Category Archives: Donald Driver

31

January

Green Bay Packers WR Donald Driver Announces Retirement

Donald Driver

Packers WR Donald Driver is retiring after 14 seasons.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver announced on ESPN Radio Thursday morning that he is retiring after 14 memorable seasons.

The Packers have scheduled an official retirement ceremony for Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the Lambeau Field Atrium. Fans can attend and tickets will be available at the Packers ticket office starting Friday.

Driver is the Packers all-time leader in receptions (743), receiving yards (19,137), 1,000-yard receiving seasons (7), 50-catch seasons (9), consecutive games with a catch (133), receptions at Lambeau Field (363) and receiving yards at Lambeau Field (5,000).

What else is there to say about Driver? He was one of my favorite Packers of all time and will be remembered as one of the greatest Packers ever.

Leave your favorite Driver memories in the comments section and let’s spend today remembering No. 80 for everything he’s done for the Green and Gold.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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25

January

If Jennings leaves, Wide Receiver Becomes a Pressing Need

Packers WR Greg Jennings

Packers WR Greg Jennings

Most expect wide receiver Greg Jennings to leave the Packers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Jennings has spent the past seven seasons in Green Bay after being drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. And after 425 catches, 53 touchdowns, two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl, Jennings’s time in Green Bay appears to be over.

When the Packers played the Minnesota Vikings in week 17, the wide receiver’s sister was critical of quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Twitter, suggesting that Jennings should “take (his) talents to South Beach and get paid.”

Miami is certainly a potential landing spot for Jennings. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was the Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2007-2011. And whether it’s with the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings or another team, Jennings is likely in line for a healthy payday this offseason.

In which case, one of Green Bay’s strongest positions in recent years could become a pressing need.

The Packers saw a preview of life-after-Jennings in 2012, as he only appeared in eight regular season games. In his absence, James Jones and Randall Cobb emerged as key playmakers for the Packers. With Jordy Nelson on one side, Jones on the other and Cobb in the slot, the Packers have a talented trio of wide receivers even if Jennings signs elsewhere.

But having three talented receivers does as much good as having one great quarterback. If the all-too-popular injury bug bites, the team could suffer.

And beyond Nelson, Jones and Cobb, the Packers face a great deal of uncertainty at the position. Undrafted rookie Jarrett Boykin was a pleasant surprise in the preseason and cracked the final 53-man roster in August. Jeremy Ross showed promise as a return man late in the season, but he didn’t make an impact on the team offensively.

Donald Driver was used sparingly in 2012 and is reportedly leaning towards retirement.

At tight end, the future of starter Jermichael Finley is up in the air. Packers beat writer Bob McGinn wrote Dec. 15 that the Packers appeared to be finished with Finley, but the much-maligned tight end improved down the stretch. Following the article’s publication, Finley caught 18 passes in the Packers’ final three regular season games. Finley signed a two-year, $14 million contract last February, leaving the team with a tough decision on what to do with the five-year veteran.

23

January

Packers Stock Report: End of Season, Full Roster Edition

CB Tramon Williams and S Morgan Burnett fight for an interception against the Saints

Packers CB Tramon Williams found himself in the falling category. Safety Morgan Burnett was steady.

The Packers end of season, full roster stock report is upon us. Below are over 2,300 words of insight, analysis, opinions and nonsense about every player currently on the Packers roster.

Read closely and enjoy, because many of these players likely won’t be around in 2013.

I incorporated each player’s performance from this season, and their future outlook while categorizing. Please agree or disagree in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading the weekly stock reports. Onto the last one:

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
It wasn’t as great as his MVP campaign, but it was still damn good. With chaos and injuries swirling all around, Rodgers kept the Packers offense moving forward and limited mistakes. A fine all-around performance and no reason to think it won’t continue in 2013.

Randall Cobb
With Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson hobbled most of the season, Cobb broke out and turned into the Packers most dangerous weapon. I worry a little about his durability, but his production when healthy was great. Oh, and he needs to drop fewer passes.

