GREEN BAY, Wisc — Part of Chip Kelly‘s pregame routine is to run the stadium steps. He comes out a couple hours before kickoff, makes his way into the stands and stares out over the field before beginning his climb.
A historian of the game, there’s little doubt Sunday’s run held some significance for the first-year head coach, as did the events that followed.
“This place is awesome,” he said as he looked around Lambeau Field, per an eyewitness.
“It’s a special place. I think it’s just one of the iconic places in the league or even in football when you talk about playing a game in Lambeau Field,” he added after the game. “I thought the fans were really, really good. Most of the time when we come in on a bus we don’t usually have people clapping for us, and I think that says something about the fans of Green Bay that they are just big fans of the game. And there is so much history. That’s the same field that Vince Lombardi coached on, and I think that’s pretty neat, and I think it’s a lot neater when you win.”
In the bowels of Lambeau Field resides the Packers Hall of Fame, which is filled with an embarrassment of riches in the form of legends and trophies and history. The biggest luminary of them all is Lombardi. As you read his quotes that are painted across those walls, you can’t help but think that some of Kelly’s core philosophies have been at least partially shaped by him. Same goes for a lot of coaches, I’d imagine.
“Chip has a great passion for the game and he is [an historian], for sure,” said Evan Mathis. “Him being able to come into Lambeau, and knowing the history behind that definitely meant a lot to him. But Chip is a logical guy first and foremost and he’s going to come play his best game not because of history but because it’s our next game and that’s what our job is.”
According to linebacker Najee Goode, who was called into action when Mychal Kendricks went down, Kelly has quoted Lombardi to the team a few times. As we learned from Casey Matthews recently, Kelly’s inspirational talks come the night before the game at the hotel, where he’ll share a story or two that is analogous to their situation. Perfect time for some Lombardi-isms, particularly this week.
But Kelly didn’t go down that road. He instead told the following tale to put his team in the appropriate frame of mind (per Goode):
A New York businessman who has fallen on hard times walks into Central Park and takes a seat on a bench next to an old man. Eventually he proceeds to tell the old man about his struggles.
After listening to his story, the old man gets out his check book and writes the businessman a check for $500,000.
“Take this, and kindly pay me back in one year,” said the old man. “Your business will be fine.”
On the check read the name: Warren Buffett.
The businessman put the check in a safe and went about building his business back up. It was a success and he never touched the money. After a year he went to return the check to the old man, who was accompanied by a nurse.
“I’m glad you didn’t try and cash that check,” the nurse said. “This old man is from a nursing home. He sometimes dresses up and pretends he is Warren Buffett but he is really not.”
What was the moral of that story?
“To let us know,” said Goode, “that everything you need is right there in front of you.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sheil checks in with Riley Cooper, who insists nothing has changed despite a big spike in production.
It wasn’t pretty like the Oakland performance, but Nick Foles got it done in Green Bay.
Kapadia provides his observations from the game.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
DeSean Jackson is requesting a boo-free zone at the Linc on Sunday. From CSN Philly.
“We gotta get it going. We gotta get back in the swing of things at home,” Jackson said Sunday. “Our fans deserve it, things like that. So, hopefully, we can collect something together, figure out what it is and just win in front of our home fans.
“But there’s gotta be support. We can’t be coming into the game, first quarter, getting boos and all that type of stuff. [The fans] just gotta work with us throughout the game.
Domo handed out some grades. He liked what he saw out of the run defense.
Stopping the Packers’ two-headed rushing monster, Eddie Lacy and James Starks, was the Eagles’ top defensive priority and they did that. Lacy gained 17 yards on his first two carries, then was held to 56 yards on 22 attempts the rest of the game. Starks gained just five yards on four carries. The longest run of the game by the Packers was a 19-yarder by quarterback Scott Tolzien.
We’ll speak to Kelly at 1 p.m.