On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., May. 02, 2015 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM CDT Packers' 2015 NFL Draft Party Evolution is located at 233 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, Wis. Event parking is available in the parking structure next door (225 E. Chicago St.), where full day parking passes will be $10.
  • Sun., May. 03, 2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance

    Staff Appreciation Week

  • Tue., May. 26, 2015 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM CDT Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Sponsor code – Packers

  • Sun., May. 31, 2015 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CDT Packers Coaching School

    The Green Bay Packers are set to host the team’s second annual “Green Bay Packers Coaching School” at Lambeau Field on Sunday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The complimentary coaching school has a curriculum exclusively designed for youth football coaches, and can accommodate a maximum of 300 coaches. The event will feature innovative classroom sessions in the Lambeau Field Atrium, as well as on-field football instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches in the Don Hutson Center.

  • Sat., Jun. 06, 2015 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM CDT Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic The 18th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 6, inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers’ indoor practice facility.
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance 11th Annual Youth Football Golf Outing

News

Print
RSS

Driver says he's not done, yet

Posted Jul 31, 2012

He’s said it before and he’s saying it again. Donald Driver is always out to prove the doubters wrong.

Driver launched his NFL career in that manner back in 1999, when as a seventh-round draft pick from Alcorn State regarded for his high-jumping prowess, he made his way onto the roster of a team only two years removed from back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

He’s winding his career down the same way in 2012, having heard all offseason – before he even did his first cha-cha on “Dancing With The Stars” – that there wasn’t room for a 37-year-old in the Packers’ young stable of receivers.

“It motivates you,” Driver said with his trademark smile. “It motivates you to go out there and just have fun, and I’m having fun with the guys.”

On Tuesday, Driver had about as much fun as he could at Ray Nitschke Field. In the fifth practice of training camp, and just the third in full pads, he hauled in three TD passes from Aaron Rodgers during team (11-on-11) drills.

He beat camp star Davon House on a corner route for one score, snared a bullet from Rodgers just beyond Jarrett Bush’s reach on a slant for a second TD, and then capped the two-minute drill on another dart from Rodgers up the seam from 18 yards out.

He did all this after a Monday practice that would have prompted the average veteran player to take it easy for a few days. Driver began the week by beating two young corners in one-on-one drills for touchdowns, and then he kick-started another successful two-minute drive with a 20-yard grab over the middle.

But Driver, who is taking advantage of some extra throws coming his way due to Greg Jennings’ elbow injury, apparently was just getting warmed up.

“It was a Donald Driver day,” cornerback Tramon Williams said after Tuesday’s workout. “Everyone thinks he’s kind of at the end … he may be, but he can still play.

“If you don’t respect him, then you’ll pay for it.”

Driver has plenty of respect inside the Packers locker room, and he has more outside of it than he chooses to believe. In recent years, he has overplayed the “doubter” card a bit as he has eclipsed the franchise records for career catches and receiving yards, but there were certainly plenty of opinions expressed in the media last winter that the Giants playoff loss would be his last game in Green Bay.

That’s not his only source of motivation, though. He’s still pushing for another Super Bowl, in part because he lasted less than two quarters in the one he played in two seasons ago due to an ankle injury. Both Driver and cornerback Charles Woodson, the two elder statesmen on the roster, were relegated to the role of sideline cheerleader as the Packers finished off their Super Bowl XLV triumph.

“Me and Charles have always talked about it, that we only played the first half of the Super Bowl,” Driver said. “We still have to play the second half. We have to get back to make sure we finish the whole game.”

Another Super Bowl ring would add to Driver’s possible Canton resume, as well, particularly in an era that has seen receiving statistics explode. Still, heading into this year, he’s one of only 31 players in league history to top both 700 receptions and 10,000 yards in a career (735-10,060).

At this point, whatever role Driver plays in the Packers’ high-powered offense is fine with him. His 37 catches for 445 yards last season were his lowest totals since 2001, but his six TDs tied for his highest mark over the last five years, and he added another score in the playoffs.

“It’s impressive that he’s able to still go,” said fellow receiver Jordy Nelson of being inspired by his teammate. “I got asked earlier what I’ll be doing at 37, and I said, ‘Hopefully, sitting on a recliner.’

“This is his 14th year, and he doesn’t miss a practice. He’s out there every day, running every route.”

Driver joked on Tuesday that having to practice only once per day now in training camp helps at his age, and he’d be a “really young 37-year-old” had camps always been conducted like this.

Then, again, with only one practice a day back in 1999, his work ethic and determination wouldn’t have been on display as often. Maybe he wouldn’t have had the chance to rise from the bottom of the depth chart and turn heads with the eye-popping catches that landed him the roster spot that started it all.

Of course, Driver would have overcome that somehow. Whatever the circumstances, there are no more reasons to doubt him, except to put another big smile on his face.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “I’ve told you before, I’m not done until I say I’m done.”

Related links
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Prospect Primer: DT Christian Covington, Rice

    (2:23) Posted 13 hours ago

    Packers.com presents 'Prospect Primer,' a video look at an assortment of draft-eligible players who attended the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Rice DT Christian Covington had four sacks among 11 ½ tackles for loss as a first-team All-Conference USA selection in 2013, his last full season after a knee injury cost him most of 2014.

  • Prospect Primer: C B.J. Finney, Kansas State

    (2:10) Posted 13 hours ago

    Packers.com presents 'Prospect Primer,' a video look at an assortment of draft-eligible players who attended the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Kansas State C B.J. Finney started 52 consecutive games in college, the last 51 at center, and was voted a team captain three times.

  • Prospect Primer: TE Blake Bell, Oklahoma

    (1:45) Posted Apr 24, 2015

    Packers.com presents 'Prospect Primer,' a video look at an assortment of draft-eligible players who attended the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Oklahoma TE Blake Bell played just one season at tight end after converting from quarterback, catching 16 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns.