Sydney Speaks! No rest for the weary

PackerReport.com's Harry Sydney looks back on his days as an assistant coach with the Packers and explains why there is no 'off' in offseason.

As I was enjoying the Easter weekend, I remember what it was like when I was coaching and all of the things I missed. As a coach you never really rest and smell the roses. Relaxation was trying to act like you weren't thinking about football in some way or fashion, but it never left you. As I looked at my wife, kids and grandchildren laughing and just having fun I realized that they had more to talk about besides football. In the last nine years since I stopped coaching, it has been nice having time not just moments.

So as I enjoyed the day with my family for some reason I thought about what Edgar Bennett must be thinking, or the quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, or even Bob Sanders and Winston Moss as they replay the last year or start to prepare for next year. When you are a coach in the NFL all your time is dedicated to getting better and winning. Sometimes, if you're lucky, things fall in place like last year, but the problem is now the bar has been set high, hasn't it? Here's what I mean!!!

Now that Brett has retired, what do you think just might be going through the mind of Tom Clements? Even though we always talk about Mike McCarthy being the quarterback guru, Tom knows he is responsible for what happens to the growth of Aaron Rodgers. So it will be interesting to see what they will allow him to do and just how much confidence they really have in him. Sure, Aaron was always ready to play but he never had to, so how would he be ready? Now things have changed because now Tom Clements has to prepare Aaron to be the future. For years now Aaron has been the stunt double from minicamps preparing to get the clip board during the season, and now Tom's job is to make people embrace Aaron because they will never forget Brett.

Then like all running backs or former running backs coaches, my thoughts shifted to the offensive line as I wonder what was going through the mind of my former teammate James Campen, the offensive line coach. Is he really relaxing or is his mind going 100 miles a minute because he knows that so much of the offense will fall on his and his offensive linemen's shoulders next fall? It will be so important that the run game starts off right where it finished the regular season last year. They have to come out of the gate kicking butt because Aaron doesn't need to be in the position where he has to win the game. In order to do this I think that James Campen knows that he has to have his guys ready to play and if that player isn't on the roster yet part of his thought process might just be preparing himself to argue for him in the draft because an offensive guard just might be on the ticket.

After giving it more thought I also wondered about Carl Hairston, the defensive line coach, because I know I have been questioning whether or not he has the players to make an impact, or get a consistent pass rush. When he watched the Super Bowl he had to be licking his lips seeing the impact and damage a good defensive line can do. He has to be wondering whether or not he is going to get any help.

Then I as I thought about the defense I know they signed Brandon Chillar to compete with Brady Poppinga, but I wonder whether there will be a change of philosophy or not because last year I don't think they played aggressive enough. As I see it they have really athletic linebackers that seem to play better playing downhill, but for so much of the year they seemed to be playing on their heels and reacting instead of attacking.

So as I enjoyed my Easter weekend I know the coaches are going through just as much stress as during the season. It's just different stress because they are dealing with the draft, free agency, workouts and the retirement of a legend. Even though they are in the offseason there is still NO REST FOR THE WEARY!!!!

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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