GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – LeRoy Butler knows what it is like to lose. Mostly all athletes do. He also knows what it is like to win at the highest level, a member of the Packers’ Super Bowl XXXI-winning team from 1996-97.
The strong safety’s 12-year career from 1990-2001 was exclusively with the Packers, included four first-team Pro Bowl appearances, and was capped off with a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 2022.
“I was here in 1990, we were like 4 and 12, 6 and 10, something like that, but we stayed together, eventually there’ll be some changes made, but overall stay together because you win together just like you lose together,” Butler said. “You got to keep working, stay together, listen to your coaches, and embrace the fans.”
That is his advice to this year’s Packers. The creator of the “Lambeau Leap” wants them to know and appreciate the storied franchise and all that it stands for.
“The guys really got to understand what this place means. Playing in Lambeau Field is an iconic place,” he said. “Embrace it. And understand that you’re playing for the culture of the Green Bay Packers and the DNA of these fans/shareholders.”
The fans are often on Butler’s mind. He spent two hours meeting, signing autographs, and taking photos with them at a Sargento tailgate event ahead of Sunday’s game.
“The thing about Sargento and LeRoy Butler, we love our fans,” Butler said. “I’m gonna do a thousand (fans), at least a thousand in line. And that’s not even counting kids.”
Butler also met and heard from a fair share of Vikings fans.
“They all say, like, ‘why are you guys 2 and 4?’ After today we’ll be 3 and 4 so take it easy,” he said. “So it’s a lot of banter going on out here. Lot of Vikings fans. It’s fun though.”
He said that the team would win if they followed his “recipe.”
“The recipe is stop the run, force Kirk Cousins to throw a lot, and you got to run the ball. It’s Jordan Love’s first game throwing the football in cold weather for a whole game.”
Butler says that the team needs to take each game one at a time, but now is the time to start making noise.
“With 17 games, you only got to win 9 games. But you can’t win 9 games today,” he said. “You got to get hot. Because last year, even with a hall-of-fame quarterback, you still missed the playoffs.”
With a 24-10 loss, the Packers are that much further from the playoffs with a 2-5 record, at the bottom of the NFC North with the Chicago Bears.
The fans are expecting more.
“Is Jordan Love the answer? I’m not sure about that, after these past few games. I’m hoping to see more and haven’t seen it,” Calleb Zyduck of Hilbert said. “If I was the coach, we got other quarterbacks, Clifford, let’s put him in and see what he can do.”
Zyduck is not the only fan interested in Clifford getting some playing time.
“I’m a Sean Clifford fan from the Big 10. So I’m waiting for the Big 10 to get their shot here,” Steve Erban of Stillwater, MN said. “It’s up to you, you’re the athletes and we’re the fans. So get up and go.”