Donald Driver Talks About Jordan Love, Packers Wide Receivers, and Matt LaFleur

Green Bay Packers legend Donald Driver is renowned for his involvement in the community, and just because he’s retired, doesn’t mean he’s stopped giving back. This year, Driver is teaming up with Master Lock to launch their “Community Champions” program. Through September 1, Master Lock will recognize role models through a call for online story submissions, spotlighting those who go above and beyond for a chance to win big prizes.

If you know someone who embodies what it means to be a hero within their community, visit masterlock.com/100-years/community-champions and upload their photo along with a story that shares their impact. The grand prize winner will receive 1) $5,000 cash, 2) a Master Lock product donation to be used in their community, and 3) a $1,000 donation to one of Master Lock's pre-selected charities supporting education, the environment, and basic human needs. Five honorees will also receive 1) $500 cash, 2) $500 in product, and 3) $500 to one of the three pre-selected charities.  

I was able to interview Driver about all things Packers, including Jordan Love, Green Bay’s situation at wide receiver, and what he thinks about Matt LaFleur’s offense.

Driver was a part of the transition from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, which gives him an interesting perspective toward the current quarterback situation in Green Bay. Driver was already an established Pro-Bowl receiver when the reins were handed to Rodgers, and he continued to produce after Rodgers took over. Driver had back-to-back seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards while catching passes from Rodgers, but he never took it upon himself to offer guidance to his new starting quarterback. According to Driver, the best thing for a young player is to become a sponge.

“I never said anything to Aaron,” said Driver. “Jordan Love just has to sit back and watch—see what it takes to be a champion and see what it takes to be an elite player in the NFL, and I think he can do that.”

Driver is higher on Love than most of the fanbase. Driver practiced with Rodgers for years before he became the starter, witnessing his development first hand. When he first arrived in Green Bay, Rodgers was nowhere close to the player he is today. Driver said it takes trust and opportunity for a player to reach their full potential, and that also applies to Love.

As Driver watched the 2020 NFL Draft unfold and the Packers announced Love as the 26th overall pick, he shared the same reaction as most viewers.  

“I was shocked just like everyone else was that they didn’t go out and get a receiver, but I think that’s what the organization is going to do, they always build in-house, and they’ve been very successful doing it that way,” he said.

Driver, having been with the team for 14 years, knows how things work in Green Bay. The Packers have been successful in player development than other franchises and, as a result, rarely dip their toe into free agency.

It has brought the team success in the form of division titles and NFC Championship appearances, but they are still waiting to get over the final hump. Perhaps they can do something that will help this team reach the Super Bowl next year by addressing their needs via the draft. Among the most pressing needs is finding a wide receiver who can help this offense in the near future.

Undoubtedly, Green Bay has to address the wide receiver position in this year’s draft. No one is under contract following the 2021 season, and now is the time to get new faces in the building to start developing new pass catchers. Maybe this is the year they try something different. Before Driver retired in 2013, the team spent multiple draft picks on receivers with varying skill sets. Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb were all drafted during Driver’s career, but each one brought something different to the offense.

When you look at Green Bay’s current group of wide receivers, they clearly have a type. You need to be big, long and have good straight-line speed. However, Driver thinks the offense could benefit from a different skillset, particularly a slot receiver, who can serve as a chains mover.

“We didn’t have a lot of big guys when I played,” Driver said. “I think they do need someone they can trust to put in the slot and go across the middle because I think that is something they are lacking right now.”

Driver went on to point out how the offense is too reliant on big plays. Whether it’s targeting Davante Adams or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers place a strong emphasis on getting chunk plays. It worked out well in 2020, but in the future, opposing defenses may try to limit big plays. That could present problems if Green Bay doesn’t have another receiver outside of Adams who can get open underneath and create yards after the catch.

“They need that guy that can get in the dirt and get grimy,” as Driver put it.

Over the last two seasons, Driver has enjoyed watching Matt LaFleur’s offense, and his thoughts should make Packers fans feel good about what they have in their head coach.

“Matt has an amazing offense scheme,” he said. “I’ve watched his scheme, and I love it.”

