Green Bay's fast-paced offense makes liberal use of no-huddle plays and capitalizes on big-play strikes. But there are consequences for this style of play.
Players are struggling with the Lambeau Leap.
As revealed in The Wall Street Journal, players are arriving in the end zone more gassed than ever. Whether from a long scoring play or a no-huddle drive that keeps them in constant motion, players aren't strolling across the goal line with a full tank of oxygen at their disposal.
So when it comes time to honor a long-held Packers tradition, many are intimidated.
“It’s really, really hard,” said running back Eddie Lacy, who weighs 230 pounds. “You’ve got a long drive, you exerted a lot of energy getting there and once you get there, unless you are one of those guys that can jump out of a gym, it’s going to be difficult.”
The Lambeau Leap has been performed after Packers touchdowns for more than 20 years, and it is respected enough that the league has exempted it from its rule forbidding excessive celebrations. Almost every Packer does the Leap after a touchdown, with rare exception.
Even when players are out of breath and drained of energy, most want to make an attempt -- not just to honor the fans, but also to revel in their own success.
Fans do their part in helping pull players up, but it doesn't make the job any easier, apparently.
Add to that trouble the vitriol players can receive from fans when they decide not to perform the leap. It's a no-win situation for a laboring football player.
Not to mention the more practical obstacles.
"There are a lot of obstacles on the way to the wall -- cords, cameramen in the way, all kinds of people on the field ... and the field is always a mess,” said fullback John Kuhn. "Then once you get there, you have to get a good leap off."
It's not an easy job, but still most Packers accept that it's a job they have to do.