Detroit Lions fans have long hated Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for plenty of reasons. For one, he’s posted an 18-7 record against Detroit over an 18-year career. For another, it’s pretty easy to interpret his attitude as both smug and aloof.
Lions safety DeShon Elliott has only been with Detroit for a single season, but he’s starting to feel some of those same feelings. Talking with the media on Friday, ahead of the team’s huge Week 18 showdown against the Packers on “Sunday Night Football” Elliott expressed some strong feelings about Rodgers.
“I feel like they don’t respect us,” safety Elliott said per Kyle Meinke of MLive. “(Rodgers) doesn’t respect us, that team doesn’t respect us. We shouldn’t be an underdog, no matter what the record says. Going out there, I think we’re going to fight our ass off, play smash-mouth football, just ‘cause of the respect factor.”
Elliott didn’t name a specific incident that bothered him, but based on conversations around the locker room, most of the frustration likely stems from two incidences this season.
First, after the Packers, who were 3-5 at the time, lost to the 1-6 Lions, Rodgers threw some mild shade at Detroit, noting that “We can’t lose a game like that against that team, though.” The perception being that Rodgers is saying you can’t lose a game against an easy opponent.
Rodgers was complimentary of the Lions and their turnaround this week. But I believe this comment, said after Detroit’s 15-9 win over the Packers in November, rubbed some players the wrong way: pic.twitter.com/r8UiWJklVo— Colton Pouncy (@colton_pouncy) January 6, 2023
The other came a few weeks later after the Packers’ Monday night win over the Rams. ESPN’s sideline reporter Lisa Salters asked Rodgers about the team’s playoff chances and their remaining schedule against three teams, all with winning records. Rather than just answering the question, Rodgers felt the need to correct Salters and point out that the Lions were only .500 at the time.
Aaron Rodgers taking another shot at the Lions. Good. He’ll get his chance to bury them last game of the season. We’ll see. pic.twitter.com/y1sHvoxvyS— Henry L. Racicot (@HLRacicot) December 20, 2022
“The way he carries himself, I don’t like none of that shit,” Elliott continued. “So, we got to go out there and show what we can do, and show who the big dog (is), back up all the talking we do. We’re going to go out there and do that.”
To be fair to Rodgers, he’s been respectful about the Lions this week. Here’s what he said on Monday:
“It’s not the same old Lions. They were 1-6 at one point, and they’ve come all the way back to 8-8. There will be a lot on the line for both teams, and it’ll be exciting to line up against them.”
“Now nobody needs to do anything for us, except us, winning a game against a really good opponent at home on Sunday night.”
Still, Elliott feels like the Packers aren’t taking them seriously, and that violates a code in the NFL.
“Overall, as a competitor, bro, you respect everybody in this league,” Elliott said. “And for you to see something or hear somebody some wild stuff about you and your teammates, your brothers—shoot, what are you going to do? You going to lay down or are you going to stand up? So we about to go out there and stand up.”