Sydney Speaks! Bigger fish to fry

PackerReport.com's Harry Sydney offers his thoughts on Green Bay's Pro Bowl selections and snubs, and also a preview on what the Packers must do to beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday and stay focused on the big prize ahead.

Congratulations to those that made the Pro Bowl, especially Al Harris because he has faced the best receivers most teams have on their roster. Was it a surprise? Probably but then again he really should have received that honor last year.

Brett Favre is probably the biggest story of the year and he has played like he's trying to win another MVP. Aaron Kampman really deserved it as well with his never say die attitude. Did Donald Driver really deserve to go to the Pro Bowl? Probably not, but then again he is one of the toughest individuals playing the game, and who can really argue? I believe he is there because of the Packer Nation and the power the fans have, but then again he is one of my favorite players as well, and I voted for him.

The thing is everyone can't go, so someone's going to be disappointed and the Packers should have been represented by more than just these guys, but it just didn't happen. Nick Barnett had his best year and I believe he played good enough to be selected to the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately he was behind some very good linebackers.

The biggest surprise of all was that Charles Woodson didn't make it. I actually think he could be in the running for the defensive player of the year in the NFC. Being a former player and coach and having been in the rooms when other players pick the Pro Bowl squad, they go through their ballots picking their friends half the time. The Pro Bowl game has lost what it was intended to be. Sometimes the best players aren't picked because it is a popularity contest.

What's important right now is that this team understands what's right in front of it. The countdown starts this week as they face the Chicago Bears, a wounded horrible team that would like nothing else but to give the Packers their third loss. Let's make no mistake, it would make their season and at the same time throw a curve into the plans of the Packers because they need to be clicking on all cylinders as they prepare for the playoffs.

The difference between getting elected to the Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl is quite simple - one you go all out and the other is a gift This team is on the brink of possibly shocking the football world, and every player needs to be focused on that. Disappointment is part of the game, so I say to those that might be feeling disrespected or slighted to get over it and concentrate on the task at hand which is beating the Bears.

This will be one of those ugly games I would expect because that's how the Bears play on offense - nothing they do looks polished. They always look rattled and teams like that can affect a defense and sometimes catch them off guard. Also, this will be a good game for the defense to work on covering the tight ends because the Bears have a pair of good ones in Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen.

On offense, the offensive line will have to own the line of scrimmage and can't allow Brett to get hit, and at the same time create lanes for Ryan Grant to run through. They have to continue what they did against the Raiders when Grant had his best day. I think it would be awesome if in the process of winning Mike McCarthy makes an effort to run the ball, setting the stage for Grant to get enough yards that between this game and the last game he could rush for over 1,000 yards this year. I think it would give the offensive linemen such a giant shot in the arm, considering how they started the year. Hopefully they understand just how important this game is which I have no doubt because Mike McCarthy has pushed all the right buttons physically and mentally for this team.

This is the stretch run and everyone has to be focused on the prize, and the prize is not just being happy that they have a first-round bye because to me that isn't good enough this year. This team has shown everyone and me that they belong with the elite teams in the league.

Now it's time to get to the things that really matter, which is winning this week because the Pro Bowl selection is over and the Packers have BIGGER FISH TO FRY!!!!!!!

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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