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What Is Up With Donald Driver?

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What Is Up With Donald Driver?


The first half of the year, all the talk was about how he was playing better than he had his entire career. Now? He's dropping balls every game and has become almost an afterthought in the offense.

I have no explanations. Interested to hear your takes. Quite frankly, I'm baffled.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

IronMan's picture

After looking at his game logs, his drop off in production didn't really start until week 13. The last 4 games he has had 3,2,3,and 3 catches. As far as dropped passes, it seems to be a team epidemic.

lmills's picture

I think he's realizing that he's second fiddle. Maybe even third, Behind Finley and Jennings. Not sure how much that bothers him, but it seems to be at least a little bit.

Close-talker's picture

We were asking the same thing about Jennings up until a few weeks ago. Donald has had some bad plays, bad drops, but luckily Greg has come on to pick up the slack.

It also doesn't help that Rodgers is starting off games shaky and inaccurate. Also, Finley is taking away catches but that's not really a bad thing. McCarthy is also making a legitimate effort to run the ball a little more.

The cliche thing to say is that he's wearing down with his old age. And that may be. Get a good look now, because Donald Driver is the kind of receiver that is the last of his kind. It's going to be next to impossible to replace his kind of skill set.

But I don't think we've seen the last of Driver this season. I think he shows up big in the next two or possibly three weeks.

packeraaron's picture

lmills - Silverstien mentioned that Driver was a bit sullen with the media a few weeks ago in the locker room, which he never is, when the topic of Finley came up. I'm wondering how much that comes into play here, esp in light of how Bedrad had mentioned back a few years ago how Driver kind of keeps his distance off the field and in the offseason with the other receivers.

lmills's picture

nagler- any possibility that he feels too old and out of touch with the younger players?? Kind of like Favre felt before going and ruining his image with the Vikings. (sorry, had to get that in there)

Robert Greenfield's picture

Have to agree with lmills here. Like a lot of WRs, Driver is an alpha male. I don't think he's used to being supporting cast rather than the go-to guy. The good news is that this can open up a keg of potential for him in the playoffs. I'm confident he'll step up.

packeraaron's picture

lmills - think that's a part of it. Not sure how big...

CSS's picture

Packer Receivers have 41 drops on the season, most in the NFL.

packerslinbacker's picture

yes he has drop a lot but he will improve on that next year

Richard Chang's picture

It's cause he stopped doing his patented first down dance. He's gotta bring back the shoulder shimmy-first down-kick!

IronMan's picture

CSS where did you find that stat?

Dilligaff's picture

As simple as the fact we have too many receivers and an O-line that can only block so long. I think when you mention DD you can bring Jordy Nelson in the same conversation. The emergence of J.
Finley combined with our O-line has taken away opportunities from all our offensive weapons.

Packnic's picture

easy answer. sandbagging.

CSS's picture

IronMan - Stats LLC posts the information and they require a subscription. Also, I'm wrong. The Chiefs lead the league with 46 drops, Packers are 2nd with 41.

NickGBP's picture

You'd think Finley being the new big target would push Driver to work even harder. He always tells the story about his arrival to the league (as well as his upbringing) where noone gave him a chance and how that feeds him to prove them wrong. I'd think an issue like this (if there is in fact any truth to it) would sort itself out because of Driver's personality...if it was true he'd put even more effort and time in to be THE guy.
I just don't think Driver is the type of guy to 'give up' with a thing like this. There was all the talk in 2007 when Jennings was the new #1 replacing the aging Driver, yet he said that motivated him to do even better. I don't think a TE would be any different. There might be something else to it though. I think his (reportedly) sour reaction to Finley is just the fact that, to be honest, Finley doesn't seem like a real standup guy off the field. He's the opposite of a Donald Driver. He's a me first guy. Not to the level of a TO or anything but it's clear that he is. That probably doesnt sit right with Driver, so I think that has more to do with Drivers (again, reported) dislike of him than taking carries away from him...

PackersThad's picture

All these things you guys are saying about DD, goes against what I see of him on the field! He seems to be the de facto leader of the receiving (WR & TE) group, he's always the first one there to celebrate, and is always rushing downfield to block for receivers on the move!

My belief is that Driver had to carry a substantial portion of the load for the first 13 games of the season because Jennings was being blanketed, and Finley still was coming into his own. Everyone keeps mentioning his age, but it would make sense that he would hit a wall (similar to rookies not used to playing 16 games). I think he'll be primed for the playoffs!

And yes, he should bring back the first down shimmy!!

eric's picture

AR-12 is way too smart of a guy to keep DD out of the mix. When team's try to shut down Finley in the playoff's look for DD to have some big game's.

bomdad's picture

In McSpeak: either he's not winning his one on one battles or the gameplan is not taking advantage of his personnel package.
He's over 1000 yards, right?
I think he was getting more looks because Jones and Jordy were out for stretches.

Ron LC's picture

With some of the hits he had taken and seeming difficulty holding on to the ball recently, wouldn't be surprised if there's a minor arm/hand injury involved. He had a real problem against the Steelers with dropped balls. DD is not the kind of guy who gets jealous and resents the play of others. In short, he is a class act.

bomdad's picture

Ron, you could be on to something. DD keeps his maladies on the down-low. Was it this past offseason he came out with an admission that his ankle was injured for the better part of last season?

retiredgrampa's picture

Ericc is right. Finley will now be getting much more attention as will Jennings. I expect Driver to benefit in the playoffs. We NEVER get less than his best from Donald.

PACKERS's picture

Quite simply, I think Driver's just getting old. He's well into his thirties, which is when most football players are past their prime. I would not be surprised if he retires this year or next year.

Oppy's picture

I think that Donald Driver has been dropping the ball a bunch this year because shit happens.
No, Seriously. That's all there is to it. Dude is dropping more balls than normal because shit happens.
No rhyme or reason to it. I don't think it's an indicator of waning talent or some deep-seeded, latent issue. He's fine, just has had the dropsies.

PackersRS's picture

What Oppy said.

fish's picture

What Oppy said also.

Drivers still better than most so he still has a few more productive years left providing he stays healthy.

LACheez's picture

has anyone actually went back and looked at the last few games to see exactly what happened on his drops? some of them maybe could have been catches...but some were also probably not thrown all that well. and...driver was having huge games in the beginning and middle of the season - maybe DB's were showing him a little more respect with their coverage? i think DD is just as good as he ever was...but then again, i'm pretty optimistic when it comes to the Pack.

Cuphound's picture

I think it's the cold affecting the football. It's not just DD, either. It's just that Driver's a god and when the gods drop a football, we mortals notice.
I've always felt that Jennings and Rodgers had the same sort of connection that Driver and Favre did going back to that first preseason game. Favre and Driver just connected. It was just chemistry. It was amazing.
It took a while for Driver and Rodgers to connect at first. The fact that they did regularly is a testament to the quality of both players. Still, there's a distinction between natural chemistry and professionalism.
I hope that Driver doesn't go anywhere anytime soon. I'd miss him like hell and this team has had enough "things will never be the same again" moments for a while. I know we can't hold back time. Still, I don't want to look a post-Driver Packers team in the face any earlier than I have to.

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