Donald Driver volunteers for special teams duty

AP

Other players with the resume of Donald Driver might have made far more of a stink.

But the Packers veteran wide receiver has refused to make a spectacle of himself as he’s fallen down the offensive pecking order, and has even volunteered to play special teams if it gets him a uniform this weekend.

“I said, ‘I’d like to play special teams if you guys need me,’ ” Driver said, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The thing is when you’ve played this long in your career, they don’t think that a veteran guy wants to play because sometimes it’s like a kick in the . . . I didn’t think that. I didn’t think that at all.

“I looked at it as an opportunity to play and have fun. That’s what I want to do. I asked them and they said, ‘Sure.’ I’m back on it. We’ll see. We’ll see.”

The 37-year-old wide receiver was inactive for last week’s playoff win over the Vikings, and hasn’t caught a pass since Nov. 18.

It’s not exactly Dancing with the Stars, but it’s also hard to figure what the Packers should do with him, as they have plentiful options at receiver.

Driver might retire, though he’s said recently he thinks he can still play. But his more immediate concern is being allowed to contribute.

“I think I will be activated,” Driver said. “We’ll see.”

“We’ve had conversations of late here, with part of what’s going on with him being active and inactive, and he’s handled it very well,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s an excellent teammate. Everybody clearly understands what he means to this 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.”

Seeing Driver having to plead for the chance to run down kicks is mostly sad, but it’s also pragmatic. The Packers have better options in the passing game, and younger legs to run down kicks.

But any player who has served as dutifully as he has deserves the chance to go out on his terms, even if they aren’t ideal.

39 responses to “Donald Driver volunteers for special teams duty

  1. No, they don’t deserve a chance. They deserve honor, recognition and praise for past accomplishments. They do not deserve a roster slot/spot over a player who gives the team a better chance to win.

  2. Driver’s a class act.

    Titus Young should take a cue from Driver and learn to be a team player.

  3. I was very disappointed that he couldn’t even suit up for his last home game. He’s been a class act and a consummate Packer for 14 years. Players like him don’t come along often enough.

  4. Not really any room for him at WR anymore with all their guys.

    I think this is more of a, “Hey, don’t cut me please. I will do anything.” move.

  5. this is just another reason DD#80 is and has always been a class act and a great teammate!! He knows his time with the team is coming to an end soon and seems like he just wants to contribute in any way he can. As a Packer fan (and shareholder) he had been one of my favorite Packers!! I am sure Packer nation is proud that he has been with us his whole career.

  6. Classy guy and team player just wants to be able to suit up for what could be his last game as a Packer- along with Greg Jennings, Jeff Saturday, Woodson, and some others.

  7. Im a die hard packer fan, loved what Driver did for GB, but his time is up. If there is no spot for him on the active roster I support the decision. Why have him active when there are other positions where we need depth due to all the injuries especially on D. Every year in GB it is about winning a SB! And we do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. Hope he retires a Packer after this year. If he decides to move on and keep playing, good for him. Good luck and Thanks Driver! One more thing, Rodgers is gonna be lights out in SF saturday night!

  8. With the lack of talent on more than one team at WR, I can see the guy getting at least one more crack at seeing the field next year with a team that isn’t Green Bay. He certainly isn’t the headache that TO, Ochocinco, or Moss has been and they all saw a chance to make a team the past off season. I can’t see the Jets, Seahawks, Viking, Dolphins, and Jags all pass on the guy.

  9. Packers coaches better beware and think back to last years playoffs; The only person who was catching passes with any regularity against the NY Giants last yr was none other than Donald Driver. So he should definitely be active so he can catch the balls if everyone else decides to get butterfingers like they did last yr, God forbid…

  10. When I saw him on the sidelines last Saturday in a winter jacket instead of a green jersey it made me feel sad. I 100% understood why he wasn’t active and felt sad all at the same time because I just understood that Donald must have been feeling real bad dressed that way at Lambeau. Shucks. I don’t ever want Mr. Driver to feel sad about anything to do with football.

    For me, the most attractive thing about Donald is his humility. It’s in his DNA, I think. Long after memories of his greatest catches fade, memory of his humility shall remain crystal clear.

    So, I hope they do put him on special teams this weekend and I hope he ends up causing a 4th quarter fumble and I hope he recovers the fumble and runs it in and I hope that becomes the final margin of a Green Bay victory. I hope he goes out a hero.

  11. Donald is, and always will be at the top of the list when we talk about players who demonstrate class in the NFL.

    He has played many years and been great over his career. Now that it is winding down, we arent seeing a guy who whines about turf time or even suiting up on game day.

    Donald will be a coach somewhere, some day. He is intelligent and knows the game. I see him being a recievers coach right after he calls it a career, maybe even in Green Bay. Absolutely one of the best to ever play.

  12. DD would likely be starter on all but a few teams. The Packers’ receiving corps is just that good. I hope he retires if they don’t bring him back as I would absolutely hate to see him in a different uniform.

  13. fuglyflorio says:Jan 11, 2013 11:06 AM

    Sort of … what he really said was, “I’ll do anything … just keep paying me.”

    You meant ‘pLaying’ right???

  14. Every time I’ve seen him thrown to this year, I’ve wondered why they don’t play him any more.

    His speed isn’t off the charts, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better route runner and his hands are still fantastic.

    Too bad. I really hope he finds a way to contribute. He’s one of the most likable people in the NFL and definitely wins best smile.

  15. as a Redskins fan as good as Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are. i hope we sign them. i think theyre 2 best receivers in league

  16. just a class dude. Not too many players make the NFL from Alcorn St but he has risen to be the leading receiver in history of one of the most cherished professional franchises in the world today.
    743 receptions for over 10K in yardage. How many of the divas today would have the dignity to ask to play on specials in the playoffs just to get on the field.
    He could still help a team that isnt as deep as GB at WR.

  17. The Packers’ last active player is basically between 3 positions:

    – 3rd string RB (Green or Starks)
    – Special Teamer/Reserve LB (Terrell Manning)
    – 5th/6th WR (Driver)

    The problem is that a couple in-game injuries to either RB or LB would leave them in a pretty bad spot. A couple of injuries at WR wouldn’t be good, but a TE could be split out wide in a pinch.

    I think if he is active they will roll the dice with 2 RB. In an emergency could use Cobb/Kuhn there.

  18. Drivers a classy player who deserves more playing time. Alot of other teams could start this guy. Rodgers could take a cue from him and stop whining when things don’t go his way.

  19. @fuglyflorio

    Shut your mouth, Donald Driver is the definition of class. He is the ultimate teammate and never argues or fights with team decisions. Your terrible team would be lucky to even have a guy like Donald.

  20. britishraven says:
    Jan 11, 2013 11:17 AM
    Sad to see a great player going out this like.

    ——————–

    Really? I was thinking the opposite. What’s actually sad is when a formerly great player doesn’t realize they’re over the hill and can’t understand why they aren’t starting. Driver thinks he can still play, but he also knows he’s lost a step and the Packers receiving corps is very deep. He’s willing to help on special teams if needed, though. There’s nothing sad about that.

  21. I was at the game in Lambeau when the Packers humiliated the Bears this year, the highlight of the game was DD’s touchdown and dance celebration. Hope I am there when DD is added to the Ring of Honor.

  22. Favre provided a very strong “don’t let this happen to you” message to the current crop of Packer superstars when he ruined his legacy forever with his late career diva theatrics.

  23. Drivers attitude is above reproach. I hope he coaches or something his smile is priceless.

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