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Donald Driver says he wasn’t talking about Aaron Rodgers

Donald Driver Aaron RodgersLifetime Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver joined the chorus of those questioning the leadership of Aaron Rodgers, but then he backtracked from his remarks.

In an interview with ESPN Radio on Thursday, Driver took a stab at interpreting what former Packers receiver Greg Jennings meant when he said it was difficult for Rodgers to hold himself accountable. Driver, who said Jennings spent more time with Rodgers than he did, believes Jennings’ issue may have been that Rodgers would not take the fall for his receivers when the receivers made mistakes. Maybe Driver and Jennings feel like that’s one of the responsibilities of being a leader.

Even though Driver made the comments on the radio and was clearly talking about his ex-teammate, the now-retired receiver quickly addressed his comments via his Twitter account, denying he was talking about Rodgers and blaming the media.

Seriously Driver, that’s pathetic. Just man up and own your comments. You were clearly saying Rodgers doesn’t take the fall for his receivers. That’s fine. At least now there is a concrete example of what Jennings and Jermichael Finley’s agent may have been talking about.

I seriously wonder how these guys can have so many problems with the best quarterback in the league, but if they’re going to open their mouths, they need to stand by it.

Donald Driver: Aaron Rodgers didn’t like taking pressure off his receivers

Donald-Driver-Prefers-Aaron-Rodgers-Over-Brett-FavreMinnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings has sounded like a bitter ex-girlfriend since he left the Green Bay Packers. He signed a massive contract with the Vikings, but it seems to genuinely bother him that Green Bay did not make an effort to bring him back. As a result, he has made some controversial comments about Aaron Rodgers not wanting to hold himself accountable. He also refused to mention Aaron by name at one point.

But there may be some merit to the whole accountability thing. During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” Thursday morning, former Packers receiver Donald Driver made some interesting comments that gave Jennings’ remarks credibility.

“We’ve always said that the quarterback is the one that needs to take the pressure off everyone else,” Driver said, via ESPN.com “If a guy runs the wrong route, it’s easy for the quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I told him to run that route’ than for the guy to be like, ‘Well, I ran the wrong route.’ Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off the guys so we won’t look bad, but he didn’t want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it.

“But I think that’s the difference. You want that leadership, and I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it. You have to earn that respect at the end of the day, and I think that’s what Greg was probably referring to.”

Rodgers is a Super Bowl MVP and arguably the best quarterback in the league, but that makes two former receivers now who have questioned his leadership abilities. Jennings’ remarks sounded like sour grapes, but Driver is considered one of the classiest and most respected players in Green Bay history.

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Donald Driver would come out of retirement for the Green Bay Packers

Donald-Driver-PackersDonald Driver retired from football four months ago, but the former Green Bay Packers star says that has not stopped a number of NFL teams from calling him to see if they can coax him into continuing his career. While the 38-year-old has not completely ruled out returning to football, he says he would never play his home games anywhere but Lambeau Field.

When speaking to reporters before his sixth annual charity softball game over the weekend, Driver explained what it would take to get him to come out of retirement.

“I think the thing is, if you have the itch to continue to play, then it doesn’t matter who you play for, because that’s what you want to do,” Driver said, via FOX Sports Wisconsin. “You just want to play the game. I love the game, but I only love one team. When you love the game, you’ll play for anybody. Anybody who offers you something, you’re willing to step on the field and play for them.

“I decided that I love one team. But I do love the game. At the end of the day, if I get that itch, it would only be for the green and gold.”

And Driver insists his comments are more than just a compliment to the team where he spent his entire 14-year career. If the Packers still wanted him on the roster, he wouldn’t mind going through a 15th training camp.

“If the Packers called me and said, ‘Drive, come back to training camp,’ I’d be back for training camp,” he said. “But until then, I’ll be sitting at home and just watching football.”

Driver said he spoke to other former NFL players who told him he would never get the same love and respect from another team as he got from the Packers. As this 78-year-old fan recently reminded us, Driver was a huge fan favorite during his career with Green Bay. The team has gotten younger and more explosive at receiver, which basically signaled the end of his career. There’s nothing wrong with knowing when to call it quits.

Donald Driver surprises Angie LeRoy, his 78-year-old biggest fan (Video)

Donald-Driver-surprises-fanDonald Driver spent all 14 years of his career with the Green Bay Packers, and he is one of the most popular players in team history. While there are plenty of No. 80 jerseys floating around the Green Bay area at the moment, the owner of one of them may be his biggest fan.

