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Offensive Coordinator Receives Pre-Game Scare


It's an incredible understatement to say football is important in Tom Rossley's life, but it's still nowhere near the significance of his health.

Last season, Rossley, who's now in his sixth year as the Packers offensive coordinator, underwent an emergency angioplasty to open a clogged artery. On Sunday, Rossley received another scare before the Packers contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Head Coach Mike Sherman knew that something was wrong early on in the day after meeting with Rossley before the game.

"We were getting ready to go out for pregame and he was in my office down here in the stadium," Sherman said. "We were reviewing our third down calls and I could just tell...Earlier in the day he looked a little flush.

Health is one area that can't be negotiated and Sherman wasn't about to take any chances with his friend and offensive coordinator, either.

"I looked at him again in my office," Sherman explained. "I said, 'are you ok?' He said he was fine, but I could tell something was wrong. He wouldn't tell me what was wrong-it took me about 10 minutes to get it out of him.

Finally he told me he was having pains in his upper chest and shoulder area. I said we're going to get you to the doctor. We brought him into the training room and they immediately put him in the ambulance and brought him to the hospital."

Sherman declined to tell others about Rossley's condition before the game.

"I never told the team about it," Sherman said. "I didn't want it to be a distraction for them. Some of the coaches may have not have even known, I tried to keep it pretty quiet."

Evidently, Sherman's plan worked, as many players, including Brett Favre, commented that they didn't know anything was going on until the conclusion of the game.

"I just found about it after the game," Favre admitted. "When I heard about it, I was pleased to hear that he seems to be doing OK. I lost my father due to a heart condition and it's nothing to take lightly, obviously.

Tom, I care a lot about him. He's a great guy. This is just a game. I'm just pleased that he's doing OK and hopefully the long term is fine as well."

Sherman said that Rossley indicated that he was cleared by doctors to come back to the game and did so at the end of the first half.

According to Sherman, early indications are that Rossley will indeed be OK.

"He doesn't want anything to be made of it," Sherman said. "The tests were fine. He just has to follow up with some more tests (tomorrow) so hopefully he'll be fine.

If he needs to scale back, we would do that. I don't anticipate that to happen, but we'll do whatever is the right thing for Tom Rossley in regard to this."

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