Lions Respect, But Don't Like Rival Packers

The Detroit Lions have watched Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers rise to league stardom on the field -- and off the field, with the endless "Discount Double Check" commercials. Although they have respect for their NFC counterparts, as one Lions defender stated, "there's no love lost between the two of us."

ALLEN PARK -- Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is a well known figure in Detroit.

The eight-year signal caller has ascended the ranks of the NFL, leading the Packers to elite status.

Since the Detroit Lions share a division with the Packers, they have had a front-row viewing of their rival's resurgence.

"We've watched them develop into one of the elite teams in the NFL," said defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill. "You can't take nothing away from those guys. They've been Super Bowl champs within the last three years."

The Packers success all starts with their quarterback. That is recognized and respected throughout the Lions organization.

"Obviously (Rodgers) is one of the best quarterbacks in the league," said linebacker Justin Durant. "His accuracy is crazy, he gets everybody involved and makes everybody around him better. We have to be disciplined in everything that we do, play good coverage and try to get some pressure on him."

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz agrees.

"We certainly have a lot of respect for him," he said. "His touchdown/interception (ratio) is pretty much insane right now. 25/5. They score a lot of touchdowns."

As practitioners of the same profession, it would be impossible for the players and coaches within the Lions locker room to not respect what the Packers have accomplished with Rodgers at the helm. Especially considering he's enjoyed so much success at their expense.

Rodgers is 6-0 in games he's started and finished against the Lions, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes with a mindboggling 120.2 passer rating on the strength of 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

As competitors, a shared reverence does not overshadow a desire for revenge.

"It's an NFC North rival," said defensive end Lawrence Jackson. "We play them twice. There is no love lost between the two of us… Am I tried of seeing the Discount Double Check on TV? Yes."

Jackson is referring to reoccurring TV ads that feature Rodgers and other teammates. The premise of the commercials center around Rodgers' notorious touchdown celebration, in which he mimics wearing a championship belt.

The Lions see enough of the Packers on the field, they don't want to see them on the TV screen.

"That's the thing, I don't watch regular TV just for that simple fact only," said Hill. "Aaron Rodgers is who he is. I don't know the guy personally so I can't speak on him and I only know him as a football player and quarterback. For me being a defensive lineman, I know what I want to do to him every time we see him. He's a good quarterback, can't knock him. His commercial is his commercial, his play is his play and I'll just stay on HBO, Cinemax and Starz."

It's not that the Lions have a real-life disdain for the Packers players but – at least for some – they aren't found of the Packers as a whole.

"I wouldn't say that there is necessary bad blood," said Jackson. "Do we like each other? Probably not. Off the field, are guys cool? Yeah. I ran into (Packer TE) Jermichael Finely at the Nike campus and we were cool. As a kid I was a 49ers Fan and I didn't like the Packers then."

The Lions certainly respect the Packers. For that reason, they want to beat them.


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