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Donald Driver eyeballs franchise records, Canton

110202-driver.standard AP

Packers receiver Donald Driver has won his first career Super Bowl.  And as he climbs the list of all-time franchise receiving records, he’s thinking about another goal.

The Hall of Fame.

Receiver Tim Brown, who played in a Super Bowl but never won one, planted the thought of a championship equating to Hall of Fame consideration into Driver’s head before the Packers beat the Steelers in early February.

“He sat down and said, ‘If you win a Super Bowl come Sunday, they will have to look at you as a candidate for the Hall of Fame,’” Driver said of Brown at his charity softball game Sunday, per Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “For him to say that, that was something that made me dream about it even more. … When Tim Brown tells you they have to look at me as being a candidate, I shook my head that night and said all I have to do is win the Super Bowl and maybe I’ll get the opportunity to maybe one day be there.

“Will that dream ever come true?  I don’t know.  I hope it will.  For me, that’s a goal. . . .  It was never a goal early in my career.  But when you get to winding down and you feel you’ve done a lot, not just for the organization, but for the community, that should stand for something.  To me, that’s all that matters.”

Far more realistic is Driver’s goal of passing James Lofton as the all-time franchise leader in receiving yards.  Lofton holds the record with 9,656 yards; Driver needs only 40 to match him.

Driver also needs only 12 touchdown receptions to match Sterling Sharpe with 65.  Catching Don Hutson’s 99 touchdown catches likely is out of the question.

What could help Driver’s Canton cause even more than numbers would be more Super Bowls.  With the Packers loaded on both sides of the ball and poised to compete for the foreseeable future, membership on, say, the first time to win three championships in a row would deliver plenty of cheesehead-wearing bronze busts to the Hall of Fame.

We know that talk of three in a row is extremely premature.  But with the Packers one of the favorites to win it all again in 2011, who knows what will happen come 2012?

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35 Responses to “Donald Driver eyeballs franchise records, Canton”
  1. benh999 says: Jun 5, 2011 11:27 PM

    “… with the Packers one of the favorites to win it all again in 2011…”

    You forgot to add a sanctimonious line about the possibility of no football in 2011.

  2. MCxShow says: Jun 5, 2011 11:33 PM

    Driver has not only been a class act since day one with Green Bay, but also one of the most productive receivers for them. I would love to see him enshrined in Canton.

  3. buckybadger says: Jun 5, 2011 11:35 PM

    He will be enshrined in Green Bay without any doubts. I also have the same confidence he won’t be ever make Canton. DD is one my favorite all time players but the Hall is for the best of the best. Good player, Great Person and now world champion. That is enough.

  4. gasolinejt says: Jun 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    Maybe the Alcorn State hall of fame.

    No chance in hell.

  5. stairwayto7 says: Jun 5, 2011 11:54 PM

    No way will he go into NFL Hall of Fame! He has always been the teams #2 WR!

  6. thehatefulnerd says: Jun 6, 2011 12:07 AM

    Lombardi won three Championships in a row. You mean three “Superbowls.”

  7. micker716 says: Jun 6, 2011 12:17 AM

    Not even the Hall of Very Good.

  8. trbowman says: Jun 6, 2011 12:21 AM

    Ya, sorry. His only shot is to play long enough to put up gaudy numbers. I like him, but he’s never been a dominant force.

    Cris Carter isn’t even in yet.

  9. goombar2 says: Jun 6, 2011 12:22 AM

    I wouldn’t bet against Driver… Too many folks have and they’ve look foolish for it.

    But even if the Pack were to win 3 in a row, and I love my pack but even I can’t Homer that much, I’d think Jennings would have more to do with that than Driver. I really can’t think of too many tandem Wr duos in the HOF either…

    Eh, in my heart Driver will always be up there with the best of ‘em though.

  10. shaggytoodle says: Jun 6, 2011 1:09 AM

    Some people go through thier career and wind up “getting full”

    Donald Driver is the kind of guy that will stay hungry create new goals and will fight as hard as he can, and hopefully will achieve it.

    I don’t know what other teams think of Driver is, but I would have to imagine that a lot of teams would like a player such as him. Either in his prime or helping lead the younger people at his position.

    I hope Milkdud attains all of his career goals.