Armed with one of the best coaches in the game and an MVP quarterback, Driver doesn’t think it will take much for this team to get over the hump and back to the Super Bowl.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (27)

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mnbadger's picture

April 16, 2021 at 12:14 pm

Nice to hear DD's perspective. He's got more credibility on most Packers' subjects than anybody else I can think of. GPG

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 16, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Good to read thoughts from Double D. He was fun to watch on the field and on the dance floor.

I saw him at World Dairy Expo making the rounds as a celebrity for some Dairy Supply Company. I shook his hand then someone yelled out "shouldn't you be practicing for Dancing with the Stars?" He smiled and said "my dance partner is here in Madison and after I am done here I have about 4 hours of work ahead with her."

I would like to see the best 7th round picks in NFL history in the 7 round draft. DD has to be one of the tops.

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PatrickGB's picture

April 16, 2021 at 01:00 pm

It’s hard to ignore the need for a WR in 2022. And the cap crunch makes it harder to resign our own. Adams will command a huge payday.
Methinks that we drafted a possible starting QB a year or two early but who knows. In any case my hope is that not too many feathers were ruffled and that Love grows into the position or gets traded if he does not. We have a couple of years to figure it out.

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PF4L's picture

April 16, 2021 at 01:26 pm

So what did Driver say...we need a #2 receiver?

“I think they do need someone they can trust to put in the slot and go across the middle because I think that is something they are lacking right now.” - DD

Where have i heard that before?

When Driver speaks of how the Packers operate, building in house, developing their own, etc.
I think he's reflecting back to when he played.

You would assume he has been following the drafts picks from 2011 on...but then you wonder.

The receivers mentioned in the article. Just to be clear, Cobb, Jordy, Jennings were 2nd round picks, Jones a 3rd round pick.
Also....during Drivers time in Green Bay, they drafted Ferguson (2nd round), and Walker (1st round).
Also just to add...Adams was a 2nd round pick.

That's a fairly obvious contrast...
During Drivers career...the Packers drafted 6 receivers in the 1st 3 rounds.

In the last 9 years, the Packers have drafted 1 receiver in the first 3 rounds...total

So where we are right now concerning our receiver talent should shock....nobody.

But then again...some readers here contend we don't need a another receiver..so what do i know.

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Fabio's picture

April 16, 2021 at 03:55 pm

The receiver (Higgins, Pittman Jr, Shenault !!, Claypool !!!) we had to choose the past season in the first round !!!
Now we would have a WR that could be a starter (we could separate from DA in 2022) and we could concentrate in the first 3 rounds in CB OL DL LB .....
Instead we have Love. I do not agree with the choice, but it has now been made and now I expect WR and players to be drafted for him as they do when betting on a new Q (unless BG disowns himself with serious later consequences). I really hope JL can be a great player for Green Bay because I think his takeover is designed, but I dream that ARod will take us to SB, lead the team for another 4 years and blow BG's ideas bank
Greetings from Italy
Go Pack Go

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BJP's picture

April 16, 2021 at 05:58 pm

The Packers defense is keeping them out of the Super Bowl not the offense.

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YouAskedForThis's picture

April 16, 2021 at 05:59 pm

Still contend that Terrance Murphy would have been a good one.

Tough luck on his career ending before it started.

And yes, another WR picked in the 2nd round (2005).

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fastmoving's picture

April 17, 2021 at 04:03 am

Yeah Driver was a first round pick! Just like bill Schroeder and Freemann? And Ferguson was a hell of 2 round world beater. Even back than you should have watched at least one Packer game.
We got one of the best WR groups in the leage and some golf experts cant see. This is more than orange dumb and neandertal weak.
But at least you know that you dont know anything......first ray of light for the smarties. But nice if you know what DD meant.
DD was right, Love was a no brainer at that spot and who knows something about sports in generall can see that.
But you cant argue with the "waste my prime" crybabies.....they just want to compain about everything and blame everyone.......great people all around. Pretty orange

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PF4L's picture

April 17, 2021 at 06:54 am

And who said Driver was a first round pick?

Or do you often just talk through your a..?

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Lphill's picture

April 16, 2021 at 06:40 pm

Rodgers should walk away now and take the Jeopardy job , he owes the Packers nothing .

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Oppy's picture

April 16, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Absolutely, if that what Rodgers wants to do, he should do it.
Just like if some day the Packers want to end the relationship, they should feel free to let Rodgers go.
Jobs are great that way.

