Jennings, Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Gurley, Borel.
Those are the names most people point to when they talk about the Green Bay Packers wide receiver position.
But one name, Donald Driver’s, keeps getting erased. Nobody feels he has a chance to make the team – if he is even invited back for an opportunity.
But don’t tell Head Coach Mike McCarthy that. “I would anticipate he would be involved in the workouts next week,” McCarthy said when asked about Driver’s role with the team.
After winning Dancing with the Stars, Driver is now focusing on the football field and is hoping, as he has said all along, that his role will be with the Green Bay Packers. Could we bear to see him in any other colors? We all know how we felt when Brett Favre was wearing other colors.
While Driver is an entirely different situation than that of Favre, seeing him move on would be disappointing and disturbing. To me, it is incumbent on the Packers to do all they can to keep the 37-year-old in the fold.
Most will say the NFL is a business with the ultimate goal to win a Super Bowl. To do that, you need the best players on the field.
And while most will say the Packers would have a better chance of winning a Super Bowl by keeping their young studs, Borel and Gurley, over Driver. With that, I don’t agree.
I can certainly see the team keeping Gurley as he holds the upper hand over Borel. But to keep Borel over Driver? That would be a mistake.
Yes, Driver had his least productive season last year with 37 catches. But remember back on some of those catches … some of them were huge and clutch. Can the Packers rely on rookies to make the same types of plays? No way. Can they rely on rookies to lead in the locker room like a Donald Driver? No way.
Yes, Driver needs to take a pay cut – he’s already said he would. That end of the situation shouldn’t even play into the Packers’ decision. Get him into camp, let him compete and then make a decision about the roster spot. If the rookies shine so much as to make the decision easy, then keep the rookies. If Driver comes in and does what he’s always done, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be on the field when the Packers play host to the West Division Champions San Francisco 49ers on opening day.
Donald Driver has fast become the face of the franchise … at least he’s right up there with Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson.
And so, my guess is that the pundits will continue to hammer on the fact that the depth of the Packers’ wide receiver position will leave Driver as the lone man out, I counter by saying all that talk will only provide even more incentive for the veteran.
In fact, I’m going out on a limb here by saying the Packers will not only keep him, but he will help lead this team to another World Championship. When he does so, then he will certainly retire as not only one of the Packers most popular players, but one that has a legitimate shot at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Not bad for a seventh round draft choice.