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Friday, August 6, 2010
Packers camp Day 2: Driver in rare air

By Kevin Seifert

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Donald Driver wasn't even on my list of players to watch this week at Green Bay Packers training camp. Driver has been so steady for so long -- by my count, he's missed two games in the past eight seasons -- that you almost forget he's on the practice field.

Friday, however, we were reminded just how rare a player Driver is. Six months after his 35th birthday, Driver signed a two-year contract extension that virtually ensures his career will continue into a 14th season. It's not often that a team commits new money to a player of Driver's age, but his conditioning and work ethic convinced he Packers he will be a productive player as he approaches age 38. Offseason surgery on both knees has given him new life this summer, and now the question is whether he will sign another extension withthe Packers or if he will jump to the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 to play a few more seasons with quarterback Brett Favre.


Actually, Driver said: "Now I'm going to retire as a Packer, and that's something I've dreamed of for a long time."

Not that it was much of a question beforehand, but it should be noted that Driver has looked fresh and full of life in the practices I watched after doctors cleaned up both knees. He remains a fixture in the starting lineup, holding off a hard-charging Jordy Nelson, and said "I feel so much better" than in recent summers.

"The aches and pains, you're going to have those just because it's training camp," Driver said. "But outside of that, my knees feel good. I've been playing well, and that's what you want. You want to just be able to play at a high level."

Driver has said he wants to play until he is 40, but even he laughed about that hope on Friday. After all, getting to 38 would be an awfully nice accomplishment in itself.

"If the Lord tells me at 38 when my contract is up to keep playing, then I will," Driver said. "But if not, I'll retire. And I'll be happy about it."

The Driver news provided a surprise ending to our second day in Packers camp. Let's move on to some practice observations and notes: