Sydney Speaks! Peace of mind

As the Green Bay Packers shop for a backup quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers,'s Harry Sydney offers his thoughts on the type of QB that would fit the situation best.

Do I like the fact that Ted Thompson and the Packers have been sitting on their hands as they watch other teams sign player after player, trying to improve their teams? No, I don't, but then again can we really argue with what he has done so far since he has taken over for Mike Sherman? Ted Thompson trusted many players to come through, and they have, haven't they?

I understand that he has a plan and has executed it to almost perfection. Fortunately, it has been easy because he never had to worry about the quarterback position because he had Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers - probably one of the best one-two punches in the league in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, all good things eventually do come to an end, don't they?

Times are different now for the Green Bay Packers because the known has become the unknown at the quarterback position. I believe that Aaron Rodgers can do the job, but here's the problem: What if he can't, or gets hurt? I'm in Aaron Rodgers' corner and believe he will answer the bell and surprise many of the loyal fans, but for the sake of covering their butts, shouldn't the Packers really be more aggressive in getting someone that they might be able to win with if Aaron cannot fill the role with quality performance?

I know the Packers need a solid backup, but they know they have to find the perfect fit. They need a quarterback that is in the position to be happy as a backup without the expectations of ever beating Aaron Rodgers out for the job. This guy has to be OK with watching and helping Aaron Rodgers develop. He has to be able to learn what he needs to help the Packers get through a couple games in case Aaron is injured, and only in the case of injury. The last thing anyone needs is a quarterback controversy. Aaron Rodgers is the guy and this organization must make him feel that way, so they have to go get a veteran quarterback that really understands the role expected of him.

Everyone wonders who the Packers will pursue. A couple names that come to me are Tim Rattay and Trent Dilfer. I think that Dilfer might be a perfect fit because he doesn't have to try to prove anything. He has a ring, is a smart quarterback, and he's at the end of his career. So it would be a win-win situation for both him and the Packers. He gets a couple more years on a really good team and makes a little money. Coming from San Francisco, he and Aaron just might have some things in common, like the fact that they both enjoy golfing and they both understand the West Coast offense.

The feeling-out process would be short-lived, which in this transition would be a good thing for everyone involved. I believe Trent's veteran philosophy would help Aaron's maturing process so much because as much as it looked like Aaron and Brett got along, Aaron wanted Brett's job and Brett knew it, so how could they be that close? Those of you that have that guy, or girl, in your world understand what I mean, right? It wasn't a bad or a good thing, it was what it was. They were teammates - one wanting what the other had - so they had a working relationship.

Now it's Aaron's time. I think Ted Thompson needs to find that backup quarterback as soon as possible, even if that means trading for him. I know Ted doesn't like to trade, unless it's getting picks, and he doesn't like playing in free agency. This is for the future of this organization. Look at other teams. When the quarterback play hasn't been solid, the direction of the franchise hasn't been good. If you don't believe me, see Chicago, Miami, San Francisco or Minnesota, to name a few.

The reason that you want someone like Dilfer is because he knows he will never be a starter in the NFL again, so he has nothing to prove anymore. If you get some other young guy, he is always trying to prove that he is good enough to start, and the Packers don't need that headache.

As I see it, the Packers under Ted Thompson this year are minus players. They aren't anywhere close to where they were at the end of last season. They have lost Brett Favre to retirement, Bubba Franks to getting old, and traded Corey Williams. Now it's time to pick up a good veteran quarterback for security and PEACE OF MIND.

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

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