Sydney Speaks! Quantity or quality?

Thompson has built a team with a bunch of good players, but is that good enough?'s Harry Sydney asks: Where are the difference-makers?

Do you get the sense Ted Thompson wants to have a team of a bunch of good players instead of great players?

Don't get me wrong. I know Ted is building for the future, and that's what general managers do, but sometimes I wonder why he doesn't seize the moment.

As I look back at his moves, for the most part, no one can really complain, can they? He has built solidly through the draft and has sprinkled in some free agents, as well.

Really, can anyone moan or groan when they finished with a 13-3 record last season?

Ted has brought in A.J. Hawk, who will be a solid linebacker for a very long time. He has the athletic ability and toughness, and he filled a big void. The Aaron Rodgers pick now will be asked to pay off. Of course, the Justin Harrell pick was one of luxury and a project they hope will pan out.

This year's first pick, Jordy Nelson, doesn't fit the mold of these other picks. Is he going to be steady but not make this team any better? As I see it, at best he will be the fourth receiver and take Koren Robinson's role as the kickoff returner. They are the same guy, only Nelson is younger and more athletic. Because Brett Favre isn't here anymore, Robinson might be on the way out.

Still, even if that happens, does that really help the Packers become that much better? I keep asking myself, where are the impact players?

This team has a bunch of good players, but I don't see any greatness. Who on the offense falls into that have-to-have category?

At running back, Ryan Grant had an excellent year, but did he show up in the big game, and just how good is he? We will find out if can he do it without having Favre's presence, because I believe defenses will crowd the box and force Rodgers to beat them early in the season.

At wide receiver, Donald Driver is a Pro Bowler and Greg Jennings had an outstanding season, but do they put fear in the best defenders' eyes?

Now that Rodgers has inherited the quarterback position, it will be his time — unless he allows Brian Brohm to sneak in the back door. Either way, there is no defensive coordinator shaking in his shoes.

On the offensive line, bookend tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton will anchor the unit. Injuries and athletic ability get in their way sometimes, but even though they might not be Pro Bowlers, they are two of the best in the league.

The only offensive position I haven't talked about is tight end, and that's because between Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley, they might find a complete one. Then again, neither one of them can block. So offensively, how many of these guys would start on another contending team? Ask yourself that!!!!

Now, on the defensive side, let's start on the line. The only guy I would put as a difference-maker would be Aaron Kampman, and even he didn't have as good of a year as he could have.

After that, let's go to the linebacker position, where they have a solid group. Nick Barnett played outstanding last year, but he showed his weakness against the run when offensive linemen get up on him, because he has trouble getting rid of blocks. Hawk wasn't flashy, but all he did was do his job. Then again, have we seen enough to realize that he will get better?

As we go into the secondary, Al Harris and Charles Woodson can still play and play well, but like everyone says, they are getting up there in age. Everyone knows I believe Atari Bigby is an excellent player, but he has to be more consistent. Then again, so do Nick Collins and Aaron Rouse.

So, my question to you, the fans, is simple: Is quantity over quality good enough?!!!!!!

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

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