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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

When will it be okay to criticize Sherman?

by Mark Quarderer
PackerChatters Staff

I have really resisted the urge to be critical of Mike Sherman.....until now.

Probably more than any other poster on this forum, I understand how difficult it is to be a football coach. You spend countless hours planning and preparing and then somebody f***s up and you get blamed. I can honestly say that if my players had always done what I told them to do, the way I told them to do it, that I would have been undefeated. But that's just not real world.

It's hard to be critical of a guy who has a 51-27 record, and that's the bottom line on Sherman. People say that he inherited a good squad but that's not quite true; this ship was taking water badly in the Rhodes year and Sherman did a real good job of plugging the leaks in a hurry. Of the 30 games where an opponent has scored over 21 points on a Mike Sherman team, 8 of them happened that first year. The Ray Rhodes defense of 1999 was the worst of the Favre era.........until this year.

So I think Sherman did a real good job of turning this baby around and restoring the Packers to one of the preeminent teams in the league.

But all that is yesterday's news. In the NFL, you're only as good as your last game, and his last game wasn't good.

I could go into a myriad analysis of every one of his roster moves, from trades and draft picks to free agents both signed and unsigned, but others have already done that and truthfully........Sherman has had some hits and some misses, just like anybody else in that position.

No, my beef with Sherman is located in my gut. More and more I'm getting that feeling that I had in 1999 when the Gum Chewer consistently put poorly prepared and undisciplined teams out on the field. Our defense doesn't play like a unit. The DBs are making the same mistakes in December that they did in September. The offense, for the seventh straight year, will finish near the bottom of the league in taking care of the ball.

These are problems that good coaches fix. They don't talk about the need to fix them, or promise that they're going to fix them....they actually fix them, one way or another.

IMO, it's gotten to this point with Sherman: If he isn't going to do what is needed to fix the problems.....then he's part of the problem that needs to be fixed.

I appreciate the value of continuity and don't want Sherman and the rest of the staff fired. But I want him to do his job, and IMO, what he needs to do is:

Replace Slowik as defensive coordinator
Replace Jethro Franklin
Replace Schottenheimer
Let every single player on the team....including the Great and Glorious Favre....that sloppy play and stupid decisions are going to get your ass put on the bench. We cannot continue to go out and play like this and expect to have a shot at the trophy, regardless of what other changes we make.
Get rid of the dead wood. Get rid of Nowak. Get rid of Sharper and Hunt. If Sander can't handle the job get rid of him and find another punter.
Don't draft any projects on the first day. Get some actual players from actual big time college programs who can actually come in and be ready to play right off the bad. These eligible juniors from smaller programs have a much harder jump to make than somebody who has played 5 years for a National Championship contender.

So that's my rant. I like Sherman but I like the Packers more, and if he can't/won't fix the problems which have caused this team to underachieve so badly, then he needs to go away so that somebody else can do the job.

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