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Despite reduced role, Driver has no regrets

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 24, 2012 – 4:57 pm

WR Donald Driver has seen his snaps, and consequently his production, greatly reduced in 2012, but the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards said on Wednesday he has no regrets about restructuring his contract to return to Green Bay after winning the “Dancing With The Stars” competition in the spring.

“No. When I came back, it was all for the opportunity to win another Super Bowl, and for the fans,” Driver said. “It’s hard to leave the fans that supported you throughout your career, and they supported me throughout the process, especially this offseason with ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ and you can’t let them go. You have to continue.

“You think about every time I catch a ball in that stadium, it goes crazy. I don’t think I would have gone anywhere else and gotten the same love.”

Driver has just four catches for 45 yards and one touchdown through seven games this season, and he has played only a handful of snaps in some games, even with WR Greg Jennings sidelined with a groin injury. He said he didn’t expect such a reduced role, but he’s staying positive with the thought that he could be called upon more later in the season. Driver missed practice on Wednesday due to a neck injury, but he said he’s fine.

“I don’t think you ever expect your role to be this way,” he said. “It happens, and it transitions to that certain point. Mine did. I think you have to be OK with it. When you’re OK with it, then everyone else around you will be OK with it.”

As a team leader for a long time and now a national celebrity, it’s clear by Driver’s words that he’s well aware his public demeanor is being watched closely.

“I don’t think you can complain,” he said. “The most I’ve complained is when I was a child. This is just a setback. You have to respect it, understand it’s a business decision, and when it’s all said and done, hoping that I get a little more playing time.”

Driver said he hopes the coaches haven’t taken him “completely out of the playbook,” and he vows to be ready for any opportunity that comes his way. QB Aaron Rodgers acknowledged that Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley are all options getting more attention at this point, but over a long season there’s no telling when things might change. Rodgers probably remembers as well as anyone that Driver was his best receiver in the playoff defeat to the Giants last January.

“At some point we’re going to count on him to make the plays he’s capable of making,” Rodgers said. “Until then he’s going to be a great teammate and look for his opportunities and when he gets them we’ll expect him to make the plays.”

On another note, it was announced this week that Driver will be inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on Dec. 6. A seventh-round draft pick out of Alcorn State, Driver joins former Philadelphia Eagles WR Harold Carmichael from Southern University in the eight-member class of 2012 inductees. The SWAC Hall of Fame already includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Willie Davis from Grambling and Jerry Rice from Mississippi Valley State.

Posted in Packers.com Blog | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “Despite reduced role, Driver has no regrets”

  1. By Jeremy on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    Really hope he retires a Packer. One of the all-time best. Class act straight through. How many players, in any sports league, would take less to stay with the team they love and respect the fans that love them. Retire his number, he deserves it.

  2. By jay Merritt on Oct 24, 2012 | Reply

    Driver is one of the all time greats always gave 110 percent i wish they would give him more opportunities,he has a lot left in the tank he always took good care of hisself. Give him a touchdown pass this Sunday at home and listen to the crowd go nuts it will be a big boost for the whole team usually the packers play to the level of there opponent. He deserve more playing time.

  3. By Rusty Draper on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    How good of example can you have on your team than a guy like DD who is willing to forfeit his final years as a starter to remain a Packer. He is a number on class act and will belong on the HALL of FAME when it is all said and done. We all know there is gas left in his tank and if called a pond he will rise to the occasion . Just know this DD your fans love and support you will forever be a #1 Packer in our eyes.I hope you take your leadership and skills along with your knowledge of the game and go into coaching when it is all said and done. Hopefully at a youth level what a great inspiration you will be. For now I salute you DD and wish you nothing but the best . #80 = #1 !

  4. By Pack4ever12 on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Upon not “a pond”

  5. By Charlie Collier on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Always have and always will love “Double D”. One things for sure if the need arises he will be more than ready to come in.

  6. By Herbc on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Do not know the strategy, but Donald Driver is the best we have or will ever have. If he wants to play, it should be his call, he has earned it. Play him! Down right rude to sit him against his wishes. Too bad he is not a tight end.

  7. By Wayne on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    DD is a class act. He will do whatever called upon as best as he can. Would be an almost undefeatable team if everyone played the games with his attitude.

  8. By John on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Had the privilege to meet DD after the Super Bowl in Best Buy. He was very nice to me and my wife. Gave her a great big hug. Talked about football etc. Wasnt hurried about getting out of my questions etc. This man will always be remembered when talking about the Packers. Very classy guy.

  9. By sam on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Class act…

  10. By KJ on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    The Pack should be using Driver more. More receivers, more options, more confusion for the opposing defense. I’m glad he’s a Packer and always will be. The fans owe him a lot.

  11. By Rick & Cyd on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    He makes us proud to be a shareholder in the Pack!

