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Quotebook: Reactions to Donald Driver's retirement

Feb. 5, 2013
 
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“It’s the end of a great career. A guy I was fortunate enough to play with for eight years, spent a lot of time together on the field, I’ve been able to be a part of some of the stuff he does, charity work, just seeing where his heart’s at. He’s a great man who had a great career on the field. He also had a lasting impact that’s going to continue on off the field. He’s got a lot to be proud of. He’s got a great legacy intact. Fans love him. He had a great career on the field. I was able to be a part of some pretty incredible plays with him on the field and I’ll always remember those.

“I wish him the best. I know he’s going to be able to make a seamless transition to whatever he wants to do, whether it’s entertainment like “Dancing With the Stars” or something else. He’s going to be great.”

— Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback

“His drive, no matter how old, (is what sticks out). No matter how many people came in, he just was very consistent and dependable, and expected a lot out of himself. You could see him jumping in the stands with the Lambeau Leap, you get used to seeing him do that. His love for the game and just being consistent and demanding his very best — he was a very dependable player and hard working and inspired people around him to play at that same level as well.”

— Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, former Packers defensive end

“I’m like, ‘Why do you (coaches) keep sending this kid over the middle?’ And they go, ‘We draw up these plays for you (defensive guys), and we have to find somebody who will go in there.’ Out of all the receivers, he’s the only guy, maybe two or three guys in the league, that catch the majority of their balls between the numbers. Defenses value that. We said he’s a tough son of gun.”

— LeRoy Butler, former Packers safety

“(He has) the toughness, the determination to succeed. He was not going to not succeed. … He’s kind of a genetic freak. I think he’s got some of that Adrian Peterson, no body fat.”

— Alonzo Highsmith, Packers senior personnel executive

“The bottom line is Donald right off the bat was a football player. He was competitive, he was a worker. … He was just a football player that made himself better. Some guys that are B players continue to always be a B player until they start descending to a C and D player. Donald is one of those guys that kept ascending.”

— Reggie McKenzie, former Packers personnel executive and current Oakland Raiders general manager

“It’s been a great pleasure getting to know Donald over these years. His contribution to the history of the Green Bay Packers has been extraordinary. I am honored to congratulate him on all of his achievements on and off the field.”

— Bart Starr, Hall of Fame Packers quarterback

Comments via Twitter

“Start to finish are qualities that embody Packer football and The brand of the NFL. All the many accolades on the field come up short to what he represented off the field as a Father, husband and leader in the community. I’m grateful for the honor to play with you homie…

“And you gave me my first ride home to the hotel my first week in Green Bay. So good looks lol @Donald_Driver80 with those pearly Whites haha…”

— Ryan Grant, Packers running back

“It’s been an honor to play with @Donald_Driver80 for the last three years. Donald wasn’t only a great player but is a great person as well.”

— Bryan Bulaga, Packers right tackle

“@Donald_Driver80 It’s been an honor to have played with you this year. Thanks for the wisdom you have passed. The name will carry on in GB.”

— Nick Perry, Packers outside linebacker

“@Donald_Driver80 a Mentor & Role Model. Thanks 4 the life lessons. Truly an honor 2 have played with u. #retire80”

— Randall Cobb, Packers wide receiver and returner

“Remember @Donald_Driver80 about 10th on depth chart coming in. Kept passing bigger, stronger WRs; that skinny body never got hurt!”

— Andrew Brandt, former Packers vice president of finance

“@Donald_Driver80 it was a pleasure to share the field with you for 4 years! Great player, tremendous person. #retire80”

— T.J. Lang, Packers right guard

“What a privilege it has been playing with @Donald_Driver80 for these last six years. Great teammate and man. Gonna miss ya Drive. #retire80”

— Mason Crosby, Packers kicker

“Donald Driver, I appreciate your commitment to this great game! :-)”

— Jerry Rice, Hall of Fame wide receiver

“Can’t believe Donald Driver is retiring he still had so much left! Packers must have offered him a retiring package.”

— Nick Barnett, former Packers linebacker

“Who else will I have deep philosophical discussions with before practice now?? Gonna miss you Drive! Definition of a pro!”

— Tom Crabtree, Packers tight end

“Salute My Man D Driver. A Great Person And Even Better Teammate! Gonna Miss The Days Before Practice And During Meetings! @Donald_Driver80”

— Brandon Bostick, Packers tight end

“A husband, father, teammate, mentor, friend...but most importantly Man of God. Thanks for being you brother man! #retire80”

— B.J. Coleman, Packers quarterback

“Big Salute to @Donald_Driver80 a Great WR, Great Teammate, and Positive Role model.”

— Morgan Burnett, Packers safety

Donald Driver on Donald Driver

“After 14 years in the NFL, I have decided to retire. It’s been an amazing journey, thank you for all of your love and support! #Packer4Life”

— Driver with his first comment on Twitter after announcing his retirement

“I’ve always said I never want to wear another uniform. I’ve always said that I owe it to the fans to retire as a Packer. I feel like I can still play, but if I can’t play for my organization, then I can’t play for anyone else.”

— Driver on his time with the Packers

“That’s my second home. I’m born and raised in Houston, Texas, but Wisconsin is always going to be a home for me, and I’ll always be back.”

— Driver on Wisconsin

“I just kind of knew in his eyes. When you’ve known a guy for so long and you’re friends, it’s hard for him to tell you that they’re not going to bring me back. I just kind of looked at him and I just kind of knew that that’s what they were going to do.”

— Driver on his final conversation with Mike McCarthy and knowing his time in Green Bay was up.

“Do I feel like I can still play? Yes, but at the end of the day, I owe it to the fans to put the cleats up. I promised them years ago that I would never wear nothing but green and gold, so I owe it to them to walk away.”

— Driver on his decision to retire

“I just wanted to make it easy on the organization, not put any pressure on them. Just be able to walk away on my own terms and not have them say, ‘We’re not going to bring you back.’ ”

— Driver on choosing to retire rather than testing free agency

“I’m happy with the decision I made. It will be a little tougher on Feb. 6. I’m going to get emotional. I’m trying not to get too emotional today, but Feb. 6 I know will be emotional.”

— Driver on retirement

“It means the world. Not too many guys get to play for one organization. What I feel like I’ve done on and off the field has truly been a blessing.”

— Driver on playing in Green Bay all 14 years

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
575 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1015 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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