Yet at the same time, they don’t want to do anything to hurt their team, like the Lions have done in the past, by attracting the attention of the officials.
It’s the bind the Packers offensive linemen, in particular, find themselves in this week when preparing for Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field.
Much of it centers around Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Packers have seen him at his worst, when he stomped on center Evan Dietrich-Smith in 2011. That move earned Suh a two-game suspension.
While the fourth-year pro -- and the Lions as a whole -- have tried to clean up their act this year, Suh already has drawn a $100,000 fine for a low block on Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan in Week 1.
“We just have to be smart,” Packers left guard Josh Sitton said. “When that stuff happens, we need to let them know that we’re not going to take it, but we can’t be getting into it after the whistle and things like that. Just play above it and play smart. I think if we go out there and dictate to them the tempo and how we’re going to play, then we’ll be just fine.”
In the heat of the moment, though, that can be tough to do.
“You just have to make sure you’re not doing anything stupid,” Packers right guard T.J. Lang said. “Haven’t really seen a lot of that out of them so far this year. They play hard. They play to the whistle. They’re an aggressive team. If it gets to a chippy moment in the game, you’ve just got to make sure you keep your composure and don’t cost your team 15 yards.”
For their part, the Lions say they have tried to curtail that. Still, they are tied for the eighth-most penalties in the league and the sixth-most penalty yardage.
When asked about Suh during a conference call with reporters at Lambeau Field, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said: “He’s made a concerted effort, as has everybody on our team, to try and play as clean a football as we possibly can, as penalty-free as we can, and that’s proven to be a good thing for us.”