Sydney Speaks! No time like the present

As the Packers play their third preseason game tonight against the Broncos in Denver, Packer Report's Harry Sydney will be keeping an eye on the team's trouble spots.

Where do I start? Boy, do I have a bunch of questions and, to be honest with you, not many have to do with the quarterback! Don't get me wrong, I like Aaron Rodgers but that doesn't mean that there aren't still unanswered questions. Then again, how could he have answered them? He hasn't started one game in the National Football League.

I know many people think they know but nobody really does because you can be prepared play and ready play, but that doesn't really mean a thing until you play the game. However, he's not my main concern. Trust me there are others.

Coaching: Will the real Mike McCarthy please let us see exactly what his philosophy is and can we hope it is that of someone who really wants to run the ball instead of just talk about it? Over and over, since he has been at the helm, I have heard him say he wants to play smash-mouth football. Yet, he doesn't seem to seize the opportunity to make it happen.

The offensive line seems to keep playing musical chairs at the risk of getting the quarterback killed, which might not happen if they used the running game to allow the offensive line to attack the defense instead of playing on their heels. As I see it, some of the problems with the offensive line besides giving up sacks is that it isn't allowed to set the tempo, which again has me asking myself: ‘What is Mike McCarthy going to do now that it is his team?' That's on the offensive side of the ball, but then again I have just as many on the defensive side as well.

I still don't know how the Packers are going to get pressure on any quarterback this year. I saw a crazy stat. The other day they had 33 sacks in the first 11 games last year and then they had eight in their last seven, including the playoffs, and they did absolutely nothing to fix the problem. Oh, I'm sorry they did. I forgot that they went and got a cover linebacker, but I'm not sure what that has to do with putting pressure on the quarterback.

In order for pressure to happen the defensive line has to win one-on-one battles and I don't see that happening. I'm sorry, but I don't. I will say that I did see a different wrinkle against the Bengals and 49ers when they went to a two defensive linemen and four linebacker look. It's nice to be tricky but it's worthless when the linebackers are so light in the loaf that they put no fear in the running backs that pick them up in pass protection.

I believe if they are going to blitz any linebackers they should send A.J. Hawk or Brady Poppinga because they are a load, so as you can see this defense has a long way to go and much of it has to do with coaching decisions and or philosophies. I want to see what the Packers are, and now to the players!

Players: I know what the Packers have in players and believe it or not when Brett Favre said this team was loaded with talent, even though it might have come out wrong, trust me, there was much truth in that statement. The talent that this team has in the secondary. It is awesome and that doesn't include Jarrett Bush, No. 24. I believe we have seen enough of him to realize that he isn't the answer anymore and that Tramon Williams, Pat Lee and Will Blackmon are the future. I believe they will push Woodson and Harris.

The linebackers just might be the most talented set in the NFL, so add them to the secondary and all of a sudden when it comes to skilled players on defense they just might be stacked. But everything good must come to an end and the end now is the defensive line, which is the weakest link on this side of the ball. Besides Aaron Kampman and Ryan Pickett, everyone else is a hope. What I mean by that is everyone hopes they all of a sudden drink the Frozen Tundra water and become a lot better than they are.

Now on offense trying to figure out who wants to take either one of the guard positions is another mystery, isn't it? Last week even Mike McCarthy challenged someone to rise up and take the spot and no one did. Now what? The game tonight is the third preseason game, which is the game that determines a lot of things because of how it is played and how the starters will play. It's time to turn things around and there's NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT!!!!!!

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

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