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PF4L's picture

April 17, 2021 at 11:15 am

Yep...spot on Lphill and Oppy

If Rodgers wanted to retire, host a game show, play on another team, i don't think many would blame him.

He should do whatever makes him happy. I'm fairly certain he's earned it.

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NoNonsense's picture

April 17, 2021 at 04:33 pm

Yes hes earned somewhere around $200 million dollars from the Packers. He got his job exactly the same way Love got his. Hes been treated so poorly.

The Packers dont owe him anything more than his current salary so please give it a rest.

Lphill is just a Vikings fan posting on Packers website. Pay that fool no mind, always a negative Nancy.

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Oppy's picture

April 17, 2021 at 08:37 pm

He hasn't earned anything a player on a rookie contract hasn't.

He plays on the Packers as long as he and his employer both agree to terms.

When one or the other doesn't agree to terms any longer, the business relationship ends.

Period.

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fastmoving's picture

April 17, 2021 at 03:51 am

But most of all the Packers own AR nothing. Like you own any kind of school nothing....

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PF4L's picture

April 17, 2021 at 11:11 am

Stay in school kids! :)

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 22, 2021 at 08:30 am

And the Packers owe him nothing if he walks away.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

April 16, 2021 at 07:59 pm

This just in: we DID have the TEAM to get to & win a Super Bowl this season.
Our best players made rare errors to cost us that.

Davante dropped a TD. The short pass was far from perfect from Arod.
The great Aaron Jones fumbled to give TB a gift TD.
Savage allowed a 3rd & prayer Hail Mary.
And King sucks.

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cms's picture

April 16, 2021 at 09:36 pm

The Packers always have a player ready to make that "rare" error. So, is it rare?

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PF4L's picture

April 16, 2021 at 09:39 pm

"Our best players made rare errors to cost us that."

We have to play flawless/no mistake football... to win?
********************************

If Tom Brady threw 3 interceptions, do you think they win the NFCCG?

Yes, because they have the talent to overcome their mistakes.

You're welcome.

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PF4L's picture

April 17, 2021 at 03:49 pm

If Tom Brady threw 3 interceptions, do you think they win the NFCCG?

Yes, because they have the talent to overcome their mistakes.

You're welcome.

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NoNonsense's picture

April 17, 2021 at 04:47 pm

Rodgers had 3 opportunities to to move the ball and score points off those 3 INTs and he failed, he also had 3 shots from the 8 to score in the final few minute of that game and failed again.

Dont give me the not enough talent nonsense. It was enough talent to have the #1 offense in the league, and #1 seed in the playoffs. Could it be that Rodgers just seems to come up a little short in some the biggest moments of his career.

I dont mean to hate on Rodgers but you are forcing me to at this point with your mularkey.

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PF4L's picture

April 17, 2021 at 07:35 pm

I AGREE....

It's fairly obvious Rodgers was/is the problem.

He comes up short.

When Rodgers runs a play, the play lives or dies 100% on Rodgers, what the other 10 guys do on the play have no bearing whatsoever on the success or failure of the play.

This is a no malarkey zone.

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PF4L's picture

April 17, 2021 at 07:40 pm

If the Packers should win the game because they had 3 interceptions.

Shouldn't the Patriots then lose, because they threw 3 interceptions?

OR.....does the team with the talent to overcome their mistakes, win the game?

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HawkPacker's picture

April 18, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Defensive coaching was partly to blame as well.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 16, 2021 at 09:15 pm

Wish there were more quotes from Packer greats. Driver was a very good WR but his smile and positive attitude were his most amazing attributes. Would love hearing a story about some of the receivers like Driver and whether they stay in touch or visit Favre. How about old bag of donuts? Do these guys have a strong communication network or not?

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fastmoving's picture

April 17, 2021 at 04:11 am

Dont know anyone who wants to stay in touch with Favre. Maybe he sends them some dick pics or believes the Orange is a hardworking taxpayer. He is just good for a laught but in generall its just sad. Guns and drugs its all whats left of Favre, and stealing his own foundation money of course. Keeps puting his anti american propaganda in sports and tell the brave athletes to stick out.
Only the best divas................

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