  11. tbtrojan says: Jun 6, 2011 1:41 AM

    Sorry Donald but career #2s who pad their stats by playing a long time do not make it into the Hall of Fame.
    You really think that they will induct a guy that has lead his own team in receiving just 4 times in 12 seasons, that ratioi likely to get even worse with each extra season he plays.
    No 1300 yard season.
    Ho 10 TD season.
    Hell you only cracked the annual top 10 for yardage 3 times during your career a 5th, 8th and 10th placement.

    Yep those sure seem like Hall of Fame credentials
    “Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce the 20th best wideout of his generation and career #2 for the Packers, a man that managed all this while being in a pass happy offense with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball….”

  12. kevinfromphilly says: Jun 6, 2011 5:37 AM

    Nice player, but there are so many recievers with gaudy numbers that aren’t in the Hall. Even with multiple rings, he’s no shoo-in.

  13. thenightflier says: Jun 6, 2011 6:24 AM

    Cris Carter 130 TDs….not in

    Donald Driver 50-odd TDs……in? I don’t think so.

  14. woodyg says: Jun 6, 2011 7:14 AM

    Welcome to the 21st century ….. The 60′s revisited where the the NFL becomes (once again) the Green Bay Packers & all the rest of the Packer wannabees ….. The 60′s was just a dress rehersal for what’s coming ….. How sweet it will be ….

  15. dd393 says: Jun 6, 2011 7:22 AM

    If the NFL Hall of Fame would count good citizenship and what the player meant to the game, then he would make it in. However, with the current numbers trend and to hell with how the player treats the game, then maybe not. I’d certainly rather have DD on a team before Michael Irvin and his nose candy.

  16. melonnhead says: Jun 6, 2011 7:49 AM

    Man they will put anybody in he Packers Hall of Fame. Don Majkowski, , Lynn Dickey and Zeke Bratkowski are in there.

  17. melonnhead says: Jun 6, 2011 7:52 AM

    I’d certainly rather have DD on a team before Michael Irvin and his nose candy.

    ——————————————————–

    Ya they had enough drug issues with Brett Favre and Tim Harris on the team.

  18. melonnhead says: Jun 6, 2011 7:54 AM

    Welcome to the 21st century ….. The 60′s revisited where the the NFL becomes (once again) the Green Bay Packers & all the rest of the Packer wannabees ….. The 60′s was just a dress rehersal for what’s coming ….. How sweet it will be ….

    ——————————————————

    Or maybe they’ll just be another “fart in the wind” which is how Ron Wolf characterized the 1996 Packers.

  19. winkeroni says: Jun 6, 2011 8:55 AM

    He may not be a Hall of Famer but that little run he had after the catch against SF this past year is one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how many tackles he broke but that play was awesome.

  20. Little Earthquake says: Jun 6, 2011 8:59 AM

    I’m a Packer and a Driver fan but he’s a long shot. There are too many prolific receivers out there. Agree that if Cris Carter isn’t in yet, DD has a long way to go. Obviously it’s not all about stats but Driver has never exactly torn up the league.

  21. itwasagoodrun says: Jun 6, 2011 9:02 AM

    Even as a Vikings fan I respect the heck out of him. He’s a class person and a good to very good player. He’s an excellent representative of that team and community. It’s hard not to like him, except for when he takes a quick slant to the end zone against the purple…

    With that being said, I don’t feel he’s HOF worthy, the hall should only be relegated to “elite” players, not good to very good players. He’s always been the 2nd receiver on that team with Jennings, Walker, etc…

  22. lucky5934 says: Jun 6, 2011 9:30 AM

    I think we can all agree that their are more deserving WR’s ahead of him. But Donald Driver will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Time has a way of glorifying some players. He will be one of those guys inducted in 15-25 years. Winning a second superbowl will also improve his chances. He will eventually get in some year where the candidates are light… but he will get in… Eventually. Just no time soon.

  23. childressrulz says: Jun 6, 2011 9:33 AM

    They will be good for years to come that much is obvious.
    I agree with those on this site saying that they would rather have DD than Irvin. And anyone comparing Favre’s addiction to pain killers to Irvin’s ongoing coke problem is a freaking retard.