DuJuan Harris
Is this too much praise for the 5-foot-7, 210-pound rolling ball of butcher knives? Maybe. But if I’m buying Harris stock, I want in right now. I think he’s going to stick with the Packers and get a chance to make some noise.

Casey Hayward
Lost in the disastrous playoff loss and grumbling about the Packers lack of physicality was Hayward’s dynamic rookie season. I don’t care if the read-option sticks or not, stopping the pass will still be a defense’s top priority and Hayward can do it.

Sam Shields
He’s on the rise now. Will he remain on the rise if the Packers pay him? Or will he morph back into the timid and non-aggressive cornerback of 2011? There’s no denying his raw talent, and I’d like to see him develop that talent as a member of the Packers.

Clay Matthews
Microsoft. Apple. TRowe Price. Fidelity. With the contract that Matthews will get from the Packers, he’ll be able to buy all the stock he wants.

Nick Perry
How can a guy who was hurt most of the season land in this category? The same way Matthews landed in the rising category when he was injured. The Packers can’t afford another season with Erik Walden as the primary outside linebacker opposite Matthews. Perry is rising by default.

7

January

Donald Driver Tribute Video: Forever a Packer

Seeing Donald Driver stand on the sidelines last week, a healthy scratch in what could be his last game at Lambeau Field, the time seemed right for a tribute video. Well, funny how this worked out, I have one for you:

Another fine video effort by Dale Decker. For more of his Packers tribute videos, head on over to his Packers Youtube channel.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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30

December

Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 34 MIN 37

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

Peterson scores an early touchdown and helps Minnesota secure the win but falls 9 yards shy of the single-season rushing record

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:

I’m taking the reins for Jersey Al in today’s Game Day First Impressions.  Here are my unfitered game day running blog post of comments and observations.

Inactive for Packers today:

WR Randall Cobb, RB James Starks, S Charles Woodson, CB Davon House, LB Terrell Manning, WR Donald Driver, DT Jordan Miller

Inactive for Vikings today: 

QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, WR Stephen Burton, CB Brandon Burton, S Robert Blanton, LB Audie Cole, OL Troy Kropog, DE D’Aundre Reed

Game Notes:

Adrian Peterson needs just 205 rushing yards to eclipse Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 yards set in 1984

Packers can clinch the second playoff seed with a victory today.  Can still clinch #2 seed with a loss coupled with a San Francisco loss and a Seattle loss or tie

WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) returns for the first time since the December 2nd meeting against the Vikings.  DE C.J. Wilson (knee) returns for the first time since late November

Jeremy Ross will assume kick return duties today with Cobb out

Packers can even their all-time record at Metrodome to 15-15 with a win. Have a chance to win three in a row in Minnesota since ’82 – ’85 seasons

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Motivation today with playoff implications looming:  Playing to sweep division which is our goal in training camp.  Thursday’s padded practice was sharp

Game prep:  Big game, crowd will be energetic.  Team must be sharp and focus on finishing every play

Fewer big plays given up on defense vs. last season:  Playing good team defense.  Have to credit young guys

Vikings:  They’re a good team.  Have to study film carefully and be prepared.  They are tough at home.  Run the ball very well

Christian Ponder:  He has total command of the offense.  Went through a phase earlier this year, threw some interceptions.  Have to keep him in favorable down and distance from a defensive perspective

Adrian Peterson:  Huge focus today.  Important to focus on tackling and keep big plays to a minimum

Securing second seed in NFC:  Focusing on winning today and playing well.  Important to get highest seed possible but biggest thing is to play well.  Teams that play well can win most any game

24

December

This is a Very Likable Packers Team

DuJuan Harris

DuJuan Harris is one of the players that makes this a very likable Packers team.

As I was watching the Packers 55-7 win over the Titans on Sunday, I realized that this is the most likable Packers team I’ve seen in a long time.

