Sydney Speaks! Mid-term report card's Harry Sydney hands out individual grades, including straight-forward comments, for Packers players and coaches, and explains why Green Bay's 7-1 record is no accident.

It's midway through the season and the Packers are standing tall, leading the conference, even though the Lions are sniffing at their heels. So it's only fair that we look at what the grades are for the coaches as well as the players involved. Of course I will start with the coaches and write a little bit about them, breaking them down position by position. Understand there is no need in grading anyone that hasn't played. So here goes:

Mike McCarthy gets an A. He has this team believing in each other and that includes assistant coaches as well. They all are coaching their butts off. Mike McCarthy has a good flow of the game and just might be in line for coach of the year if this can continue.

Brett Favre: A- because he has played under control and is finally leading his team.

Running Backs
Ryan Grant: B- … runs hard and moves the pile, and is the best of the bunch, but that's not saying much.

Brandon Jackson: C- … a safe guy who won't fumble, but brings nothing to the table.

Vernand Morency: C … seems quicker than the rest, but not as patient which hurts is production.

Korey Hall: D … playing out of position and is only a fullback because they want him to be.

John Kuhn: INC …Who?????

Wide Receivers
Donald Driver: A … he's the difference maker and will make the tough catches.

Koren Robinson: C+… he's the most athletic of the group and has to get on the field and stay.

Ruvell Martin: D … he's very consistent but brings nothing else to the table that's special

Greg Jennings: B … makes the big plays, but losses concentration on the simple catches.

James Jones: B … has the best hands of the group makes up for speed with good route running.

Offensive line
Junius Coston: D… can't stay healthy and when he is healthy, he hasn't shown the growth expected by now.

Scott Wells: B … intelligent and very physical; the glue to the offensive line; its leader.

Mark Tauscher: B+ … still one of the best tackles in the game.

Daryn Colledge: D- … his play isn't acceptable. He might get Brett killed. I thought he was tougher.

Tony Moll: D … a fill-in guy, a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.

Chad Clifton: B+ … makes Brett feel comfortable because he knows his blind side is protected.

Jason Spitz: C- … just another guy; talks the talk, but doesn't walk it; always looking to replace.

Tight ends
Bubba Franks: C … I don't think he gives them what they want at tight end anymore.

Donald Lee: B- … he can run, but struggles blocking; he's the face of the future.

Atari Bigby: B … a very physical player whose impact has improved the defense.

Charles Woodson: A- … he's a game changer that knows how to do his job.

Jarrett Bush: D … a better special teams player than cover corner.

Will Blackmon: D … hasn't stayed healthy long enough to really know what he can do.

Al Harris: B+ … he just doesn't seem to be playing as good as he could be for some reason.

Nick Collins: C- … I kept waiting for him to show up and he didn't, and now he's hurt.

Aaron Rouse: INC … we will now see after this weekend.

Frank Walker: D … Just seems to be a guy.

A.J. Hawk: B … He will never be flashy so don't expect it just expect him to do his job.

Brady Poppinga: C- … I know he has something, but I'm just not sure what it is?

Nick Barnett: A- … He's playing the best I've seen him play. I just hope he can keep it up.

Defensive line
Aaron Kampman: A+… it's not overachieving when you keep having the same results.

Cullen Jenkins: D … so far he has been overpaid for his production.

Ryan Pickett: A … he's doing exactly what he's supposed to do, which is stop the run.

Cole Cole: D- … just doesn't seem to seize the opportunity when he gets it.

Justin Harrell: INC … Missing in Action.

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila: B+ … as long as he stays just a pass rusher he's doing what he does best.

Michael Montgomery: D … had flashes of being a player before he got hurt now let's see.

Johnny Jolly: C- … good against the run but can't get any real push verses the pass.

Corey Williams: B+ … unfortunately he's probably auditioning for his new team.

Mason Crosby: C+ … solid most of the time, but then again they had that so he must be better.

Jon Ryan: B … I think he is having a very good year as well as having the run of the year.

Rob Davis: C … even though some of his snaps have been low, he does a good job.

As you can see by these grades this team is filled with pretty good athleticism, but are they great in every position? Not at all. In order for this team to be winning the way they are, they have to be believing in themselves, the coaching, the system, the organization because when you are 7-1, IT'S NOT AN ACCIDENT.

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

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