Winter: Lack of leadership is costly for Packers

By Bob Brown

Blaise Winter has his theory on why the Green Bay Packers have started the season by losing two of their first three games.

"The Packers lack leadership, not by the coaches, but by the players," the former Packers defensive lineman said. "Outside of Brett Favre, nobody has stepped forward to accept a leadership role. And Brett can't do it by himself. The Packers are hurting."

Winter, who is now a motivational speaker, will be in Rochester next Wednesday and Thursday to talk to students at John Marshall, Mayo and Century high schools and to people of the Rochester community.


In addition to speaking, Winter helps coach various pro and college football teams in the art of hand combat, based on his experience in martial arts.

In August, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George O'Leary brought Winter to training camp to help teach the Vikings linemen techniques in hand combat.

"When this season started, Mike Sherman said this was the best Packers team he had coached," said Winter, who does Packers radio shows in the Green Bay area where he resides. "I didn't see it. I think it's the worst. The Packers aren't tough. They're soft when it comes to attitude."

Winter, who helped coach the Minnesota Vikings linemen during training camp, sees the Vikings developing an attitude.

"They showed it in their win over Green Bay (in the season opener)," Winter said. "They out-toughed the Packers in that game. Everybody knows the Vikings still have weaknesses, but they're getting an attitude. That's something the Packers don't have right now."

Winter was a defensive lineman in the NFL for 11 years. He played for the Packers for three years -- 1988-90 -- when Lindy Infante was the head coach.

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