Of course, it’s the Packers. I’ll like the Packers no matter what. You could make Bernie Maddoff the quarterback and Dick Cheney head coach and I’d still bleed green and gold.

But this team is just really likable. Every category of likability is covered.

There’s Aaron Rodgers, the golden-boy MVP quarterback. Super talented, open with fans, funny, intense, exciting to watch, confident…I could go on and on…

There’s Mike McCarthy, the coach who seems to have a knack for guiding his teams through injury and adversity. McCarthy also isn’t one of those annoying fake tough guy, look-at-me kind of coaches (see: Schwatz, Jim and Carroll, Pete). He also doesn’t completely blow off the media, and every now and then gives us great lines like “We’re nobody’s underdog,” or “Self-pity is a waste of time, it’s a wasted emotion.”

There’s a young secondary that keeps getting better. Every likable team needs players that people do not know much about, but play so well that people are forced to care as the season progresses. That’s what’s happening with Casey Hayward, Jerron McMillian, Sam Shields and M.D. Jennings.

There’s Jermichael Finley and Mike Neal. Even likable teams need guys that fans can yell at incoherently and then cheer for when they make a good play. That’s Finley for sure. Neal has also received his share of scorn, but has played well lately. Consider guys like Finley and Neal the team punching bags. When Packers fans need to let off some steam, yelling about these two usually does the trick.

There’s James Jones. Every likable team needs a guy that went from punching bag to breakout player.

There’s Charles Woodson and Donald Driver. Yeah, their contributions have been minimal, but every likable team needs a veteran or two past his prime to pull for. I think most Packers fans understand that Driver and Woodson likely won’t contribute much the rest of the way, but deep down, we’re all hoping to see them get out there and have one last moment of glory.

There’s Clay Matthews. Because he does stuff like this.

27

November

How to Forget About the Packers Losing to the Giants (Hint: It Involves Beer)

Packers and Beer.

Packers and Beer.

The Packers got destroyed on Sunday night. It really wasn’t much of a game from about the middle of the second quarter on.

I’m not used to the Packers getting blown out, so I didn’t know how to react. My mind started wandering in the second half.

Instead of panicking or trying to figure out why my favorite football team just laid an egg on national TV, I started thinking about which Packers players reminded me of certain types of beer.

I like beer. I like the Packers. Thinking about beer and the Packers is a lot more fun than being depressed about the Packers losing to the Giants.

Here are my random thoughts on which Packers (and some non-Packers) remind me of certain types of beer. If you also want to take your mind off of Sunday night, use the comments section to chime in with some of your own comparisons.

Packers & Beer
Ryan Pickett: Darkness. Heavy and strong. Overwhelming if you’re not ready for it.

Tramon Williams: Grain Belt Nordeast. Punches the clock and comes ready to work every day.

Mike Neal: Michelob Golden Draft Light. Careful, the bottle breaks easily.

Donald Driver: Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss. There are better options, but it remains a Wisconsin favorite.

Clay Matthews: Size 7 IPA. A little undersized, but brings it every time you pour one.

Jermichael Finley: Ten Cent Strohs. Whenever Finley drops a pass or says something stupid, fans pound ten cent Stroh’s and this happens.

Casey Hayward: Divine Oculust. Under-the-radar, but very good and gaining popularity.

A.J. Hawk: Coors Light. Great when you were in college…

Aaron Rodgers: Abbrassive Ale. Simply amazing. Usually the best.

James Jones: Miller High Life. People are always trying to trade it for something better.

Randall Cobb: Small Axe Golden Ale. Tasty, easy-to-consume, and room to get even better.

B.J.Raji: Bad Elf. Expensive. Disappears sometimes. Hard to find. REALLY good when it bothers to show up in your fridge.

Mike McCarthy: Spotted Cow. On the surface, appears to be just another light beer. Then you take a sip and realize there’s more to it.

Mason Crosby: Grandpa’€™s Moonshine. Careful around this stuff. One sip can destroy everything.