Sheldon White on Lions' win: 'This is all Mrs. Ford'
Green Bay, Wis. — The Lions are 1-0 under interim general manager Sheldon White, but after their first win at Lambeau Field since 1991, White gave credit to owner and chairwoman Martha Firestone Ford.
Ford, who's been acting owner since March 2014, fired GM Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand during the team's bye last week, and under new leadership, the Lions finally beat the Packers to end a 24-game losing streak in Wisconsin.
"At the end of the day, we just had to continue to compete and play hard," White said. "I wanted the guys to play hard, have fun. Hey, we're all here in this thing together.
"This is all Mrs. Ford. That's the message that I had. We have to win, and we're all in this. If we don't win, we're not here. And the guys competed and they played hard."
The Lions had to scratch and claw for a 18-16 victory. Cornerback Crezdon Butler, one of the men White added to the roster this week, broke up a pass on the Packers' 2-point try with 32 seconds left.
Then, after Green Bay recovered an onside kick, the Packers had a chance to win, but Mason Crosby's 52-yard field goal attempt was well short, sealing the Lions' win as time expired.
After the emotional win, coach Jim Caldwell said he spoke to Ford at Lambeau Field.
"She was excited," Caldwell said. "She was pretty excited, the whole family was."
Lewand was excited, too, as he tweeted for the first time in more than two years.
"Amazing win Lions!!" wrote Lewand, who was with the team since 1997. "Could not be happier for the Fords, Coach Caldwell, the players, and the entire organization. Congrats!!
White described the game as "awesome" and "unbelievable," but during the brief interview outside the Lions locker room, he quickly turned his attention to the Oakland Raiders, next week's opponent. And White had no qualms with the manner in which the Lions won.
"We won the game," he said. "That's all that mattered. It doesn't matter what it looks like when you're playing in the National Football League. We won the game."