  24. childressrulz says: Jun 6, 2011 9:34 AM

    Oh yeah. I forgot Chris Carter should never get in as he doesn’t have a superbowl.

  25. minnesconsin says: Jun 6, 2011 10:02 AM

    I’m as big a fan of DD as there is, but I don’t think he’ll make it to Canton without some kind of unprecedented resurgence in the last year or 2 of his career — which is a long shot with Rodgers trying to spread the ball around to a lot of young talent on the offensive side of the ball.

    People who compare his stats to Cris Carter’s and say “nope, not a chance” are being ignorant to the fact that politics do play a large role in HOF voting. CC was just not a very well-liked guy, and hasn’t done anything since his retirement to endear himself to the voters/public/media. He was a me-first guy with a bad attitude, off-field issues, and he never won anything. His numbers are crazy good, but it’s no coincidence that there are worse WR’s in Canton than CC.

  26. minnesconsin says: Jun 6, 2011 10:04 AM

    Also — and this isn’t an argument that DD should be in the HoF — but it’s just plain wrong to assert that he was never a #1 WR. He was the first option in Green Bay in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007. You could argue 2003 as well.

    When he was given the shot at the #1 spot in 2002, he stepped up big time.

    In 2003-2004, Walker became the big downfield threat, but Driver still led the team in catches in 2003 and was only 5 behind Walker in 2004. J-Walk was inured in 2005 and DD caught another 86 balls.

    Jennings was a rookie in 2006 and still proving himself. Driver caught 92 balls to Jennings’ 45.

    In 2007, everyone was sure GJ was ready to steal that #1 spot from the “old man.” Driver caught 82 balls to Jennings 53.

  27. thephantomstranger says: Jun 6, 2011 11:33 AM

    goombar2 says:
    Jun 6, 2011 12:22 AM
    I really can’t think of too many tandem Wr duos in the HOF either…
    ________________

    Lynn Swann and John Stallworth are both in the Hall of Fame, and the only reason is because they won four Super Bowls. If the Packers win the next three, their whole team will probably be in the Hall. (I don’t expect that to happen, though.)

    The Cris Carter comparisons don’t make sense because Carter obviously will make the Hall of Fame sometime in the next few years.

  28. packerbacker12 says: Jun 6, 2011 3:00 PM

    I am a die hard Packer fan and love DD but let’s get real here. Driver in no means has the kind of numbers to get into the Hall of Fame. There are far more WRs that deserve to get in ahead of him.

  29. tbtrojan says: Jun 6, 2011 3:09 PM

    Lets be serious, if he gets in we have to start thinking about putting in Antonio Freeman, Keenan McCardell, Jimmy Smith, Laveranus Coles, Derrick Mason, Amani Toomer, Keyshawn Johnson and start calling it the “Hall of better than average but not what you’d call great.”

  30. axespray says: Jun 6, 2011 4:45 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Jun 5, 2011 11:54 PM
    No way will he go into NFL Hall of Fame! He has always been the teams #2 WR!

    ^ So Hines Ward isn’t worthy of the Hall of Fame?

    Santino/Wallace/Plexico were all no.1′s.

    JUST SAYIN

  31. axespray says: Jun 6, 2011 4:48 PM

    tbtrojan says:
    Jun 6, 2011 3:09 PM
    Lets be serious, if he gets in we have to start thinking about calling it the “Hall of better than average but not what you’d call great.”

    ^ I’d like to see you run some routes and put up some touchdowns at an NFL level consistently for 10 plus years. Then Talk like an expert kid.

