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Donald Driver plans to finish out contract as a starter

Donald Driver AP

Even with James Jones very likely to leave via free agency, the Packers still have a surplus of quality wide receivers.

Greg Jennings is in the prime of an underrated career. Jordy Nelson exploded in the Super Bowl and is ready for a bigger role.  Second round pick Randall Cobb is a versatile threat that will be a factor on gameday.

Throw in Jermichael Finley’s ability to line up wide, and there has been some discussion in Green Bay about where Donald Driver fits into the mix.  The 13-year veteran says he’s not going anywhere.

“I have two years left on my contract; I want to play those two years out – as a starter,” Driver told Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Driver, 36, spent two months in a boot this offseason because of a high ankle sprain suffered in the Super Bowl.  His regular season production fell under 600 yards for the first time since 2001.  At 36, it’s fair to wonder just how productive he can be.

Folks have counted out Driver too early before.  In his second season as a starter, he only gained 621 yards with two scores. Many thought he was a one-year wonder.  He responded with six straight 1,000-yard campaigns.

“I think I’ve earned that respect to be the starter,” said Driver. “I earned my spot as a starter. I was on pace to have a good game at the Super Bowl; unfortunately I ended up getting hurt.”

We’re not sure it really matters if Driver or Nelson is the official starter. Both will play a ton.

These are the sort of “problems” only very good teams have.

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32 Responses to “Donald Driver plans to finish out contract as a starter”
  1. scoops1 says: Jul 19, 2011 11:58 AM

    Driver is one of the good guys in the NFL…

    he def deserves the respect of his peers

  2. entersandman42ny says: Jul 19, 2011 11:59 AM

    Donald Driver will finish his contract as a starter because the Packers don’t have anyone better to replace him with. Jordy Nelson is a nice 3rd wr and finley is a tight end, they just drafted a rookie with their second round pick, but everyone knows how frustrating rookies are, so Driver is their best option to start opposite Gregg Jennings.

  3. medtxpack says: Jul 19, 2011 12:02 PM

    not only a good WR, but a class act as well. good story on how he came up as well, if you dont know it, look it up.

    i think he should start until its completely obvious he cant handle it, hard read for any coach to make cause hes so in to it. not bad having Jordy behind him though. they got a sweet crew.

  4. woodyg says: Jul 19, 2011 12:04 PM

    Call DD a starter if you like …… Regardless, he’ll play & play well along with all the rest of the weapons in GB’s arsenal …… It’s mind-boggling how much talent resides in GB …….

    It’s going to be a great year sitting back, downing a Leines and watching the Pack demolish the rest of the NFL …..

  5. connorchew says: Jul 19, 2011 12:04 PM

    i’m an eagles fan, but i respect the hell out this guy. very classy and works his butt off.skill gets you in, and work ethic keeps you in this league

  6. xlvordie says: Jul 19, 2011 12:07 PM

    DD is a BEAST! Well, he was in his prime. Still a quality reciever! Go Pack Go!!!

  7. tramonisland says: Jul 19, 2011 12:08 PM

    double d is the veteran leader of that explosive offense and will have another solid year as #2 or #3 wr. he works as hard as anyone and keeps himself in ridiculous shape. gotta love that guys determination and heart. 2-3 more solid years and then he’ll make his way to the packers coaching staff.

  8. pastorinisflak says: Jul 19, 2011 12:08 PM

    It should still be Driver’s spot to lose. He’s not ready to take a seat yet. Just ask the 49ers.

  9. ruvelligwebuike says: Jul 19, 2011 12:09 PM

    I’m guessing we will be listed as the number 2 on the depth chart for formalities sake. It doesn’t really matter. They run so many multiple sets, the three and four guys, plus Finley will all get enough touches.

  10. buckybadger says: Jul 19, 2011 12:12 PM

    Driver is one of those guys who has a tremendous work ethic and is a great role model for the young receivers. He will definitely play out his contract in Green Bay but he might have to accept a lesser role in the offense. They go 3 and 4 wide so often it doesn’t really matter who the starter is so they could keep him as “the starter” and still give Jordy and Cobb more looks. Fans and insiders a like want Driver to be around Cobb for awhile so he can rub off on him.

  11. sjcwisc says: Jul 19, 2011 12:13 PM

    Donald is still productive – willing to go across the middle – has great work ethic – and, most importantly, is a great mentor and locker room guy! He’ll be around and if you take his stats with Nelson’s stats, it adds up to 96 rcpts, 1147 yards and 6 TD’s – not bad from the WR position!

    With as much as GB slings it, 9 guys last year averaged over 10 yds /catch. Donald’s “lack of production” could be attributed to a share the wealth mentality!

  12. cmstrick says: Jul 19, 2011 12:23 PM

    Donald Driver is a class act and a good human being. I hope he gets to go out on his own terms – he’s earned it.

  13. mvp43 says: Jul 19, 2011 12:25 PM

    Donald’s in the drivers seat……….he’s too valuable not to start.

    Don’t be surprised if Finley lines up more at receiver than TE this year. He hates to block and has lost quite a bit of weight.

