Jsonline.com reported that the coaches and trainers are cautious, but both NT James Lee and NT Grady Jackson expect to play on Sunday against Dallas. Neither Lee or Jackson are world beaters, but both hold the middle of the line better than anybody else on the Packers roster, they increase the Packers size inside (moving sub 300 lb. DT Cullen Jenkins to a part time role), and improve the entire defensive line. Jackson isn't known for his pass rushing skills, but the Packers pass rush improved substantially in 2003 when Jackson was in the game. Obviously the run defense will be improved with more size on the defensive line.
Last week offensive coordinator Tom Rossley had a heart procedure and surprisingly espn.com reported that Rossley will return to the press box on Sunday against Dallas. He still isn't calling plays, but he will talk with Mike Sherman during the game. The offense involved all three running backs for the first time all season, something that was very successful in 2003. Is Sherman better at play calling then Rossley? The Packers running backs had numerous injuries early in the season, so it isn't that simple. It always appeared that no play was called without Sherman's blessing and Rossley had a smaller role during the game itself. It will be interesting to see if the Packer offense continues to look better with Sherman calling the plays instead of Rossley.
The kick coverage was awful vs. Detroit, and CB James Whitley lost his job because of it. LB Nick Rogers was signed in Whitley's place (Rogers was just cut last week when WR Robert Ferguson's injury required the Packers to sign WR Kelvin Kight from the practice squad to take his place) and Rogers has a good reputation for special teams play during his 2 years in Minnesota. But this is still a scapegoat move. Whitley played poorly vs. Detroit, but the entire kick coverage played poorly. Whitley was a good tackler, but he was far down the depth chart in the secondary and not a major contributor on defense anyway.