  32. servdogg says: Jun 6, 2011 6:54 PM

    I’m not convinced Driver will make the Hall of Fame, simply because as many have pointed out, his career numbers figure to be underwhelming by hall of fame standards.
    That being said, as a lifelong Packer fan who has watched every single one of Driver’s games, I think in terms of sheer skill and impactful play, he maybe does deserve consideration if he wins another SB or two.
    I don’t think Driver’s statistics tell the whole story of his impact. Throughout his entire career, the offense he played in was usually prolific, but always very multiple in terms of passing options. Both Favre and Rodgers spread the ball around and no reciever has ever posted gaudy numbers for a lot of years in those offenses. I think Chris Carter should be in the HOF, but I don’t think he puts up the same kind of numbers in the offense Driver has played in.
    People think he has just had a long career to produce, so his numbers are decent, but he just a good reciever. This is a little bit of a misconception. Driver entered the league as a seventh round pick in 1999 at age 24. Driver saw a little action in his first three years, but didn’t play alot until his fourth year, 2002. In that season he had 1000 yards and a 15.1 ave. with 9 TDs. The next season was a down year where Driver only had 621 yards, but the offense as a whole was bad (Javon Walker led recievers with 720 yards), and alot of the recieving production was running backs and tight ends.
    After that season Driver has three straight 1200 yard years with at least a 14 yard average.
    Keep in mind that Driver is at his best from the slot, a position that many “great” recievers shy away from because of the toughness needed to continuously take the hits over the middle.
    The next year was 2007 (the year Favre and R. Martin cost GB a shot at the undefeated Pats in the SB). This season marked the emergence of Greg Jennings. Even though Jennings emerged as a deep threat (a role which Driver has never really been suited for anyway) and scored 12 TDs, Driver was more of the go to reciever in third down situations and led the team in catches and yards.
    Driver has two more quiet 1000 yard seasons in 2008 and 2009, at ages 33 and 34, the first time since starting for Green Bay that he has truly been a #2 option in the offense, taking a back seat to likely future HOF Greg Jennings.
    And 2010 is this last year. The Packers won the Super Bowl, Driver made several critical plays in the playoffs and down the stretch while playing sparingly due to a bothersome nagging shin injury. And in the Super Bowl he had only two catches, but they were both competions for third down conversions, and then he left with an injury. This last season was the first of Driver’s career in which injury seriously limited his production, so I don’t think his toughness is in question at all.
    People want to say Driver is slowing down, but all players get hurt sometimes and he could easily bounce back with 2-4 more 800-1000 yard seasons. The main thing holding him back might not be his diminishing skill, but the fact that the offense now has more viable targets than ever. I think Packers coaches now regard Driver as the #3 option, behind Jennings and Finley, but he is still critical in third down situations and is the primary slot reciver.
    Should we penalize a HOF candidate on a Super Bowl caliber team with a dynamic multiple offense, for being a secondary option to two great players in the prime of their careers?
    So in actuality Driver has only played prominently in 9 seasons since he entered the league as a seventh round project with more track than football experience. So it took it him four years to become a starter.
    Do we penalize players in terms of HOF consideration, for making the transition from unknown long shot prospects to consistant playmakers, if that transition takes the player a few years?
    I think the answer to those two questions should really be NO, and if thats true Driver posts a resume of 9200 yards, 50 TDs with a 14 yard average and one SB ring over 9 seasons of real opportunity to produce.
    The main thing underwhelming about that resume is the TDs at less than 6 a year. Obviously many great recivers score way more often than Driver, but this can be largely attributed to his being a smaller reciver, playing in a multiple offense with other good players more suited to be good red zone targets. Driver doesn’t score alot because his role in the offense has always been to do the dirty work over the middle and move the chains.
    So I think in actuality Driver is a borderline HOF talent, but will probably not make it because it took him too long to become a starter and the offenses he played in had too many good targets.

  33. supersuckers3 says: Jun 6, 2011 7:26 PM

    Winning three Super Bowl titles in a row is the one and only goal for the Green Bay Packers built by Ted Thompson. Though he has never publically stated it, people in the organization have stated that the administration has only that in mind. Time to get this lockout over and win number two.

  34. chuckyd317 says: Jun 7, 2011 10:40 AM

    I love Driver…. But its not going to happen… Packer HOF yes… NFL… No…

  35. goombar2 says: Jun 7, 2011 8:29 PM

    What says Cris Carter will make the HOF in the next few years?

    He’s more of the HORG (Really Good). Offensive players are over represented in the HOF, so it’s even tougher. HOF voters are giving the nod to defensive guys.

    During Carter’s time he wasn’t a top 5 Wr of his era… He was just lucky enough to be around when the game changed to more passing, so his stats look impressive compared to older HOF Wrs. Without any championships it makes it even harder to gain entrance because he’s not considered a “big gamer” either.

    The only way Driver gets in is if the Packers win 3 in a row and he’s on the team. Even then it’s a maybe… But dynasties tend to get loads of players in whether they deserve it or not.

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