Nearly a month before its official release, former Packers WR Donald Driver’s official memoir, “Driven,” has climbed to No. 7 on Amazon.com’s national best seller list due to pre-orders.
“Driven” chronicles Driver’s life spent overcoming obstacles, including when he lived with his mother on the streets of Houston in a U-Haul trailer, all the way through becoming the Packers’ all-time leading receiver and winning the “Dancing With The Stars” competition.
The book is scheduled to be released on Oct. 22. It can be pre-ordered through the Packers Pro Shop by clicking here.
Tags: donald driver
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 6 Comments »
For the rundown on Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference after the final practice of the week prior to the preseason game in St. Louis, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news & notes from Thursday:
–Bakhtiari new to domes: It’s just the preseason, but rookie LT David Bakhtiari will get his first taste of playing football in a dome on Saturday night in St. Louis, and that could be important.
“I’ve been in a lot of loud stadiums, but I don’t think I’ve played in a dome before,” Bakhtiari said. “It will be my first time for that.”
As usual, the Packers piped in crowd noise during the week of practice for many of the team (11-on-11) periods to work on their silent count. The experience, even if it’s only loud for the first series or so and won’t be as loud as it would be in a regular-season game, could be valuable for Bakhtiari because the Packers have three regular-season dome games this season — at Minnesota, Detroit and Dallas.
–Youth in secondary still shining: Rookie CB Micah Hyde made yet another big play in practice on Thursday, leaping at the goal line to intercept a pass that was intended for a receiver running a crossing route in the back of the end zone.
It wasn’t as spectacular as the interception Hyde made on Wednesday (click here and scroll down to the “Plays of the Day”), but it was a pretty nifty play nonetheless. With CBs Tramon Williams (knee) and Casey Hayward (hamstring) still sidelined, Hyde likely will start on Saturday night.
Mike McCarthy noted how strong an impression Hyde made when he first arrived in Green Bay for rookie orientation. The coaches were firing punts and kickoffs out of a Jugs machine to numerous players and various places on the field, testing the rookies’ abilities to track down the ball and catch it in difficult spots. Hyde, a fifth-round draft pick, stood out during the drill.
“To see his ability to catch the ball on the run and do different things, I was tempted to put him on offense,” McCarthy said. “I think he has that type of ball-skill ability. He’s doing some really good things as a young player.”
Another young defensive back who made a big play on Thursday was rookie S Chris Banjo, who intercepted a pass in the end zone intended for TE Brandon Bostick. Banjo wasn’t signed until three days into training camp but is making a bid to stick around in some capacity.
“I love the way he’s played,” McCarthy said of the SMU product. “He’s one of the guys we recognized in our team meeting. The safeties are a lot like our whole defense. We have very good depth over there.”
–WR response: In response to retired WR Donald Driver’s comments about QB Aaron Rodgers’ leadership, which lined up in some ways with the criticisms put forth earlier by former Packers WR Greg Jennings, current WR James Jones had this to say about players taking responsibility for their mistakes:
“It’s everybody’s responsibility,” Jones said. “Everybody in here is a man. You’re not in college no mre, you’re not in high school no more. When you make a mistake, you have to own up to your own mistake.
“Just because we have a good quarterback, it ain’t his responsibility to take everybody else’s wrongdoing. If we make a mistake, we own up to our mistakes. When he makes a mistake, he owns up to his. He lets us know when (we’re) wrong, and we let him know when he’s wrong.”
–Injury update: In addition to the injury updates provided in today’s main story, OL Andrew Datko returned to practice from a concussion. He had been out since late last week.
Tags: chris banjo, david bakhtiari, donald driver, james jones, micah hyde, mike mccarthy
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 5 Comments »
Former Packers WR Donald Driver announced on Tuesday a new annual awards program to be conducted through his foundation. Called “Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Awards,” they will be presented each year at a ceremony in Milwaukee in partnership with BMO Harris Bank.
The awards will recognize eight individuals each year, with a minimum of five winners coming from the state of Wisconsin, for significant contributions to their communities. The inaugural awards will be presented in spring 2014.
“Too often, we as a society focus on the bad things that are happening,” Driver said in a press release. “This program is about turning the spotlight around and shining it on the people that work hard every day to make this world a better place.”
As stated in the press release, the “Driven to Achieve Awards” are open to all legal residents of the United States who can demonstrate they delivered a clear benefit to their community through volunteerism, mentoring, fundraising or any other not-for-profit means. Award winners will embody leadership, possess a dedication to excellence and will have displayed persistence and tenacity in reaching their organization’s goals.