Angie LeRoy, a 78-year-old cancer survivor from Bellevue, recently decorated her door to honor Driver and his impending retirement. She tried and was unable to score tickets to his official retirement party, but she had a more simple wish anyway.

“He is my idol,” LeRoy said according to FOX 11. “I was a cancer survivor, and I just hope someday I can get a big hug from him.”

Her wish came true on Wednesday. Before Driver left Green Bay with his family, he paid LeRoy a surprise visit and gave her the hug she has been waiting for. He also autographed a number of items for her, including the No. 80 jersey that she happened to be wearing when Driver knocked on her door.

To top it all off, a FOX 11 viewer gave LeRoy an extra ticket to Driver’s retirement ceremony and she was able to attend. The gesture from Driver proves that he’s a class act, not that we weren’t already aware of that.

H/T Deadspin

Donald Driver volunteers to play special teams against 49ers

Donald-Driver-PackersDonald Driver is in his 14th season with the Green Bay Packers. He is the team’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and was part of a Super Bowl championship in 2011. Throughout the mid-2000s, Driver was one of the most productive players on the team. But over the past few seasons, age has caught up to the four-time Pro Bowler.

Driver has only caught eight passes this season and has not recorded a catch since Nov. 18. He was inactive for the Packers’ playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings last weekend, but the 37-year-old has refused to complain. In fact, he’s even willing to contribute on special teams this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers if it means helping the team win.

“I said, ‘I’d like to play special teams if you guys need me,’” Driver told 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.”

Driver remains unsure if he will be active this weekend, but head coach Mike McCarthy applauded the way he has handled himself like a professional.

“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,” 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.”

It can’t be easy for a player that was once at the top of the food chain to watch younger guys pass him by, but Driver has dealt with it better than most others would in his position. If the Packers go on to win a Super Bowl, I’m sure he’ll consider his patience extremely worthwhile.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Donald Driver says winning ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is same as winning Super Bowl

Donald Driver reached the pinnacle as a football player when he won a Super Bowl with the Packers two seasons ago. On Tuesday night, he won the coveted “Dancing With the Stars” mirrorball trophy, and he compared the experience to capturing the Lombardi Trophy.

“I think it’s the same,” he told PEOPLE backstage. “You have great moments [throughout both experiences].”

“It took me 13 years to win a Super Bowl. But it only took me one season to win a mirror ball. I’ve been watching the show for a long time and now I know what J.R. felt last year. That is truly something special. I feel the same way. Right now I’m on cloud nine.”

Driver spent 13 years building an impressive football resume and it only took one quote to ruin all that. Yup, we might as well revoke Driver’s man card for that statement. Sure we’ve heard how difficult and demanding it is to be a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” and Lawrence Taylor said it’s even more demanding than football, but come on, that’s just an insult to all Driver’s teammates.

Helmet knock to Hot Clicks

Donald Driver Likes Playing with Aaron Rodgers Over Brett Favre

Donald Driver has been fortunate to enjoy a tremendous amount of consistency throughout his 13 years in the NFL.  He has played his entire career in Green Bay and only had to adjust to two quarterbacks — Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre.  He has enjoyed success with both under center, so you might assume he would take the high road when asked which of the two he prefers playing with.  Guess again.

“I’ve played with two quarterbacks,” Driver said Wednesday according to the USA Today. “One just went out there and did what he did, and he wasn’t patient at all. But Aaron takes what the defense gives him, and that’s the type of guy you want.”

Statistically, Driver had the best seasons of his career when Favre was throwing to him.  But it’s easy to pick Rodgers over Favre given the current circumstances.  Rodgers has been the best quarterback in the NFL by far this season, and he certainly has the potential to enjoy more success in his career than Favre.  Also, it makes it easier to pick the guy who has said all the right things over the one who pisses everyone off annually and has no problem taking a public shot as his successor.

From a football standpoint, Rodgers is certainly more careful with the ball.  You don’t need to crunch Favre’s career numbers to know he never had a ratio of 28 touchdowns to only three interceptions at any point in his career.  Playing with Rodgers over Favre would be more enjoyable for any NFL receiver at this particular point in Rodgers’ career.  The fact that Favre is a d-bag only gives Aaron a further boost.