I'm not buying the injury excuse for the loss to Atlanta. The team faced the same issues against Washington and Miami and was coached and played brilliantly. Here's a few thoughts:
• The defense was flat...watch the replays again and look at the number of green jerseys standing around and not flying to the ball. The one touchdown series looked just like the Denver SB 32 touchdown. Are the rumors out of Green Bay true? Was the defense ticked off and was there arguing among players regarding Brett being pulled in the fourth quarter of the Jets game while the defensive starters had to stay in? And where were the linebackers? Draft a fast, hard hitter early in April!
• For the second week in a row, a special teams player gets blocked into his punt receiver. Inexcusable. First thing Monday, cut ST coach Frank Novak ... his unit was among the worst in the league all year long. And, if Longwell can't put a kickoff into the end zone, cut him as well. All year long the opposition had great starting field position thanks to Ryan's short kicks.
• The offensive play-calling was uninspired and unimaginative, especially at the goal line. If Green was hurt (even the commentators and viewers at home could see this), why wasn't he pulled earlier for Fisher? And how could the offense not move the ball against a Wade Phillips coached defense? Where were the short, over the middle passes that the West Coast offense is based on?
• Brett, don't start talking about retirement until after you win another SB. Once you started that, your play and the team's play went downhill.
It's a shame that the players and staff (except for Novak) did so well this season only to fall apart at the end. The booing was deserved ... for the coaching staff. Double D, you made us proud. True guts!
I hope the last two games just stick in the entire organization's thoughts all off season. Then, next season, use it as motivation. People were laughing at you yesterday. Even Steve Young said he hadn't seen a Packer team play so poorly in a decade.
Get well, get tough, and get rid of your weakness for 2003!
East Dundee, Ill.
Dear Mr. Korth,
Now that the dust has settled on another abysmal Playoff effort by the Packers, it's time to turn our attention to next season and see what can be done to right the wrongs. I have a few suggestions that should be considered if Mike Sherman truly believes that "wins in Green Bay aren't enough, championships are what matters"
1) Replace Tom Rossley as offensive coordinator. At best, his game plans are one-dimensional, at worst, they're downright bizarre. Pass routes into double and triple coverage, little use of the running game, no use of the tightends except inside the red zone.
3) Keep Terry Glenn and Donald Driver together for another year. When healthy, these two can be an explosive receiving pair. Glenn was hurt from pre-season and never seemed to fit into the offensive flow. When healthy, however, he can cause headaches for opposing Defensive Coordinators. Another season together should work.
4) Start looking today for Brett Favre's replacement. I know Favre said he'd be back next season, but after his last 3 starts, he may be thinking more about his tractor in Mississippi then he lets on.
1) Stop building your run defense around the premise that Gilbert Brown is going to start every game. When Brown is healthy and playing, the Packers do a nice job stopping the run inside. The problem is that he hasn't been able to play an entire season since 1996! Rod Walker is certainly not the answer as he gets pushed around at will by opposing guards. Need to draft a stud run stopper.
2) Next season play with 11 men on defense by adding a middle linebacker. The way Hardy Nickerson played this season it seemed he wasn't even on the field for most of the game. Sherman might consider moving Na'il Diggs inside and starting Torrance Marshall as the strong side backer.
3) Upgrade the cornerbacks. Three years ago Mike McKenzie looked like a young Herb Adderley. There were times this season, however, that he also resembled Adderley if Adderley tried to cover someone today. Tyrone Williams is steady if not spectacular. The Packers need a pure cover guy.
4) Resign Vonnie Holliday. He's the best of the bunch.
1) Fire Frank Novak, 'nuff said!
1) Lets make the 2003 #1 and #2 draft choices count. Jamal Reynolds is a bust and should be released. Javon Walker cost a #1 and #2 yet someone forgot to find out if he can catch. All the scouting reports out of Florida State said he drops too many passes. They were right 2) Players have got to stay healthy. It's amazing with the amount of injuries this team had this year that they were able to win 12 games. Sooner or later, 2nd and 3rd string players start playing down to their ability. Unfortunately for this team, it happened the last 2 games of the season.
Lastly, hats off to Larry Beightol and Pat Ruel for an outstanding job keeping the offensive line playing as well as it did after losing both starting tackles. Beightol has been consistent in maintaining a solid if not outstanding group.
Because of the 12-4 record and the amount of players lost this season to injuries, Mike Sherman gets a pass on this years quick ouster from the playoffs. Next season however will be different. Another poor draft coupled with late season collapses might just make the winters in Green Bay a lot colder for Sherman than he'd like.
The Pack really needs to address three main areas in
Special teams have been horrible all year and a major
effort is needed here.
The offensive and defensive lines.
It seems its been forever since the Pack had units
here that could simply go out and play smash mouth.
Without lines capable of dominating the Pack will win
lots of games in the regular season, and fall flat in
the postseason. Its time to do something...
Dear Packer Report,
I'd first like to thank the Green Bay Packers organization for another great year. They were faced with a lot of obstacles, yet still managed to make the playoffs. The outcome was not one in which I had hope for, but the Pack will be Back. I also wanted to take a moment to thank the people of Green Bay. On December 22, I was lucky enough to attend my first Green Bay Packers home game. As I made the 8 hour drive from Louisville, KY to Green Bay, WI in my yellow Ford Escape dressed out with the Packers logo and flags. The entire way up people would honk and cheer reminding me just how powerful the Packers really are. The people of Green Bay were so friendly, they made feel as if I was truly part of their community, and maybe for just a day, I was. From the couple that led me over to the Titletown Bar And Grill to the man I met during tailgating known as "Tuba" and his friends that fed me, my experience was truly something I'll never forget. I look forward to next season when I'll make the journey once again to see the greatest team in the history of the game.
Sincerely Bradley Carson