Leading up to gametime, Ernie Sims is all about the gospel music. The linebacker who loves a good hard hit as much as anybody tries to listen to something soothing before the game to reign in his aggressiveness, because he knows he’ll be full steam ahead once the game starts.
Before kickoff, Sims aims to keep himself calm. “Just be myself. If I can, I listen to music. If I don’t have music, I just relax,” he said. The former Lion may have to work even harder to stay calm before this week’s season opener with the Packers.
The atmosphere in Philadelphia as opposed to Detroit, where the Lions won just two games in the last two years, leads to quite a bit more energy and excitement. “Yeah, oh yeah, I definitely can’t wait,” Sims said.
After being selected ninth overall by the Lions in the 2006 NFL Draft, it’s been a rough stretch for Sims. During his four years in Detroit, the team won just 12 games while losing 52. “Yeah, I’m tired of losing. Let’s just put it that way,” Sims said.
So it’s understandable that Sims will be amped up for the opener, looking to stay calm with some soft music in the locker room. But as gametime draws near, Sims said he’ll start to crank up the music and switch to something with a faster beat to really “get crunk” as he heads onto the field. “When I get on the field it’s all go, I definitely don’t think about relaxing,” Sims said.
The weakside linebacker won’t have time to relax against a Green Bay offense that put up more than 28 points per game last year, third in the NFC to New Orleans and Minnesota.
Sims saw the Packers twice a year in Detroit and said the key to containing their offense is pretty obvious. “Stop Aaron Rodgers. They’ve got some talented playmakers and Aaron Rodgers is the leader on offense,” Sims said.
But the Eagles can’t overlook the Packers ground game either. Sims knows Ryan Grant is the real deal, calling him a strong and powerful runner. The former Lion stressed that you’ve got to slow down Grant to force the Packers into passing situations, then worry about Rodgers.
Sims hopes the Birds execute that plan well enough to slow down the highest scoring offense in the preseason. If not, the Eagles could be in for a long day.