Detailed award criteria and nomination forms can be found at the Donald Driver Foundation website, www.donalddriverfoundation.com.
Tags: awards, donald driver, foundation
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 5 Comments »
Retired Packers WR Donald Driver will make a series of guest appearances on ESPN on Thursday.
Taking a turn as an NFL analyst, Driver will appear on SportsCenter at 10 a.m. CT, on NFL Live at 3 p.m. CT, and on NFL 32 (on ESPN2) at 4 p.m. CT.
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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 12 Comments »
The recently retired Donald Driver will receive the 2013 AMVETS National Ladies Humanitarian Award next month. AMVETS is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization.
Below is the press release announcing Driver’s award:
Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading wide receiver, Super Bowl Champion and “Dancing With the Stars” winner Donald Driver will be the 2013 recipient of the AMVETS National Ladies Humanitarian Award. AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President Leslie Wunderle announced Driver will be presented with the award at the AMVETS Silver Helmet Awards Banquet on Friday, April 5, at the Hilton Mark Center, Alexandria, Va.
Driver is being recognized for his work with the Donald Driver Foundation through which he has helped homeless families get on their feet and underprivileged children succeed in the classroom. In addition to the work he does with his own foundation, Driver currently sponsors several hundred children through Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that helps ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed on the weekends by sending them home with a backpack full of food every Friday throughout the school year.
Joining a distinguished list of past award winners including First Lady Barbara Bush, Dolly Parton and Bart Starr, Driver said he is humbled by the nomination. “The Ladies Auxiliary does so much for our Veterans,” Driver said. “This award is truly special to me, but these ladies, along with all of our veterans, are the real heroes.”
Recently retired from the Green Bay Packers, Mr. Driver will continue fundraising events for the Foundation in Wisconsin including his annual golf tournament, celebrity softball game and “Evening of Elegance.”
Driver was nominated for the award by Cathy Tratz of Oshkosh, Wis., and was selected as the recipient at the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary annual National Convention in Daytona Beach, Fla., August 2012.
Tags: donald driver, foundation, humanitarian award
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 9 Comments »
All available tickets for the Donald Driver retirement event on Feb. 6 have been distributed.
More than 1,000 tickets were distributed, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for the event, which begins at 11 a.m. next Wednesday.
Tags: donald driver, retirement, tickets
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 26 Comments »
Packers WR Donald Driver made his retirement announcement on Thursday morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike In The Morning program, which was broadcasting live from New Orleans, site of Super Bowl XLVII. Driver joined hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their radio set in New Orleans and was immediately asked what his future held.
“I’m going to officially put the cleats on the shelf and walk away from the game,” Driver said. “I’m calling it a career.”
Driver went on to explain that he reached the decision after talking to his wife and kids at the end of the season, his 14th, all with the Packers. Green Bay was eliminated from the NFC playoffs in the divisional round by the San Francisco 49ers, who will play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the Super Bowl.
“My wife said something truly special to me,” Driver said. “She didn’t want to go anywhere else. That made it easy for me.”
Driver didn’t delve into too many other details of his decision, saying he would save those thoughts for the public event at the Lambeau Field Atrium on Feb. 6.
“I want to do something special, I want to do it in front of the fans, something that no other player has done,” he said. “I’m going to open my retirement up to the fans and give them everything they deserve.”
Driver said he was “at peace” with the decision, but he acknowledged there have been and will be some hard moments. He did emphasize, amidst implied jokes about his former QB, Brett Favre, that he’s not coming back.
“Very difficult. It’s always difficult, especially when you feel you can still play the game,” he said. “You just let it go and say, ‘There’s other things out there, the next chapter of your career, and I’m ready for it.”
It sounds as though that next chapter will be as a family man. He and his wife, Betina, have three school-age children.
“Someone’s always going to be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great football player, but no one is going to be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great dad and great husband,” Driver said. “So I have to be able to show them that, and that’s what next chapter of my career is going to be.”
Asked what he will cherish the most about his career, Driver didn’t single anyone or anything out.
“All 14 years. Every day,” he said. “The biggest thing is walking out of that tunnel at Lambeau. It’s a special place to walk out of and that’s something I’ll never forget.”
Driver didn’t get emotional at all in making his announcement, but he suggested that he probably would next week when he’s back in Green Bay.
“It hasn’t really hit me at this moment,” he said. “I think it’s really going to hit on Feb. 6 when I have my entire family there and three, four thousand fans standing out there.
“Somebody always says next year, but for me, it won’t be.”
Tags: donald driver, retire
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 83 Comments »
The board made the proclamation at its Wednesday night meeting and read a statement from Driver, who could not be present.
