You don't play in the league for 15 years without an extraordinary ability to adapt to change. And quarterback Brett Favre did not bat an eye when Adrian Klemm and William Whitticker replace last year's departed starters, Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera, at guard on opening day of the 2005 season.
"I never thought about it," Favre said. "I didn't lose any sleep the night before."
Favre, however, likely did not sleep well after last Sunday's game. The Detroit Lions sacked him four times and hurried him on several other occasions.
"During the course of the game I got more pressure obviously than I had gotten not only against Detroit but really the past two years," he said. "It's been awhile since I think we had that much pressure. I can't say that made me play any different."
Much of that pressure was because the Lions have developed one of the NFL's best interior defensive lines. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers came into his own last year, earning his first Pro Bowl nod and had five tackles, including a sack last Sunday.
The bar has been set very high for the Packers offensive line. They tied the Indianapolis Colts for fewest sacks allowed last season with 15. Head coach Mike Sherman said the current unit opened holes in the running game but could improve.
"They did ok. Do we have to be better? Yeah, we have to better in a lot of areas," Sherman said. "But I don't think the run game was suspect."
Running back Ahman Green averaged 4.8 yards but only received 12 carries. Sherman wanted to run the ball more, but several penalties nullified long runs or forced the Packers into long down-and-distance situations, which necessitate passing the ball.
"I was not disappointed from the standpoint of the run game and the blocking so much as the penalties that took us out of run game situation," Sherman said.
A dominant running game, like the Packers had when they rushed for 1,908 yards last year, will take more pressure off Favre.
To sustain that running game, center Mike Flanagan said he and his fellow linemen must finish off blocks a bit better.
"If you can hold on to a guy for an extra half second," he said. "That can give Ahman an extra yard or two or give Brett an extra second to make another read."
Even if Favre continues to face pressure, he has the ability to make things happen. His knack for magically turning a broken play into a positive play has earned raves from his opposing quarterback, the Cleveland Browns' Trent Dilfer.
"You're dealing with the greatest player ever to play the quarterback position in Brett Favre," Dilfer said.
Dilfer played for the Seattle Seahawks from 2001 to 2004, and Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren brought the offense he used as Packers head coach from 1992 to 1998 to Seattle. The Seahawks passers used to watch tape of Favre to learn how to master the West Coast Offense.
The maestro of that offense expressed confidence in five men blocking for him. Concerns regarding pass protection do not nag him, but the offensive output against the Lions sure does.
"I'm disappointed about that game," Favre said. "We have to play better than that."
Quick Hits: Sherman announced on Wednesday that Joey Thomas will replace Ahmad Carroll as the starting left cornerback against the Browns. ... According to the NFL, the Packers are tied with the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys as having the most rookies and first-year players in the NFC at 13. ... The Packers are also tied with the New York Giants in having the most NFC players weighing at least 300 pounds at 13