  14. bhester1906 says: Jul 19, 2011 12:46 PM

    Fine. As long as he plays better than the others he will start.

  15. lbpackfan says: Jul 19, 2011 12:47 PM

    DD gets much deserved respect…just listen to Greg Jennings after the Super Bowl…

    “…our #1 receiver goes down…”

    GO PACK!!!

  16. asublimeday says: Jul 19, 2011 12:54 PM

    This is fantastic news for the bears/lions/Vikings.

  17. bjb2865 says: Jul 19, 2011 12:54 PM

    Driver is a good receiver but hes on the downside of his career. You can even see how old he is. Looks like he could get hurt on every play. Jordy Nelson will take his spot in the offense this year. Book it.

  18. garyman1 says: Jul 19, 2011 1:04 PM

    If you ever have 4 down and 2 or 3 yards for a first down… I’ll still take Donald Driver for a quick hitch over the middle over any other receiver. The Pack sure needs it…they sure as heck can’t run for it.

  19. anactualnflowner says: Jul 19, 2011 1:05 PM

    I hope he stays around for 2 more years as well, but he better know status as a backup and starter is dependent upon your ability to be the better receiver, respect is irrelevant. If Jordy or Cobb become a better option at any point in those two years he better catch a spot on the sidelines next to McCarthy and not complain about it.

  20. jimmysee says: Jul 19, 2011 1:06 PM

    When Donald Driver wraps it up — his number should be next to go up on the walls of Lambeau – alongside Starr, Nitschke, Reggie White, and the other Packers immortals!

  21. gregjennings85 says: Jul 19, 2011 1:16 PM

    Still a great slot receiver.

  22. sakatak says: Jul 19, 2011 1:20 PM

    Donald Driver is a shining example of how wide receivers should play and act. There are many wide receivers in the NFL that could learn a thing or two from Driver, the league and the world would be better off if they did.

  23. schmitty2 says: Jul 19, 2011 1:27 PM

    asublimeday says:
    Jul 19, 2011 12:54 PM
    This is fantastic news for the bears/lions/Vikings.

    Are you insinuating Driver is washed up?

    Number 2 WR’s for
    Bears-Bennett
    Lions-Burleson
    Vikes-Harvin (if Rice re-signs if not then Berrian)

    I think this is fantastic news for the Pack

  24. goawayeverybody says: Jul 19, 2011 1:29 PM

    Donald wears his heart on his sleeve. I like that.

  25. greenbaypeckers says: Jul 19, 2011 1:30 PM

    Love D² and hope he get’s it done, go get em D², won’t find a classier guy who always seems to be smiling and loving the game.

  26. rpiotr01 says: Jul 19, 2011 1:31 PM

    The way he plays, it’s amazing how long he’s lasted. He runs the most dangerous routes – short, over the middle of the field – over and over again. That’s how he made his bones as a WR. He does the dirty work that allows Jennings and Nelson and James Jones to get open in better spots on the field. That stuff leaves you open to hits from big MLBs and Safetys crashing down with a running head start. Donald takes the hits and comes back for more.

    I don’t think he’ll ever get serious HOF consideration because the numbers will never match the best of his peers (Owens, Moss, A. Johnson, Harrison, Wayne, Fitz, Smith etc.) but Driver is a true throw back, an underrated receiver and really embodies what it means to be an NFL wide receiver. I’d love to at least see GB retire his number and put him in the ring of honor.

    As for this year, who knows. I don’t think Nelson is ready to do the little things that Driver does, and personality wise he’s the unquestioned leader of that group. Unless he’s hurt I don’t see any reason to think he’s finished. Nearing the end? Of course. But not there yet.

  27. vikescry1 says: Jul 19, 2011 1:57 PM

    i’m ok with him sticking around for a couple more years, i’m sure he’ll be classier about his decision’s than some in the past. I think it was against sanfran last year where he caught a pass and ran around and through 5 or 6 defenders? dude can still play. i’ll take that kinda effort anyday, even if he’s 38.

  28. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 19, 2011 2:02 PM

    totally agree with rpiotr. Driver does things that people aren’t willing to do these days.

  29. shieldsisland37 says: Jul 19, 2011 2:07 PM

    Driver is a valuable asset to the team in many ways. He will get lined up all over the field and he will still start over Nelson or Jones unless Cobb is gods gift. Why a reporter would even ask him this is beyond my comprehension.

  30. winkeroni says: Jul 19, 2011 2:21 PM

    It’s hard to believe he’s nearing the twilight of his career after that catch and run he had against the 49ers last year.

  31. granadafan says: Jul 19, 2011 2:31 PM

    Driver’s mind says yes, but his body may say no. Contrast that with Randy Moss whose body is in “freakish shape”, but his mind says, “Only when I damn well feel like it”.

  32. orangeflh says: Jul 19, 2011 3:23 PM

    “skill gets you in, and work ethic keeps you in this league”

    Congrats, connorchew. That may be the most sensible comment ever posted on here.

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