Well, football fans this has been a trying year hasn’t it? What follows are some thoughts on this season past, a season of major disappointment.
Jim Bates had them playing quite well. A tough group with good hustle. A few standouts were Aaron Kampman, Grady Jackson and Al Harris. Also Cole and Jenkins played pretty good on the D-line. At safety, rookie Nick Collins appears to be the real deal. Sadly, KGB had a very average year. And former first rounder Amond Carol? He may come around some day, but I think he "is what he is". A great physical specimen who for some reason just doesn't get it. All in all the 2005 defense was fun to watch and played their hearts out. But, they could have used a little help, which brings us to...
Mostly the offence was just plain offensive. First off, take an ungodly amount of injuries, especially injuries at key positions. -Running back and receiver. Then add rotating doors to the once secure guard positions. Of course, we had the usual lackluster play calling, balanced nicely by the inept game time decisions. Add to that an inexplicably bad year for Bret Favre, and you got yourself a sure-fire formula for a 4 and 12 season.
And what about Bret? Well, he wasn’t having "fun out there". Off course the talking heads on TV are required (by contract???) to say “Yep, Bret's having fun out there" at least 5 times every game. But, even with the most cursory glance at the man, one could plainly see something was troubling him. Often, he looked downright depressed. I think there was some bad chemistry between #4 and the coaching staff. -Maybe "bad chemistry" is the wrong phrase, how about "lack of chemistry"? I'm sure losing games wasn't helping, but to me, his game-day face has looked somewhat overcast and despondent for the last number of years. I'm afraid to say it my dear sports fan, I think we have seen the last of Bret Favre in the frozen tundra of Lambeau. A sad day, a sad day indeed.
Two words: "Not so special". OK, make it three words.
A big fat disappointing win ?!?
I admit, I was disappointed that the Packers won the last game of the year. Sherman played all his starters against Seattle’s 2nd stringers. It was so unfulfilling for the fans. Of course coaches don’t think along the same lines as fans... But hell the season was shot. Plus the win was bittersweet because it hampered the Packers in the upcoming draft. It is wrong to lose a game just for draft considerations. But in a situation like this, I see nothing wrong with matching up to your opponent. In other words, with Seattle's second stringers on the field we had an opportunity to evaluate some of our second tier players. It makes for an honest game. And if you win, that's great! If you lose, at least you evaluated some potential starters for next year. And what of it? You lost a meaningless game. It was particularly disappointing not too see Aaron Rodgers during that game. The Packers needed to evaluate him in game conditions because they may have a shot at the two premiere quaterbacks in the upcoming draft. (Young and Lineart) You know what? That is a rather ironic situation, because that is exactly what Aaron Rodgers was! (Last year)
(David Bowie. Circa: Nineteen-Eighty-something...)
So Mike Sherman is gone. He is a spectacular example of an organized, hard working, level headed human. -Fully loaded with integrity, compassion and class. However, the folks at 1265 Lombardi, ...and many fans with less prestigious addresses contend that he was just an average coach. An average coach, even if he did have an above average winning percentage.
I really shouldn't do this, but, I can't stop myself. I'm going to repeat one of the most malicious comments I've heard in regards to Mike Sherman. Drum roll please:
"Coach like you've got a pair, not shaped like one!"
Ouch! That's just plan mean! But hey, cheer up, Mike. There are lots of pear-shaped men on this planet, I only know of one with a 3.2 million dollar contract for doing exactly anything or nothing that he pleases to do for the next 730 days. So, relax wet a few lines, slice a few golf balls and enjoy your family.
The new McCarthyism...
Now we have a brand new Mick! Coach McCarthy. A surprising choice, thinks I. But so was it with the previous two Mikes. And all things considered, they both worked out OK.
Was not giving Jim Bates the head-coaching job was a mistake? I can't say for sure. But at least they should have retained him as Defensive Coordinator. Losing him was a colossal loss. Now, our defense will have the 4th coordinator in as many years. Thomson really fumbled the ball on this one. Hiring a new head coach and still retaining your Defensive Coordinator is achievable when the situation is properly finessed. This matter wasn't. My sources say that Bates was given the impression he had the head job, but then the rug was pulled out from under him. Promoting D-line Coach Bob Sanders to Defensive Coordinator is the second best choice. It will maintain some continuity on a defense that was heading in the right direction. But I reiterate, I believe he is the second best choice.
With the new staff and the 5th overall pick in the upcoming draft, it should prove to be a very interesting off-season. I hope Ted Thompson knows what he's doing. He probably does, I doubt he's gotten to be this successful relying solely off his warmth, personality and charm! Nobody knows how this will all turn out, all I can say is let's strap on our cheeseheads and enjoy the ride. She may get little bumpy...