Sydney Speaks! It's all about trust

Packers show their fans, themselves that they believe in each other, says Packer Report's Harry Sydney

Could anyone have asked for a better way for the Green Bay Packers to start the 2008 football season by beating their arch-rivals the Minnesota Vikings in their own house as the whole football world watched? I know I couldn't have, but probably not for the same reasons. Of course, I will try to explain:

The win was outstanding, not just because of the scoreboard and everything that goes with winning, but the players and coaches learned something about themselves and that had to do with trust and believing in each other. Hopefully the fans learned something about it as well.

For the fan, hopefully you learned that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy aren't complete idiots and understand something about football and building an organization. This win was huge for everyone involved because hopefully now the fans don't have to act like little kids, feeling like they have to pick one over the other. Just because you love Brett Favre for all he has done for your football memories doesn't mean you have to wish Aaron Rodgers falls on his face or the organization struggles.

To be honest with you, I thought Rodgers looked even better than anyone could have imagined. He looked poised and under total control of his abilities. That touchdown throw he made to Korey Hall was simply a thing of beauty. If you were watching television and heard Jaws (Ron Jaworski) go through his progression and his eye movement hopefully you realize just how much ahead of the curve the Green Bay Packers' signal caller really is.

Rodgers made every type of throw necessary to be a top-notched quarterback. We saw him throw the deep ball to Greg Jennings, then we saw him show touch on the touchdown throw to Donald Driver that got called back because of linemen downfield. But even though those throws were incredible. The touchdown pass to Hall showed touch, poise, awareness, toughness everything we used to see and thought we would never see again, if you're honest with yourself. Whether you are a Brett Favre fan or not, please be honest enough with yourself to admit Aaron Rodgers has the stuff. So as fans we have to trust him, but then again you aren't alone. Guess who else has to trust him?

Mike McCarthy, himself, and Aaron has to trust him as well. One of the few mistakes that McCarthy made was when he didn't trust that Aaron would make a good decision right before half, because with one timeout left you have to take a shot into the end zone. No matter what excuses are made you have to try and get six points. Especially when the field goal got blocked anyway, but the point is that's a chance a coach must take and they usually do, don't they?

So not only do the fans have to trust him, but so do the coaches. Another example of that would have been late in the game when the Vikings tried a stupid onside kick after the Packers got called for a penalty on the field goal kick after the touchdown that bought the Vikings within striking distance. With 2 minutes, 38 seconds left, they went into a shell and did what everyone thought they would do and that was pound the ball which unfortunately almost cost them. All it would have taken was a quick throw on a slant to Driver to really seal the deal, especially since the Vikings were out of timeouts.

Aaron Rodgers, I believe, showed us that he could be everything that a starting quarterback is in the National Football League. He led with confidence. He never blinked and he helped the Packers win the game using all his tools, including his feet. He also showed his maturity because he never appeared rattled at any time because of the penalties.

For this team to really be successful, everyone has to trust each other just like Mike McCarthy trusts his defense. At the end of the game he knew that someone on the defense would make a play and they did. Atari Bigby did what I have become accustomed to seeing him do and that's being a playmaker. Also, it was very nice to see A.J. Hawk back in the lineup because he made big play stopping Adrian Peterson short of a first down making an incredible tackle.

This team doesn't have to take a step back for any reason, so hopefully if you are a Green Bay Packers fan or a Brett Favre fan, you will just take a second and realize what you saw and maybe you will realize IT'S ALL ABOUT TRUST!!!

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

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