Sydney Speaks! Wasted opportunity

Packer Report's Harry Sydney breaks down the coaching, offense and defense in the wake of Green Bay's setback to Tampa Bay on Sunday.

The loss to the Cowboys was understandable, even expected by most because when you look at the matchups the Cowboys had an edge. If you really understand football with your head and not your heart, wouldn't you agree? But the loss to Tampa Bay exposed Green Bay Packers' weaknesses. This is what I saw!!!!!

Coaching - Mike McCarthy has to help this team out more than he has. I like the fact that he believes in Aaron Rodgers but Mike has to help him more than he has. This spread the field wide open and just throw it has to stop.

Rodgers is a good young quarterback, but he can't be expected to be Brett Favre and Mike McCarthy seems to be wanting to call the game as if he has a seasoned veteran at the helm and he doesn't. Instead of trying to throw it over and over he might need to work on establishing a more consistent running game or work on eliminating the penalties.

This is supposed to be a ball control offense, but that can't happen if you only average 1.6 yards a carry. Maybe the coaches need to scrap this zone blocking scheme afterall because it's hard to knock anybody off the line of scrimmage if your linemen are going sideways or they allow penetration especially in short yardage situations.

I will admit I actually think Bob Sanders has improved as a defensive coordinator because of the fact that he is calling different blitzes like he did when he sent Charles Woodson on a corner blitz with Aaron Kampman. Unfortunately, regardless of what blitzes you call, you can't allow teams to rush the way they have against you.

As it comes to special teams they got the punter they wanted and now they have to deal with the consequences, if you know what I mean. Also, maybe it's about time to think about getting a veteran quarterback.

Offensive players - Let's start with the offensive line and our veteran tackles because they seem to be playing like they are old. Clifton is leading the league when it comes to offensive holding and Tauscher seems to be struggling as well. The guards, regardless of who's in there, aren't getting it done on the run. They are getting overpowered and out-quicked. The defensive tackles seem to be beating them to the spot like we saw on the short yardage play when Ryan Grant got stopped.

Grant has to stop fumbling and it's that simple. In my days if you fumble you can't play, but then again who do you replace him with? Brandon Jackson? Not only is Brandon struggling in pass protection, but he can't catch anything but a screen.

The receivers are still the strength of the offense because of their ability to make a big play as we have witnessed by the play of Greg Jennings. I just hope Donald Driver doesn't become the missing link in this offense and Nelson doesn't step into the second favorite receiver too soon.

Rodgers' performance wasn't one of his best, but this loss shouldn't be thrown on his shoulders alone because everyone had something to do with this. He had three INT's, but only one was a bad throw or decision. Then again he should have had more and would have if Tampa's defenders could catch.

Defensive Players - I believe in the last two games their opponents have decided that the Green Bay Packers defense must be soft at the line of scrimmage because both the Cowboys and Tampa ran the ball right down the Packers' throat. This is directed at the defensive line and linebackers because Tampa didn't have any fear of being out-hit. Tampa's offensive line pushed them around all day and you add that to the missed tackles and really can anyone be shocked at the end results of the game? I can't. I know Dunn is a good back, but he's no longer a great back and the Packers made him look that way.

I'm confused because the Packers had a better pass rush against the Cowboys and on Sunday couldn't sack Griese one time. With all the ugliness I saw there were some good things like the play of Tramon Williams, who replaced Al Harris. Williams didn't miss a beat, as a matter of fact, so Al better hurry up and get well.

What can you say about Charles Woodson, except that he is a play-maker plan and simple. By the way, has anyone seen Nick Barnett, Aaron Kampman or Kabeer? I believe they were missing in action this game because as good as this team is they are only that way if everyone shows up. By everyone I mean the players and the coaches because they have to understand that every week they have to play or coach their best, otherwise it's a WASTED OPPORTUNITY, just like we saw against Tampa!!!!

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

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