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Donald Driver: I haven’t lost anything

Donald Driver AP

The return of Packers wide receiver Donald Driver for a 14th season with the Packers was seen by some as a case of sentimentality trumping cold calculation about roster construction.

In Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley, Green Bay had a pair of receivers that they thought were good enough to warrant salaries above the normal practice squad rate last season and a deep receiving corps that would make it easier to work inexperienced players into the mix. According to Driver, though, there’s nothing sentimental about his presence in Packers camp because he’s still better than the younger men trying to take his job.

“It’s funny how these young guys look up and say, ‘I thought I was going to catch the old man, but I can’t catch him,’” Driver said, via Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He still has it. I think a lot of people are surprised how I’ve played at 37 years old. But if you haven’t lost it, you haven’t lost it. And I haven’t lost anything.”

It didn’t look that way at many points last season. Driver didn’t look like he was out of place on a football field, but he also didn’t look like the same player he was when he was building a career that has made him the team’s all-time leader in receptions and yards. He slipped down the depth chart as a result and fueled the speculation that he was done in Green Bay.

Reischel raves about Driver’s play during practice (and notes Gurley and Borel have been less effective) and notes that he’s in excellent physical condition, something that would have to be the case for him to be on the field at his age. True as that might be, it doesn’t help on the numbers front. Driver didn’t provide much evidence last season that he deserved more playing time than Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb and it seems unlikely that he’d push the ball too far back up the hill this season.

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7 Responses to “Donald Driver: I haven’t lost anything”
  1. packfntk says: Aug 8, 2012 8:17 AM

    Love this guy. He has actually looked really good in TC. Almost like he “gained” a step. Looking forward to watching you again DD.

  2. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 8, 2012 9:44 AM

    You lost your first playoff game at home to a 9-7 team.

  3. canamac86 says: Aug 8, 2012 9:48 AM

    I don’t see it as being that Driver has slipped, it’s that Jennings, Nelson, Jones, Cobb, and Finley have improved. A lot on this site has been written about keeping the GB receivers happy by spreading the ball around and the only way that can happen is if the former top targets reduce their catches.

  4. chi01town says: Aug 8, 2012 10:20 AM

    When CUT downs come Driver will be on the street. Thats how Greenbay do there players so dont be shocked when they cut him an say he was too old

  5. bobnelsonjr says: Aug 8, 2012 11:05 AM

    Just because the Packers are loaded with many very talented receivers doesn’t mean that Donald Driver has lost any of his talent.

    Aside from that the Packers General Manager has always told veterans right away and cut them when the team is going to be moving on. He respects them too much to have them work hard through camp and get cut. That comes from the experience he had during his final training camp as a player. It is one thing Ted Thompson will not do to a player.

    Another thing to point out is that Donald Driver is in the final year of his contract. Rather than cutting him, the Packers can simply not draw up a new contract at the end of the season.

  6. dukemarc says: Aug 8, 2012 11:50 AM

    How many NFL teams would like to have Driver as their 4th or 5th option at WR? Heck, the Vikings would make him their #2 at worst.

  7. twonis says: Aug 8, 2012 1:03 PM

    Love Donnie D and have for years. The major thing to recognize with him is that he hasn’t HURT their offense and in a lot of ways builds it because the opposing secondary knows that he could deliver, and deliver big, if they get caught napping. Yeah, his production is down but his contribution to that offense remains important. He is a legitimate starter for the best receiving core in the NFL and he would be a starter on any other team as well.
    In a year or two it might be a different story but no one should be questioning this guy now.

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