the Green Bay Packers in all phases now compared to when they first entered training camp. Sydney lists questions that have been answered, and some that aren't even close to being answered.

All the hype is over and so is the preseason, but I am wondering how many of my questions have really been answered? I know all of you had or have some questions, just like I have so let me explain what I have learned about this team so far and some of the answers I have received up to this point. I will analyze unit by unit starting with the defense:

DEFENSE
The Packers can be as good as they want to be, it's that simple. They have depth on the defensive line that should guarantee at least always getting push, especially up the middle. I think between Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, Corey Williams and Colin Cole, they will be able to stand toe-to-toe with almost every offensive line and win that battle.

I also think that at the end positions they are very solid with Cullen Jenkins and Aaron Kampman, and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila doing what he does best - rush the passer. As good as these guys are I wouldn't expect anything from first rounder Justin Harrell because he's a long way from contributing anything. I know he recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown, but in the big scheme it meant nothing but him being in the right place at the right time and getting his name in the scoring column.

The linebacker position is very strong probably the most impressive position on defense. I just worry about its depth. Besides A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett and Brady Poppinga the only other player seems to be Desmond Bishop who is ready to play, and he's inconsistent. Abdul Hodge is hurt and Tracy White's claim to fame is that of a special teams player, so this position does worry me.

In the secondary my questions got answered when Atari Bigby went after the strong safety job and by all counts took it away from Marquand Manuel. Will Blackmon showed me he could cover and thus far and stay healthy. I didn't have any questions about Charles Woodson or Al Harris because they are proven veterans. They know how to play the game and what's at stake. On this side of the ball my only questions is just how good can they get!

SPECIAL TEAMS
The question here is will they keep two kickers? I hope not. Even though there might not be a clear-cut winner between Mason Crosby and Dave Rayner, Mike McCarthy and his staff must pick one and move on. The idea of keeping two kickers on the roster and possibly trading the other down the road for something of value blows my mind. Hasn't this organization learned anything about keep two on the roster?

I was really looking for improvement with the return game and I think that was discovered when we all saw what Will Blackmon can do, but again he has to stay healthy and take that job. Hopefully those that will be assigned to block for the returners will do their jobs and those that are responsible for tackling will do better than they did on the punt return for a touchdown against the Titans. So far the defense is outstanding and the special teams is scary, but what about the offense?

OFFENSE
One question I had was about the receiving corp. I got my answer Thursday night, and that is they are very young with a long way to go. But they all have incredible talent, which we have seen from James Jones. Play after play he has shown the ability to run after the catch and make people miss him as he simply moves the chains.

I'm hoping Donald can have another year like last year but even I know lightning doesn't usually strike twice in the same spot. I also learned that Greg Jennings is a competitor and that he wasn't going to just lie down and give his job to Jones, which created a good situation for the Green Bay Packers because they are pushing each other to be the best they can be.

At the tight end position I had questions about Bubba Franks and if he can still play, but over the last two weeks he has come back from the dead. I don't know whether Mike McCarthy is calling his number more, or whether Brett is just looking for him more, but who cares because it's all supposed to be about the best way to win. Getting Bubba involved in the passing game can and will help Brett and the passing game.

Speaking of Brett, my question going into the season was can Brett adjust to playing the game differently? Can he be more patient and take what the defenses gave him? Again, he seems willing to adjust.

All the things on the offense up to this point have been positive, but now here comes the negative. Remember with all good comes a little bad. The running game is absolutely horrible - from the guys up front blocking to the guys running the ball. Mark Tauscher, Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, Junius Coston and Chad Clifton didn't open any holes against Tennessee. Without any holes these running backs - Morency, Jackson, Herron, Wynn or White are nothing but just guys. This running game has not been worth a crap all preseason, so I don't expect a light switch to come on at noon on Sept. 9 against the Eagles because that isn't happening.

As the final roster is formed, remember those questions that you had before training camp began and ask yourself DID YOU GET YOUR ANSWERS??????

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


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