Sydney Speaks! Spend the money!

In order to advance to the Super Bowl next year, the Green Bay Packers need help in a few areas on offense and defense.'s Harry Sydney offers his opinion on where the Packers can improve and moves they should make to win a NFL title.

Except for the coaching staff that will be coaching the NFC in the Pro Bowl and the handful of players that will be there, the season has basically come and gone. All of a sudden this team and the fans went from sitting on top of the mountain with expectations that were surpassed to listening to Mike McCarthy's season-ending press conference last week.

As good as it was in the season in which saw this team go from 4-12 in 2005 to 8-8 in '06 to 13-3 last year, it still wasn't good enough and finished in second place, just like everyone that doesn't win the Super Bowl. Like all major sports there is only one team that wins and that's the team that wins it all. The Packers came close, really close, but they didn't get there because they are missing some pieces. Hopefully as they evaluate things McCarthy and Ted Thompson can and will get on the same page to help this team get to the next level. Teams can't stand still; either they get better or worse.

I think that during this off-season the Packers must do a better job of getting the right help. Let me explain: Teams now get better in two ways - the draft and free agency. I know Ted Thompson likes to build a solid foundation through the draft and for the most part he has hit on many of them, but that's not good enough anymore.

I don't want to hear after the free agency period is over about how much money the Packers are under the salary cap, do you? I would much rather hear about how much money they spent on great players, or impact players, that improved this team. They are in a great place because across the league Mike McCarthy's reputation as a players coach should only help attract free agents to Green Bay. Free agents only want a few things: They want to be paid what they are worth, which everyone wants; they want a major role; and they want an opportunity to win a Super Bowl. The greatest thing about that is that the Green Bay Packers can offer that to the right free agent. I'm not going to throw any names out there, but I will tell you where I think this team could really use help!!!

I think they are in good shape for the most part but if they want to get to the next level they have to go get help, so let's start with the defensive line. The Packers need someone across from Aaron Kampman because the experiment with Kabeer and Cullen Jenkins needs to be over. It's time to cut ties with Kabeer and move Jenkins back inside where he belongs because he brought this team nothing at defensive end.

Last off-season, I questioned when Jenkins was paid too much money. I questioned it, but everyone they thought he was the answer. Then again, Jenkins was better than Kabeer against the run, but then again, couldn't anyone have done that? This organization overpaid him, so now they can't be scared to fix the problem. They need to go out and get that guy that can play every down and pay the money for him. He won't be cheap, but so what? Isn't football about the SCOREBOARD? Next, I would look for a solid strong-side linebacker because Brady Poppinga just has too many holes in his game. Don't get me wrong, he is a good player, especially against the run, but I think he would be a better back-up than a starter because of his pass coverage liability. There he can't hide. This team faces too many good tight ends to not fix the problem.

The other thing Ted Thompson might be looking for is another cornerback because, behind Charles Woodson and Al Harris, is there anyone that the team can really count on? Not only that, but they both are getting old. I like Will Blackmon, but can he stay healthy? Bush tries hard, but isn't consistent. For that matter just how good is Al Harris? He seems to always get abused in the big games (Dallas and New York come to mind).

I think that the safety position is in great shape between the three - Atari Bigby, Aaron Rouse and Nick Collins, so if you look at it on this side of the ball, they are close to being the strength of this team.

Even if Brett walks away, which I don't think he will, they are in excellent hands with Aaron Rodgers if he can stay healthy. They don't need any help at quarterback unless they go get some youngster late in the draft.

Ryan Grant took the running back position by the throat, so if any of his backups can give him some rest they should be solid at that position.

Nothing needs to be said about the receiving group because it is one of the best in the game, led by Donald Driver who seems to be like a fine wine - just getting better with age.

Now I know Donald Lee just recently signed his deal and Bubba Franks showed up when called on, but this may be a position that they address during the draft.

On this side of the ball I think they need to go get an impact guard. I believe that Clifton and Tauscher still have many good years left which is great for this team. This team all year struggled with not having a guard that could dominate his man and that hurt the running game as well as the pass protection. They played musical chairs at that position so my suggestion would be to go fix the problem through free agency. Go get someone who's ready to step in, knowing that that position is his.

I know Ted Thompson says he wants to build from within and he has in the past three offseasons. He has a solid foundation with a bunch of good young players but now he has to use this free agency period to fill in the holes that can't be filled by the players on the roster anymore.

Now it's time to understand what's at stake and use the tools that he has at his disposal to keep the Packers where they should be. Please SPEND THE MONEY!!!!!!!

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

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