"Definitely every game you play and win will keep your opportunities alive. The next one becomes even more important. That is certainly the case for both the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. The Packers and 49ers have had great football games in recent history and I'm sure that will continue. This will be two good football teams ready to battle it out." -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman

Q: Are you approaching Sunday's contest as a playoff game?

Sherman: Well, definitely every game you play and win will keep your opportunities alive. The next one becomes even more important. That is certainly the case for both the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.

Q: What is the reason the Packers have been so successful late in games against the 49ers?

Sherman: I don't think there is any secret formula in regards to what we've done. Hey, they had us down on the 12-yard line a year ago and we just happened to make a play or they didn't make the play, whatever the case was. But, they've been great games. The Packers and 49ers have had great football games in recent history and I'm sure that will continue. This will be two good football teams ready to battle it out.

Q: Did you go into this season thinking Green Bay would be a dominant running team?

Sherman: I wouldn't say we are a dominant running team. Since I've come here, we've leaned that way every year and I wanted it to become a running football team complementing also with the passes. But, with our backs and offensive line, I felt like we had the capability. Last year, we lost 3-out-of-5 lineman. So, we had to kind of shove that idea a little bit. I felt like if we were able to keep people healthy last year, our running back included who was hurt most of the year, we lost Najeh Davenport during the year and we didn't have three running backs, but if we stayed healthy, I thought we could have been a pretty decent running team last year.

Q: Can you talk about the situation with Brett Favre's thumb?

Sherman: Well, it happened early in the Ram game. He had one of his best games that I remember in the dome and the domes haven't been good for us, or at least for him. But, he played very well in that game. He played well against Minnesota. Then, the Philly game he made some key throws in the game, but he missed a couple. But, that didn't have a whole lot to do with the thumb. We just offensively weren't clicking in the passing game the way we needed to. This last ball game, he banged his thumb late in the game and we didn't throw it very much after that. He could have, but it was mainly that we just wanted to use time off the clock than anything. He made some key third-down throws that are typical of him. The game was on the line and he made some big throws. So, I'm very pleased with him.

Q: Does cold weather or wet weather effect Favre's efficiency?

Sherman: Well, he's always been very good in those types of games. The only wet weather game we really had was the Chicago game. Not only did he fumble the ball, but our backs fumbled the ball in that game. So, you have to attribute their thumbs to their lack of success, as well as his. But, I don't know if that is really the case. He said it had no bearing on him, in terms of the ball slipping out of his hands. The ball was very slick. It was a very wet day. We didn't hang on to it very well and that contributed to our demise to a certain degree, but I don't think the thumb has any bearing whatsoever. He has extremely large hands and he can grip a football where his hand almost wraps all the way around it. So, that has always been his strength; to be able to play in wet weather and cold weather games.

Q: Can you talk about Favre's streak of starts, a record for an NFL quarterback?

Sherman: First of all, the streak, you have to know Brett to understand. He's very proud of it and we are proud of it as well. Brett Favre will be the first one to tell you that we are not going to compromise winning a game for a streak. If he's in the game, it is because he gives us the best chance to win and that alone. As far as the streak he has, I think it is a phenomenal display of mental toughness that he exhibits. Not only does he play in the games, but he practices, practices hurt and practices well hurt. I don't think it will ever be surpassed by anybody. I don't know when it is going to stop. I hope never. We got caught last week with a knee injury and then we had a bye week. He's doing something right these days because every time he gets injured, he always has a bye week to give him a week to get rested. So, the good Lord wants him to keep that streak going I guess.

Q: Were you going to draft Niners quarterback Tim Rattay?

Sherman: We had him on our list of guys and I forget the exact ranking or where we had him and whether we were going to take a quarterback or not, I can't remember, but I know we looked at him.

Q: How's Ahman Green's health?

Sherman: He's fine. He was just cramping up in the game (last week). The heat down there was more obviously than we experience here. It was in the '80s. They had five guys go down on IVs and we had three guys and he (Green) was one of them. It was just a matter of him cramping up. It actually happened significantly in that 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter, but he was able to come back at the end and ice it off for us.

Q: What jumps out looking at film of 49ers defense?

Sherman: Speed would be the number one. Effort, they play hard and they play fast. They have a fair amount of top draft picks. I think they have done a tremendous job of drafting that defense and putting them together with free agency. They play hard. They are a very impressive group of players. I think schematically, they do a lot of things defensively that you have to be ready for. They definitely challenge you with their effort, athleticism and their skill.

Q: What kind of improvement have you seen in cornerback Mike Rumph?

Sherman: I think he has improved dramatically from a year ago. I went down to his workout at Miami and watched his workout. So, I followed him a little bit to see how successful he was going to be. The first year in the National Football League, I don't care where you play, I think the toughest position probably is the corner position. There is a lot to learn out there. In college, they didn't play the multiple coverages he's playing right now and he didn't go against the receivers he's going against now. I think he's matured fantastically at that position. Plummer is another good one on the other side, too.

Q: The Packers have traditionally done well in bad weather, but with Favre's condition, do you hope for better weather?

Sherman: If you look for clear skies in Green Bay, Wisconsin, you are hoping for something that is not going to happen, at least in November or December anyway. So, I'm not hoping for that. Everybody thinks we love playing in the cold weather, but our players get cold too. But, we do practice in the cold weather, drive in the cold weather and live here. So, I think we've become very adaptive and very good at it and skillful at it from a football standpoint. It doesn't become a big issue for us. I'm not worried about the weather one way or another.

Q: Do you have concerns over your poor home record recently?

Sherman: Well, we played Kansas City at home and had a 17-point lead going into the fourth quarter and ended up not keeping that. It was a great football game. Those things happen sometimes. Then, with Philly, we thought we had that game won and we lost that in the last four minutes of the game. You play enough football games anywhere, home and away, you aren't going to keep it going. Hopefully, we can get it back on track again. It's a great place to play and it has great tradition. Our players love playing there. That probably helps us be more successful than we deserve to be sometimes. As is the trend in the National Football League this year, I think Tampa just lost its third or fourth home game and they were the World Champions a year ago, you better be ready every single week to play. I don't think people care as much anymore whether they are home or away. They got a football game and when your back is against the wall, you got to go play.

Q: How much do you look at remaining schedule to see playoff possibilities?

Sherman: Absolutely none. I don't do any of that. The only thing I look at is our opponent for that week. All that stuff I did in the offseason and preseason maybe. Once the season starts, I am pretty much locked into who we have that week. You have 16 one-game seasons you have to play. Whatever happens in that game, if you win it doesn't help you win the next one and if you lose it doesn't mean you are going to lose the next one, so you just have to play each game individually. That is really the perspective that I have always taken.

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