It. Is. Time for the Green Bay Packers to get mean


“It’s just a little bit of a different attitude. A little meaner. A lot meaner. Actually, being mean for once because, quite frankly, we haven’t been.”

“It’s just a little bit of a different attitude. A little meaner. A lot meaner. Actually, being mean for once because, quite frankly, we haven’t been.”

Those words were barked this summer by Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels. Words that fell on deaf ears week 1 against the Seahawks.

Instead of being the mean spirited defense Daniels hoped for, the Packers looked awfully timid.

“I want to spit on the way I played. I can only speak for myself. It was a pitiful performance,” was the tune Daniels was singing after the 36-16 trouncing at CenturyLink Field against the World Champion Seattle Seahawks.

Daniels carries a lot of guilt, but shouldn’t other teammates share the load?

Sep 4, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) forces a fumble by Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Harvin recovered the fumble. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Daniels was one of the few players that didn’t shy away from the physical nature of the Seahawks offense. While a few starters insisted on the arm tackling approach, guys like Clay Matthews were trying to make a statement while taking down the defender.

But it doesn’t just start and stop on the defensive side of the ball either. The offense reflects the same characteristics of a defense.

On more than one occasion, Aaron Rodgers could have attempted to scramble on a third and short, instead he threw it away.

I know.

You don’t want a repeat of last year’s quarterback circus. The franchise quarterback should protect himself at all costs. But against a team that is the caliber of the Seahawks, you can’t afford to play complacent.

Complacent play on the field causes a trick-down effect. If the defense plays with meager enthusiasm, the offense will likely follow.

Complacency doesn’t just affect the players on the field. The coaching staff has shown little to no killer instinct either. Mike McCarthy has never been one to rattle the cage of his players, but maybe he’ll have to start.

The Packers are starting to have the depth that allows coaches to hold starters accountable for poor play, and the players need to know that their jobs may not be so secure after all.

Now, a season opening loss doesn’t justify absolute panic by the masses. But the Packers should be worried.

The Packers have been known to be a little soft on defense, especially when the injury bug sets in. We all know that recipe doesn’t bode well in January.

So what do the Packers need to do?

They need to listen to Daniels’ advice.

Get mean!

New York Jets running back Chris Johnson (21) carries the ball against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

They have the perfect opportunity this weekend against the New York Jets.

Rex Ryan teams are notorious for being stout on defense and flying to the ball. The Packers need to outshine the Jets on defense. They need to prove that they are willing to tackle anyone carrying the ball, regardless if it is Chris Johnson or Chris Ivory.

Likewise, the offense needs to show that they are not afraid of a challenge. They cowered away from a whole side of the field last week. This week they need to attack everywhere. Show that they won’t back down from a fight.

“I don’t care if I have to hit somebody before we get on the field,” Daniels claimed. I’m not an advocate of violence but maybe Daniels needs to reiterate those words.

Otherwise it could be a long season.