“It is truly an honor to have January 17, 2013, become Donald Driver Day. I will always appreciate the special relationship that I share with Green Bay Packers fans, and I have so many incredible memories of my time spent in Green Bay and Brown County. I look forward to remaining a fixture in the community here for many years to come! Thank you to the Brown County Executive, Chairman, and Brown County Board of Supervisors for this proclamation. God bless, and Go Pack Go!”
Here is the text of the official proclamation from Brown County:
OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION IN appreciation of
WHEREAS, Donald Driver, a.k.a. “Double D”, has been sporting number 80 with the Packers for 14 seasons, while earning a Super Bowl Championship, four Pro Bowl Selections, becoming the all- time leading receiver for the Packers, and recently receiving the coveted mirror ball trophy on the 14th season of ABC network program, “Dancing with the Stars; and
WHEREAS, Donald is no stranger to setbacks but yet continues to move forward in making a difference in people’s lives by donating his time and efforts to organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Goodwill Industries; and
WHEREAS, in 2000 Donald along with his wife Betina created the “Donald Driver Foundation,” focusing on minimizing the challenges of homeless families and lack of education, along with donating to a variety of other charities, providing motivational speeches, writing children’s books, and offering assistance to those in need; and
WHEREAS, Donald has been recognized for his contribution to his communities by receiving the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2002, the only off the field community service awarded by the NFL , the Community Service Award in 2001 by Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Ed Block Courage award by his teammates; and
WHEREAS, when Donald is not spending time with his family, on the field or giving back to his community you will find him on his TV show Inside the Huddle, hear him on one of Milwaukee’s number 1 rated A.M. radio stations, or even managing his endorsements with top organizations such as Wisconsin Department of Transportation, McDonalds, Goodwill Industries and others; and
NOW, THEREFORE, We, Troy J. Streckenbach, Brown County Executive, Patrick Moynihan, Chairman of Brown County Board of Supervisors, along with the Brown County Board of Supervisors recognize Donald Driver and his overwhelming generosity to our community. And call onto all citizens to acknowledge and emulate his positive thinking and commitment to the community as a whole.
And do hereby proclaim Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, as a day of recognition as
Donald Driver Day
Tags: brown county, donald driver
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 73 Comments »
Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday discussed the difficulty in leaving veteran WR Donald Driver on the inactive list for what might have been his final game at Lambeau Field. It was the fourth time Driver has been inactive this season, with the three occurrences in the regular season coming in Weeks, 13, 15 and 17.
“Donald Driver is a class act to say the least,” McCarthy said. “He’s a pro’s pro. He does everything you ever ask of him. We’ve had conversations of late here, … and he’s handled it very well. He’s an excellent teammate. Everyone clearly understands what he means to the organization and what he’s done.
“He’s out there preparing every day, getting ready to play. He may have an opportunity this week. We’ll see how it shakes down. Those are very difficult decisions to make, when you have a healthy 53, to get to 46.”
McCarthy pointed out that the final decisions for the gameday active roster often come down to special teams, and rookie LB Terrell Manning was activated for Saturday night’s playoff game against Minnesota. Manning proceeded to earn a game ball on special teams from the coaches as well as the “Big Hit” award, McCarthy said.
“That’s why you have to make those kinds of decisions,” McCarthy said. “That’s part of the way it sorts out in game-planning and obviously special teams plays into it.”
A couple of other notes from McCarthy’s Sunday press conference:
–He mentioned it only in passing, but McCarthy made reference to rookie RT Don Barclay playing his best game to date. Barclay started the last four games of the regular season and was making his playoff debut.
–The only injury reported from the game was a hamstring injury to TE Jermichael Finley. McCarthy said the medical staff has told him it’s “nothing of a serious nature,” but he did not address Finley’s status for this week.
Tags: donald driver, mike mccarthy
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 135 Comments »
Depending on the post-practice update from Mike McCarthy, the Packers could be a little thin on the defensive line for Sunday’s showdown against the Vikings and RB Adrian Peterson.
DL Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson were both sitting out practice on Wednesday during the portion of the workout open to reporters. Pickett will be new to the injury list when it is released after practice. Wilson left Sunday night’s game against the Giants with a knee injury.
Also, WR Donald Driver was not practicing. Driver has been on the injury report with a thumb injury, but he hasn’t missed any games. Backup RB Johnny White, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion, also did not practice.
Continuing to sit out on defense were DB Charles Woodson, CB Sam Shields and LB Clay Matthews.
Tags: c.j. wilson, donald driver, ryan pickett
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 9 Comments »