Sydney Speaks! Patience is a virtue

Former Green Bay Packers assistant coach and fullback Harry Sydney offers his opinion on Green Bay's coaching, offense and defense in the wake of its 48-25 win over the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field.

After watching a game that wasn't supposed to be a game turn into a game, I'm glad the Packers won. At the same time, I had to really figure out what happened, didn't you?

I think the Packers sitting on top of the division at 2-0 is awesome for many reasons and this was a very good win, trust me.

COACHING
At times, it seemed as if they got conservative in the second half, but as I looked at what they were trying to do I realized they coached exactly the way they were supposed to. Mike McCarthy often talked about trying to establish the run and that's what he wanted to do, but they weren't getting enough run production so, unfortunately, they faced a bunch of second-and-longs. Because of those three-and-outs the Lions found some momentum and came back to take the lead until Jon Kitna realized he was Jon Kitna and did his normal self destruction.

So, maybe the Packers got conservative on offense or perhaps McCarthy trusted his defense at that point and believed that Kitna would give them some gifts, like he did by throwing three interceptions with two going for touchdowns.

Sometimes, coaches win games, and sometimes, coaches out-think themselves and hurt the team, but not McCarthy. I believe he has learned. He put it in the hands of the defense and it came through. To me, that's an example of excellent coaching.

OFFENSE
As we look on the offensive side of the ball, everyone has to be amazed at the maturity of Aaron Rodgers. He is probably playing better than any other quarterback in the game. His feel of the game is incredible considering this was only his second start.

Besides being surprised with his throwing accuracy and his ability to make every type of throw, the thing that has really impressed me has been his awareness in the pocket. Not only has he done it with his arm, but his ability to scramble is something that I believe even I overlooked. Some quarterbacks scramble to run, but not Rodgers. He seems to always have his eyes downfield.

Of course, the offensive line will need to get it together because when it needed to move the Lions around, they couldn't, but they did do enough to win. Of course, they have to cut out the penalties because they can't keep hurting themselves.

As for the backs, they all looked good at times but they need to get Ryan Grant healthy because I do believe having musical running backs as well as musical linemen hurt the run game because of having no continuity.

The receivers haven't missed a beat. Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson are even better than they were last year, in my opinion.

DEFENSE
I'm not going to get overly excited with everyone's performance because othey played the Lions, a horrible team. Their offensive line is garbage.

I expected Aaron Kampman and Cullen Jenkins to play well and they did. The matchups I was interested in watching were in the secondary between Roy Williams and Al Harris and Calvin Johnson and Charles Woodson. As usual, Woodson showed why he is one of the best corners in the game.

For everyone that wants to talk about Ted Thompson being anti-free agent, even I have to be reminded that Woodson was a free agent just as their run stopper Ryan Pickett.

With everything that happened in the game, the thing that I was glad to see was the way coordinator Bob Sanders used A.J. Hawk. For weeks, I have been talking about turning him loose on the blitz because I believe he will overpower any running back that is assigned to pick him up. On Sunday, they let him go and he recorded two sacks.

Many, including myself, thought this team would stumble a little simply because Rodgers had never taken a snap as a starter. He was the unknown we hoped would do well, but nobody really knew he would have delivered the way he has in the first two games of the season.

I guess the old saying is true and Thompson and McCarthy knew it because they are reaping the rewards of PATIENCE BEING A VIRTUE.

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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