Sydney Speaks! Fix what was broken's Harry Sydney assesses the state of the Packers and offers his opinion on what the Packers should do to have a better offense and defense.

It seems like a long time since the Packers have taken the field, doesn't it? I know that the taste of what happened against the Cowboys must be still on the lips of not only the fans, but also the players and coaches. I wish in that game that the Packers had played the way we had become accustomed to seeing on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, so I really had a measuring stick to gage them. Now I really don't know just how good they are. As always let me explain further.

Against Dallas the offense looked nothing like we expected and that's what they have to get back to. Before I write more let me congratulate Brett Favre for his award from Sports Illustrated. He deserves it because he has had maybe the best season of his career, but this award wasn't just for what he did on the field, it's for off the field as well. He has been an ambassador for helping those that need help. As a matter of fact what he does with his charity work is outstanding.

Now back to football. Brett can't have any more games like he had last week. It's that simple. I could talk about his bad throws, or the cause of his injury because he didn't read the blitz and got hit by a free man, but why? I also could talk about the fact that Mike McCarthy seemed to have gotten caught up in playing against Dallas instead of calling the game that allowed his players on offense to do what they do best, and that's let his receivers catch and run with the ball. The game plan was horrible, or at least it was until Aaron Rodgers came into the game.

These next four games for Mike McCarthy are about getting his players ready to play and preparing for the stretch run. It's time for all experiments to be over. The coaching staff's job is to put the players in the best position for the run. As I see it, offensively they have to agree on a game play and stick to it.

Don't get me wrong, they still will have to be able to adjust but they have to go into the game forcing teams to stop them, not stopping themselves because they are trying to trick people. People might hate the Patriots, but they force people to stop them. They don't stop themselves, or change their game plan for no reason. The Packers need to learn from this, or Mike McCarthy needs to do what they do best and that's what the coaches have to learn and that counts on defense as well.

This defense is based, especially in the secondary, on hard-core, physical man-to-man defense. I don't think they can play zone anymore because when they do they revert back to what we saw last year – a confused defense and it's to late in the year for that.

This is the time of the year when teams in contention have to be peaking and in order for that to happen the coaches have to be sharp and the players have to play solid football. Not only that, but the coaches have to decide who they are going to count on, and I believe they have to make some decisions.

They have to decide things on both sides of the ball. On offense they have to decide what to do at the guard positions and stick to it. If Daryn Colledge isn't the guy, sit him down and make the change, but make your mind up so that everyone else can feel comfortable, or at least make the necessary adjustment to compensate for the weakness at this position. Just like on the defensive side of the ball the coaching staff has to decide on the safety position. Supposedly they are interchangeable, but as a former player, game preparation is different depending on playing time. I know it's not supposed to be that way but it is. The staff needs to decide between Bigby, Collins and Rouse. They need to name their starters and go with them because, believe it or not, nobody plays well when they are consistently looking their shoulder. They are playing scared because the more you try not to make a mistake the sooner you make one and nobody needs that and this team can't afford it.

I'm not just talking about preparing for the Oakland Raiders because the Packers should beat them easily, even though you can't look past them. However, if they lose to the Raiders we shouldn't be talking about selling tickets for a home playoff game anyway, should we?

It will be 10 days between games so during this time I hope the Packers took time to FIX WHAT WAS BROKEN.

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

Packer Report Top Stories