  12. By Cory on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    In sports, guys come in and out of teams and it’s special when you love a team and a player is on that team for an entire career. I really hope when he gives up playing football that he ends up like Hines Ward and continues to be a part of football.

    I’m also happy that DD got to be a receiver for Favre and Rodgers…he can’t complain about his circumstances in the NFL

  13. By Wendy on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    DD is a rare type of football player that the Packers and the NFL should be extremely proud to have in their organizations. He is a true gentleman and a class act. He has been my favorite player since he started and I am proud to say that. Thanks DD for all of the great games and hope to watch you in many more to come.

  14. By Rusty Draper on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Pack4ever12 I stand corrected,get a life .

  15. By kevin on Oct 25, 2012 | Reply

    Driver is a gamer. He will be invaluable to the Pack late in the season.

  16. By steve hennessey on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    What more can be said of such a class act as Donald Driver? He’s been such a clutch player through the years. The offense should work him more into the picture in case he’s needed if other receivers should be injured.

  17. By Tim#24 on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Why not play him as a 5th receiver and make the defense TRY to cover him with a LB? Donal D is class act without question…Thanks for everything you have done on and off the field #80!

  18. By nigeriaguest on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    a steam dream with my PE€N

  19. By Sidney Shands on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Driver was great, and will go down in Packers history. He certainly has a bigger role as a Packer role model.

  20. By Jonathon Tesch on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Reading through the list of comments here, the words “class act” echo like thunder—and for good reason! In an age where the public face of athletes is more and more often defined by the scandals they find themselves in or the arrests they earn while being stupid, Dubba-D has been every inch as sparkling as that dynamite smile of his.

    My wife is a teacher in inner-city Minneapolis and often mentions how sad it is that some of the black kids she teaches don’t have many good positive black male role-models they can look up to. It shows even more respect than it would coming from me (a dyed-in-the-wool cheesehead) when she says that Donald Driver is one she is immensely thankful for as someone about whom she can say to those kids, “Look! Here’s an incredible man and role model! Be like him!”

    #80 was the first football jersey I ever wore, and I wore it proudly (and loudly) two years ago when Driver and the Pack brought the Trophy back home. Hopefully he will be the last person ever to wear it in green and gold on the field. He is an absolute paragon of class, drive, determination, competitive spirit, and every last virtue the game of football stands for.

    Where’s the petition to add his name in gold letters next to Starr’s, White’s, Favre’s, and the rest inside Lambeau Field? I will sign my name and bring as many more people with me as I can find to do the same!

    Donald, you are amazing. There is a throne waiting for you in Cheesehead Heaven.

  21. By Betty Harned on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    DD is the Best of the Best. He obviously has not lost his ability or edge. I think they are making a mistake not letting him play. His class and attitude go a long way on the field, not to mention he makes things happen. When it’s time to retire, it’s time, but this is not the case here. So proud of you DD for staying with our team when you had a choice. Always have been and always will be my favorite player of all time. Thank you for being loyal and classy. I WANT TO SEE DRIVER PLAY, YOU ARE WASTING TALENT!!

  22. By jake on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    lol Donald, you’re a pond. Now rise to the occasion!

  23. By Yusta be a Yooper! on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Mr.Donald Driver – role model. Intelligent,compassionate,
    strong. A well adjusted team player that invites and demonstrates loyalty. He has a legacy in Green Bay that defines what it is to be “americas team”. Small town, publicly owned,a family; to be part of something bigger than yourself. I have to say it — compare this to a certain primadonna we know of that cheapened the teams’ image and is the polar opposite of Donald Drivers legacy. When it’s DD’s turn to be up, I’ll be pumped for him!! I’m sure he’ll do it “with Style”.

  24. By Steve Weisenstein on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Truly a GREAT PACKER. The #80 should go up on the field.
    If this is the last year what a great career. We miss him not on the field

  25. By skywolfe on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    mr.dd is the must rounded player that there is blocking,picks,giving his body over the middle,giving everything he has for for the pack. now off the feild best of best. give him some playing time,he never lets you down!!!!!

  26. By smittyben57 on Oct 28, 2012 | Reply


  27. By cindy sturm on Oct 28, 2012 | Reply

    I saw you catch that pass today against the Jags. You just go in, do your job, catch the ball, hang on and stay in bounds. Maybe you could teach some of our better pad teammates to do the same.

  28. By WendyB on Oct 28, 2012 | Reply

    He did a great job today!

  29. By Ray J. on Oct 28, 2012 | Reply

    I think The Pack is making a mistake by not using Donald Driver more. He may be the old man on the team but he is one of the very best and has alway’s been. Hope fully when his time is up he will end his carrer as a Packer. You did a Great Job Again today Mr. D.

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