The easy thing for Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy to do would be to get all fired up to play the Steelers this week, since coach Mike Tomlin said the decision to bypass him for Le’Veon Bell was “an easy one.”
But that wouldn’t be consistent with Lacy’s style.
“I mean, you can use it for motivation, but I’m not one to use external factors for motivation. That’s not my personality,” Lacy said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “To me, it’s only temporary. Like, OK, you’re mad at this one team, so you play angrily against that team. But then where does it go the next week? You have wasted energy then. So I stay constant.”
That kind of calm is what has struck his coaches and teammates, even though he turns into The Hulk on Sundays. Coach Mike McCarthy dropped a clip of the green-skinned superhero into the team’s weekly motivational film, and Lacy has reluctantly adopted it. Of course, he’s still more Bruce Banner except when he runs.
Lacy’s seventh in the league in rushing despite missing what amounts to two games (he suffered a concussion on his first carry and then missed the following week), and has gotten better as the season has progressed.
“I’m still getting to know him, but he’s a guy that doesn’t really show a lot of emotions. He’s a guy who’s always calm, on game day he’s not like a wild animal out there, he just runs hard,” right guard T.J. Lang said. “He’s not satisfied with 8-, 9-yard gains. That’s the thing about his attitude, even when he’s gaining 9, 10 yards, he’s always wanting more. You see the attitude he portrays on every play, and it inspires you to give even more.
“He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, man. He’s a cool, calm guy, and he does his job. As an offensive lineman, he’s a guy you love to block for, and just the attitude that he has, that never-satisfied approach he’s got, that’s a thing a lot of our guys on this team can learn from.”
That leaves opponents as the only ones who don’t like him when he’s angry.