Sherman will make the calls

The Green Bay Packers put on the back burner a play-calling dilemma.

After Sunday's robust offensive performance at Detroit, there was some sentiment for Packers head coach Mike Sherman to keep the play-calling duties thrust upon him when offensive coordinator Tom Rossley was forced to undergo an angioplasty procedure.

Sherman on Monday said Rossley would resume the play-calling duties, but there's been a change of plans. With Rossley on the road to recovery but not 100 percent healthy, Rossley on Wednesday said Sherman will call the plays Sunday against Dallas and likely through the Nov. 7 bye week.

"I thought I was further along," Rossley said Wednesday. "Yesterday about dinnertime, I kind of didn't have much strength left in the day trying to keep up with the rest of the coaches and everything. I got real weak at the end of the day and Mike sent me home. But other than that, in the morning and at the start of the day, I feel strong. And every day I keep getting stronger."

Rossley will spend the game in the press box and will be in constant communication with Sherman. But for the next few weeks, Sherman will be calling the shots. It was a rousing success against Detroit, with the offense putting together its most-balanced and efficient game of the season. The Packers rolled to 434 yards of total offense, 157 yards on the ground, four touchdowns and 38 points.

With the offense humming and the team feeling good after three consecutive miserable losses, perhaps it's best from a psychological standpoint for Sherman to continue calling the plays. Rossley, being a team player, agrees.

"I think there's some momentum built and it's probably best that he continue with what's working," Rossley said. "Not that I can't do a good job. I feel like I can. We talked about it and probably at least through the bye week we'll see how it goes. He's going to call them and I'm going to do everything I can to help him."

Rossley sees another benefit to simply watching the game. Instead of having to worry about the next play call and frequently staring at the down-and-distance chart, he'll be able to simply watch the game and then come up with ideas for on-the-fly or halftime adjustments.

"You're able to come up some thoughts for the second half because you've got time where you didn't have time before," Rossley said.

The new Sherman Plan has the endorsement of Packers quarterback Brett Favre. Favre was able to have a face-to-face conversation with the play caller, something he couldn't get with Rossley perched from high above the field.

"It's easy when we put up 38 points and don't turn the ball over and it seemed like a flawless game," Favre said. "The only thing I can compare it to or relate it to is back when Mike Holmgren called the plays. He listened to me because he really had no choice. We were right there together.

"To me, it's kind of like being the quarterback because you're in the action. Now Mike wasn't on the field playing, but you can kind of feel what's going on. And not only that you're able to take two steps and grab Donald (Driver) or grab me or look at a picture with the guys who are playing and kind of talk through something."

While Rossley won't be calling the shots on game days, he was instrumental in creating the game plan that will be used Sunday against Dallas. The installation of that plan began Wednesday.

With some good vibes finally surrounding the team, Rossley says he'll do anything to keep the momentum building. Even if that means stepping aside from his prominent role.

"I want to do what's best for the team to win," Rossley said. "And if for whatever reason, if you feel like something has given us a spark, whether it's the juice on the sideline or whatever it happens to be, if there's a spark, you know the last thing I want to do is put the spark out. I want to do what's best for us to win and I think I can help us from the press box, whether it's calling the play or assisting with the call."


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