Donald Driver: a Brief Retrospective

Keep smiling, Donald!

Keep smiling, Donald!

How do you summarize the career of one of the greatest players to wear a particular team’s uniform? Well, certainly not all at once. It’s probably best to remember him slowly, reflecting on his accomplishments and recalling notable moments and stats measuring what he’s done.

That’s certainly the case with Donald Driver, at least, a remarkable wide receiver with a megawatt smile and sprightly legs that carried him well past the age when most players begin to decline.

For example, did you know Driver caught exactly 5,000 yards worth of passes at Lambeau Field over his career? Or that his streak of 133 consecutive games with a reception puts him first (where else) in franchise history by nearly two seasons worth of games? (Sterling Sharpe is second with a 103 game streak.)

Did you know that Donald Driver didn’t always wear his now-famous number 80? Nope…he used to be number 13, back when he was a rookie and at the bottom of a long climb to the top of the depth chart.

Did you know he snagged his first catch against the Carolina Panthers on December 12, 1999. Oddly, Driver would victimize the Panthers again in 2011, when he surpassed James Lofton‘s career yardage mark against Carolina in Week 2 of the 2011.

This is the best way to remember a man who may quickly become a legend. One fact at a time. One story at a time. One highlight at a time.

Like this sticky fingered grab against the Rams:

Or this catch and run, when the legs were perhaps a bit more fresh:

Maybe you’d like to go even longer than 71 yards. How long? Well, how about 85 yards…the longest regular season touchdown of Driver’s career.

You’ll notice I said the longest regular season touchdown of Driver’s career. He went for 90 in the playoffs once, in what would be Brett Favre‘s last game as a Packer.

And don’t forget, perhaps the greatest run after a catch in Packer history.

We’ll miss you Donald, for your smile, your energy, and your dancing ability. We’ll miss your jitterbug runs after the catch. We’ll miss your team-first attitude. We’ll miss the Super Bowl runs and the records. Thanks for the memories.

For more on Donald Driver, check out his career stat summary, courtesy of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, or the Packers.com complete coverage.

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