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Coaching Staff Back At Full Strength


Packers offensive coordinator Tom Rossley spoke to the media for the first time Monday since undergoing an angioplasty last Tuesday which caused him to miss the team's win at Detroit over the weekend.

Although Rossley had returned to the office on a limited basis late last week, his doctors felt it was best if he stayed at home as the team traveled to Michigan. Rossley was back at work Monday, putting in a full day of preparation for the upcoming contest with the Dallas Cowboys.

He felt good upon his return to a winning atmosphere.

"(I feel) stronger every day," the veteran coordinator said. "I feel pretty good. The win helps. Any time you get a win, I think that adds to your health. I feel better because of that and also very good doctors.

"I came in early today, came in about seven o'clock this morning, and I'm going to try to stay up with these guys. I don't know, they keep a pretty good pace, but I'm going to try to stay with them."

With Rossley not with the Packers Sunday, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman took on the added responsibility of calling the team's offensive plays from the sideline during the 38-10 victory.

Though the game was Sherman's first time as the sole play-caller for the offense of the Green and Gold, he relied on his experience of developing the game plan with Rossley and calling some of the plays over the course of the games in the duo's four-plus seasons with the Packers.

Sherman said Monday that with Rossley back and ready to go this week, the play-calling will revert to the previous shared method, a system that has served the club well in recent history.

"I will call my plays, I will continue to call plays as I have in the past, and Tom will call plays," Sherman said. "He's our offensive coordinator. I have complete confidence in him. He's done nothing for me not to have confidence in him."

Sherman handed the credit for Sunday's offensive success over to the players that were running the plays out on the field, and restated what the arrangement will be for the future.

"Our success on Sunday was relative more to our players executing our scheme than anything else, I promise you," said Sherman. "I have called plays during the course of games - some good, some bad. Tom has called some great games. I thought his first game this year was a great game, Seattle last year at home - he's had a ton of great games. I have complete confidence in him. I'll continue to have the input that I have and I have used on a regular basis."

One area that definitely improved Sunday was the communication between Sherman and quarterback Brett Favre. However, a downside to that was the head coach's attention being diverted away from the other facets of the game - defense and special teams.

"There are some benefits to that and maybe I can do a better job with the (communication with Favre), but it's difficult because I was totally removed from anything else in the ballgame," Sherman said, extolling the advantages of his in-game conversations with his quarterback.

"I was fortunate that no game management situation came up where I was called to duty and having had my back to the defense would have been difficult to assume. I was prepared that way because I told Vince Tobin to cover me if anything were to come up, but it is difficult."

Rossley, who watched Sunday's contest at home in Green Bay with his wife, Kristine, felt like he still played a role in his team's success.

"I felt as I watched the start of the game as though I still had a little bit of input into that first drive," Rossley said. "I was with (Sherman) Friday night and we discussed and talked and a couple of those thoughts were mine in that drive."

The coordinator feels that last week's experience will only serve to help the team as they prepare for future games.

"Any time you can communicate better - that's what football is," said Rossley. "Whether it's offense, defense, special teams - it's which team communicates better. If we've learned something from this that it's better to communicate with your quarterback face to face down on the field and Mike is more direct with him, then so be it. We've got to talk about it and discuss it, and again, whichever way Mike wants to go, he's a smart man.

"There was a lot of pressure on him this week when I went down and wasn't able to be there. He wears a lot of hats and he just took on a few more hours and a little more work and a little more responsibility and handled it great and did a great job, which is the type of man that he is."

Whatever long-term changes might occur as a result of Sunday's arrangement, and listening to Sherman there shouldn't be many, Rossley stands behind his head coach 100%.

"I just want to come back and help," the coordinator said. "I want to do anything I can to help this team win. Whatever direction Mike points me, that's the way I'm going to go full speed."

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