GREEN BAY – Nearly 80,000 might be able to squeeze into Lambeau Field, and T-shirts and towels may urge the vocal cords to tear, to "get loud." But Lambeau isn’t CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Seismic waves will never emanate from 1265 Lombardi Ave.
What the Green Bay Packers do have, what they can emulate, is their own version of "Beast Mode."
And it’s not just in the physical similarities of running backs Marshawn Lynch (5-feet, 11-inches, 215 pounds, dreadlocks, dark visor) and Eddie Lacy (5-11, 230, dreadlocks, dark visor).
It’s an an attitude the Packers have developed.
With some offensive players, it’s inherent.
You don’t teach this.
Nor do you teach what Davante Adams did to the Cowboys on Sunday. No, not the open field shake and bake on safety Chris Wilcox. It’s the tough yards after contact (YAC), the unwillingness to go down, that caused this skirmish …
… and then the literal manhandling of Cowboys defensive back Sterling Moore on a key third down catch in the Packers final drive, in which Adams just shook Moore off like snow on a shoulder pad.
"That inner dog just comes out and I feel a certain type of way," Adams said about taking the field. "That’s the reason why in the beginning why I went with football over basketball. I just got a different feeling when it comes to putting those pads on.
"You see all those people watching you and it’s just the fact that you have that whole … all the time you’re practicing throughout the season and you only get a couple shots to show the crowd and the world what you can do on the field, so, I just get a certain type of feeling when I get out there on the field."
Defensively, Mike Daniels wondered why his part of the team couldn’t have that, either. He wondered aloud, too.
Sitting in his locker after the game Sunday, tape and mud still on his body, Daniels recounted a story that microphones picked up early in the year.
"The Super Bowl. I saw Seattle just manhandle the Denver Broncos," Daniels began. "They just did what they wanted with them. They let them know about it. The bullied them. And I said, dang, why can’t we be the bad guys, like them? Everybody like ‘Oh Seattle this. Richard Sherman’s this. Oh that, Oh, this,’ but they go out there and play with that intensity and they beat the crap out of another one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game."
His giant hands slapped his massive thighs.
"So I said dang, why can’t we the bad guys?"
As a collective, the defense did change its attitude after the bye week in early November.
People have noticed, even off the field. Reporters from media outlets in Dallas came up to Green Bay on Thursday of last week, and asked about the defensive changes since the bye week, why the Packers were better. To a man, all said it was attitude. To the reporter asking, the answer was nebulous.
Julius Peppers kind of tilted his head and couldn't really offer anything more than it just happened.
The tone setter, perhaps, was head coach Mike McCarthy.
He can be fiery, and he doesn’t lack confidence. He had the team pick playoff captains with two regular season games remaining. And when asked late Sunday afternoon if he had any thoughts about returning to Seattle for the NFC Championship, he simply said:
"Yes. Looking forward to going back up to Seattle and looking forward to winning the NFC Championship."
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.