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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Favre’s time at hand

The end is nigh for Brett Favre, it has to be. No, I don’t think some little concussion or bruised hamstring or any other injury will force him to retire, but losing sure will.

Favre has maintained all along that he’ll play until he can’t do it physically, or when it isn’t fun anymore. Slinging the ball around the field is fun. Leading one of the best offenses in the NFL is fun. Winning is fun.

Three problems: Favre isn’t slinging the ball all over the field, the offense hasn’t been that good and the Packers sure aren’t winning.


The Packers looked like the team that the media expected them to be with a week one dismantling of the Carolina Panthers. It was a marquee match-up on Monday Night Football that left a lot of people, myself included, thinking this team was even better than expected. Then the smoke and mirrors disappeared, and Green Bay was exposed.

First it was their most hated rivals, the Chicago Bears. The Bears came to Lambeau Field and beat the Packers 21-10. The offense moved the ball but couldn’t score, and the defense proved to be far more porous than the Panther game would have made you believe. After watching Chicago pick up 182 yards on the ground, Green Bay fans were left wondering where the defense that held the supposedly great running game of Carolina to just 38 yards had gone.

The next week Indianapolis made the defense look even more like Swiss cheese, throwing for 393 yards. Even for Peyton Manning and company, that’s a lot of yards. The Packers offense shredded the Colts defense, but not quite as thoroughly, as Green Bay lost 45-31.

The real dagger came when the lowly Giants visited Green Bay and beat the Packers 14-7. The offense disappeared, partly due to Brett Favre’s concussion that left him on the sidelines down the stretch, but that wasn’t the only reason. Even with Favre, the only real offense that was generated was a long touchdown pass that he can’t even remember. The defense looked like it had picked up the pieces a little bit during the first half of the game, but then wilted in the second half. In total, the Packers gave up an obscene 245 yards on the ground, most of it gained after the half time show.

That loss left Green Bay at 1-3 and teetering on the edge of a major crisis.

Monday night’s tilt with Tennessee will pit two of the most disappointing teams in the NFL in a fight to stave off the nearly inescapable pit of 1-4. The game is a must-win for Green Bay not only to salvage this year, but to put off the rebuilding tag a little longer. If the Packers lose this, there will be no playoffs, and that will likely mean no Brett Favre in 2005.

And just who is to blame for all of this mess?

Mike Sherman.

See Sherman has that dual role of GM and head coach, that same dual role that has so often been taken on in the NFL, and almost as often botched. Few people have been able to pull it off successfully, and it has been somewhat of a surprise that a rookie head coach was even given that kind of responsibility in the first place.

To be fair, Sherman performed quite well to start with. The Packers were winners again after the Ray Rhodes experiment had gone horribly wrong and all seemed well in Packerland.

The problem was most of the players that were getting the job done were holdovers from the Mike Holmgren/ Ron Wolf era. As Sherman has made more and more decisions on the makeup of the roster, things have gotten worse and worse.

Just look at some of the real trouble spots for Green Bay.

On the D-line, injuries have really hammered the group this season, but huge contracts for Joe Johnson and Cletidus Hunt have been very questionable moves (although when signed, Johnson was expected to be a savior).

At wide receiver they have all kinds of athletic ability, but very little receiving ability. Robert Ferguson may be taller, faster and stronger than Chris Chambers, but Chambers can get open and catch the ball. Javon Walker has begun to make big plays, but just as often he disappears from games or makes mistakes that cost the Packers dearly.

Those are just two positions that have been completely retooled by Sherman in his five years at the helm, but they are two of the worst positions on the field.

Since he was given the GM duties in 2001, the best player that Sherman has brought in was Nick Barnett.

Most of this squad’s key components, like Favre, the offensive line and Ahman Green, were acquired before Sherman was with the Packers or at the least when Wolf was still the guiding hand behind the decisions.

If this team that Sherman has built doesn’t start to do some winning in the real near future, he will be out of a job soon. Maybe not at the end of this season, unless the wheels really fall off, but probably by next year when a Favre-less Packer team suffers through a rebuilding year.

With the season already a quarter of the way over, it may be too late for Sherman to do anything to stem the tide of losing. Most of the personnel decisions have been made, and with the salary cap, there is little chance for any drastic changes this season. If that is the case, then it is probably too late for the Packers to do anything to convince Favre to come back for another year.

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