20

February

Packers Donald Driver: 2012 Player Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: With the exception of Bart Starr, there may not be a more popular Packer than Donald Driver. But everyone’s favorite Driver entered the 2012 with perhaps the lowest expectations of his career. Through training camp, Driver still looked like he belonged. But playing behind Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb, Driver’s opportunities figured to be limited this season.

2) Profile:

Donald Jerome Driver

  • Age: 38
  • Born: 02/02/1975, in Houston, TX
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 194
  • College: Alcorn State
  • Rookie Year: 1999
  • NFL Experience: 14 years

 Career stats and more:

3) Expectations coming into the season: Because the Packers were so deep at the position to start the season, Driver wasn’t expected to be a difference-maker within the offense. In fact, some even questioned whether or not the team should use a roster spot on the aging wide receiver. But nonetheless, the Packers decided to keep Driver around for one more season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: The highlight of Driver’s season was week two against the Chicago Bears. Leading 16-3 in the fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers hit Driver for a 26-yard touchdown. It was Driver’s only reception of the game and the first of just two scores on the season. As far as low-lights, Driver was a healthy scratch four times in 2012. Starting with the Dec. 2 matchup against the Vikings, Driver missed three of the team’s final five games of the regular season. He was also inactive against the Vikings in the wild card round of the playoffs.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Driver caught just eight passes in 14 appearances this season, so his on-field contributions to the team’s success were clearly minimal. His eight receptions and 77 receiving yards were his lowest totals since his rookie season in 1999.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: After being declared inactive in the wild card round against the Vikings, Driver suited up against the San Francisco 49ers. He was in uniform but didn’t have an impact on the game, as he was held without a catch.

Season Report Card:

(C) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: 80 percent (And a huge thanks for a great career.)

17

February

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

As I get older, I can’t tell if I’m getting soft, getting smarter, or both.

I was always one of those people who wasn’t bothered by the use of American Indian imagery and slang for team logos and nicknames. I went to school at St. Cloud State University (the Harvard of the Midwest), which was in a hockey conference with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

The Fighting Sioux nickname has been debated endlessly in North Dakota and Minnesota for years. Some say it’s offensive to American Indians and should be scrapped. Others say it’s honorable and should be kept.

In college, I proudly supported keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname. I was the guy at parties who had one too many Keystone Lights and got into fierce political debates. When someone said that the Fighting Sioux nickname should be changed, I would shout them down while cracking open another can of Keystone.

I’ve grown up a lot since then. Most importantly, I now drink good beer, not Keystone Light. Almost as importantly, I now hate American Indian team logos and nicknames.

The Fighting Sioux nickname is bad enough, but nothing gets me going more than the Washington Redskins.

I mean, seriously. The Redskins?! How is it ok to name your team after an obvious racial slur? The fact that our nation’s capital still refers to its professional football team as the Redskins in the year 2013 makes me embarrassed to be a football fan.

Nicknames like the Braves, Fighting Illini or Fighting Sioux are questionable enough, but at least they aren’t blatant racial slurs.

Of course the people in my life who knew me during my pro-offensive-Native American-nickname days are stunned by my change of heart. They ask me when I became so politically correct, why I turned into a weak-ass liberal, or why I care either way.

I tell them it’s got nothing to do with being PC, and it sure as hell has nothing to do with liberal or conservative politics.

31

January

My Favorite Donald Driver Photo…

A photo I took of Donald Driver, in all his glory…  (click on image for a full-screen view)

 

Packers Donald Driver Retires - Image

(This was after the Seattle “Snow Globe” Playoff game.)

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                    Add to Circleson Google+

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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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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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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Follow Jersey Al:


                    Add to Circleson Google+

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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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.

28

August

Packers Stock Report: Roster Bubble Edition

Jamari Lattimore

Packers LB Jamari Lattimore is rising.

It’s time to bring back the Packers stock report.

I’m back in my blogging chair after spending three booze-fueled days and nights in Madison, Wis. I gained about 10 pounds and reduced the functionality of my liver by about 7 percent. A typical weekend in Madison.

The only way to get my body back to where it was pre-Madison is to type a couple hundred words about the Packers. For the first Packers stock report of the 2012 season, I’m going to focus on players who entered training camp on the roster bubble. There will be plenty of stock reports dedicated to guys like Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson during the season, but for now, let’s focus on the guys who may or may not make the team.

Rising

Dezman Moses
The buzz about Moses grew louder during OTAs and he’s lived up to that hype during training camp. Perhaps hype is a poor word choice. I don’t think anyone is expecting Moses to come in and be an All-Pro. But he looks like a wild-card type of player, someone that could show flashes of brilliance and deliver production from a roster spot that you originally didn’t think would yield much of anything. Whichever word you want to use, Moses is definitely rising.

Donald Driver
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. I thought you said this stock report was only going to be about players on the roster bubble.” Why yes, I did say that. And Driver was definitely on the bubble before camp. I have no doubts about that. I also have no doubts that Driver has played well enough to secure a spot on the Packers roster. That makes him rising in my book.

Jamari Lattimore
We haven’t heard all that much about Lattimore, but in the film I’ve watched of his preseason, I like what I see out of him in pass coverage. I like D.J. Smith, but I can see him getting overwhelmed in pass coverage. Lattimore gets good depth on his drops and looks fluid when running in coverage down the middle of the field.

Steady

There is no steady category when we’re talking about players that may or may not make the team. You’re either rising (making the team), or falling (on your way out the door).