First, you have to say it starts with Mike McCarthy, his plan and how he has stuck to it. I know many either like Ted, dislike Ted, or blame Ted, but the fact is it isn't about Ted right now, it's about Mike McCarthy and how he is coaching the players he has.
Mike McCarthy has allowed Brett Favre to embrace his place in history and I'm not talking about the numbers, I am talking about how he has learned to manage the game. Mike has put the ball in Brett's hand and said ‘Go win it.' So far he has and it's the way he has that has been so impressive.
Brett Favre has raised his game to a level that might even be surprising himself and he is rising to that "Joe Montana" level. That level where as a player you make everyone else better around you. Don't get me wrong, Brett has been great for a while but now he's taking this team, a team without a running game, and has made it the talk of the football world. Not only that, but with every play he is setting some record. Everyone will argue which one is better - Brett or Joe - and the answer is simple: It all depends on your criteria. If it's about hardware, it's Joe; and if it's about numbers, it's Brett. But the Packers aren't 3-0 just because of Brett. He's getting more help than anyone thought he would get, I believe.
After training camp offensively we all liked what we saw with James Jones and the way he has played up to this part in the season validated everything we got a glimpse of. If Greg Jennings can keep it up along with Bubba and Donald Lee, this offense can go a long way, despite not having any form of a running game.
Don't be fooled because at some point in the season they are going to have to run the ball, and I only hope by that time Mike McCarthy has come up with a way to do so. One of the things that I have been impressed with Mike about has been his ability to make game adjustments and in every game and that decision up to this point has worked out in the Packers favor.
According to everything we hear from him, Mike wants to run the ball but knows he can't. As I see it, he'd rather have the ball in Brett's hands compared to Brandon Jackson's. When it's all said and done, at this point in the season they are 3-0!!!!!
But as good as Brett has been playing, this year won't be about the offense, it will be about the defense. This is the side of the ball that this team will have to hang its hats. Not only that, but I think the coordinators are learning to trust each other's ability and really learn what the different sides can do. The more confidence they have in each other the more aggressive the game plans will be.
For example Bob Sanders might call a more aggressive defensive game plan if he trusts that the offense can come back from being behind if the defense gets risky and gets burned. Just like Mike McCarthy has to trust that he can do something risky and the defense will stand tall and withstand an interception or fumble and bend and not break. Maybe that was in his mind when he didn't kick a field goal and went for it on 4th and 1 last Sunday. Either way the important thing was that the defense got the offense the ball back and did their part.
As I see it the Packers are 3-0 going into a stretch run where if they can beat the Vikings this week and go 4-0 and keep improving, there is just no telling just how good this team can be. The Packers have no running game to speak of and there isn't any instant pill that they can take and make it all better. Don't expect any running game to emerge from the ashes, yet the Packers are winning.
A.J. Hawk has played solidly, but hasn't done anything to make you remember he has, yet we all know that will get better. I don't think Aaron Kampman or Cullen Jenkins have played up to the level that they expect from themselves. Again, let me say it on more time, they are 3-0.
So with all that said as much as they need to improve in all phases this team will only get better, so when people ask me just how good this Packer team is, my answer is simple: I don't know WHAT TO THINK except to say they are 3-0!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.