Defensive tackle on the mend

Grady Jackson has been spending most of his off-season in Green Bay rehabbing from off-season knee surgery. The defensive tackle is entering the final season of a two-year contract that he signed at the end of the 2003 season.

A key part of the defensive line, the Packers have a 15-4 regular season record in games Jackson has played compared to a 1-4 mark in games played without him.

Jackson suffered a dislocated left knee cap in the season opener against Carolina last year. The injury forced him to miss five games, and he was inactive for another game. Jackson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Feb. 2. He also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during the off-season in 2004. He finished the 2004 season with 36 tackles and one sack.

Jackson is not expected to participate in the team's upcoming June mini-camp.

Jackson took time to answer questions from the media at the end of the post-draft mini-camp:
Q: How far along are you in your knee rehab?
GJ: About 80% right now. Everything is working well. I'm just rehabbing and working out everyday."

Q: How do you feel about new defensive coordinator Jim Bates and his philosophy?
GJ: It's more consistent. Just looking at the secondary, they're playing pretty well. The main thing with the defense is you want to keep everything inside and not let anything get outside. Coach Bates is doing a good job.

Q: Is it a player-friendly system?
GJ: Everybody likes it. Like (Bates) said, he feels he has better talent here than in Miami. We have to go out there and prove ourselves.

Q: Will your role change?
GJ: Not really. Just from talking to him (Bates), he's got a lot of stuff worked out for me."

Q: How much time a day do you spend rehabbing at Lambeau Field?
GJ: (Smiles) Twice a day. I come in about 8:30 a.m. and leave at about 7 (p.m.), just rehabbing. Working out, lifting weights, trying to get my strength back.

Q: What are your thoughts on Javon Walker's situation?
GJ: (Chuckles) Javon is going to do what he has to do, you know? I wish he were here. ... I feel like Javon should be here, but maybe he's doing what's best for him.

Q: Does it rub you the wrong way?
GJ: It rubs you the wrong way, but you can't worry about it. You just have to worry about yourself and taking care of your own (family).


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