I am seeing a staff that seems to be on the same page. I am seeing an aggressive play caller in Mike McCarthy who is not scared to pull the trigger and turn Brett lose. I say that because as you watch the game you can see when a coach trusts a player and a player trusts a coach by the way they interact on the sideline.
Not only am I seeing the players trust the coaches, but I am finally seeing the coaches trust each other. For example, last week the defense was allowed to be more aggressive because it knew the offense was clicking and was going to score a lot of points. Trust me, defensive coordinators love it when they know that if they gamble that the offense has their backs, especially when the offense realizes it can't be stopped. In other words, the Packers knew they really couldn't be stopped if they just played, and Mike McCarthy has realized that he has a lot of weapons. So many, that the only way they are stopped is if they weren't being used and to me that's very smart coaching.
Even on the defensive side of the ball, I think Bob Sanders is realizing that this team is better when they are nothing but aggressive, instead of waiting to see what is going to happen. He is making it happen by understanding the strength of his players. Some have said that this defense is very vanilla, or very simple, and that it will be dangerous when it shows more defensive packages. That could be true, but I think it is playing better and becoming more dangerous because Bob Sanders and Winston Moss finally realize and trust the talent that they have on the defensive side of the ball, but again, it's the same thing that's happening on offense, isn't it?
Chemistry … in the skilled positions the receivers, running backs and tight ends, linebackers and secondary you might want more, but what you have is pretty good, especially at the receiver position.
Everyone wants to talk about the running game, which we have seen an improvement in the last couple of games. I say, yes, it has improved but then again hasn't Brett and the receivers helped the running game more than Ryan Grant? I mean no disrespect to Grant because I think he has done an outstanding job exploding hard north and south. Once he makes his mind up, he attacks his holes reminding me of Dorsey Levens. Trust me the similarities are almost scary.
But just like when the Packers defensively come up with a game plan they usually pick their poison. For example, they decided that they weren't going to let Adrian Peterson beat them. I believe the Vikings and the Chiefs defensive game plan would have been to stop Brett and the receivers, and let Grant and the offensive line beat them if they could run the ball. But here's the problem with that theory: Because Mike McCarthy is trusting his players, especially Brett, the defense can't be right. The Packers receivers are running sharp routes for the most part, and the offensive line is giving him time to throw. The defensive coordinator is in a bad situation because if they try to be physical and play man to man they are asking for trouble because of the athletic ability of the receivers - everyone of them can take it to the house. So what that means is that the defense can't afford one missed tackle, or it's six. And do they dare blitz? But then again what happens if they play zone? They get picked apart, but either way it allows for offensive linemen to open holes in the running game and backs to get positive yards.
So when I talk about trust, these are the things I mean. Mike McCarthy has everyone believing in themselves and each other. As much as it is about Brett Favre, it is so much more about the team that is surrounding him and how everyone is feeding off of each other. Just like it's happening on the offense take a look at the defensive side of the ball, someone just keeps making plays. It's either Woodson, Kampman, Barnett, Harris, Kabeer, Bigby, Hawk, or Poppinga, but someone is always making a play. Like I said earlier THERE IS NO I IN TEAM!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.