Donald Driver Q&A

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver fielded questions from the media at the team's recent Fan Fest, sponsored in part by Packer Report. Driver touched on a few different topics, including Brett Favre's decision to continue playing football, Green Bay's loss of players in free agency, and what the departure of Randy Moss from the Minnesota Vikings means for the Packers.<p>

Here are some of Driver's comments to questions:

Q: Are you glad to see Favre back with the Packers?

Driver: "I'm happy he's back. I'm ready to get ready for the season and by having him back, it gives us another opportunity to get to the big show."

Q:When you gave him a hug on stage at Fan Fest, was that the first time you saw (Favre), and what did you talk about?

Driver: "That's the first time I saw him (since the end of the season). He asked, ‘When are you coming back to Mississippi?' I told him I'll be coming down in April. He told me to stop by the house and have some fun. I guess he's going to teach me how to hunt. I ain't learned yet, so I guess he's going to teach me (smiles)."

Q: When did you find out that Brett was coming back?

Driver: "I found out about it coming back from Mexico. I took my wife (Betina) to Mexico for our anniversary. On my way back, I got a phone call saying Brett was coming back. The first thing that came to my mind was a smile. I was just happy that I'd know I'd be able to play with him for another year and be able to tell my son (Cristian). My son is about to be 2 (years old). He'll know Brett a little bit more. I'll be able to tell my son and my grandkids that I played with the greatest quarterback in the National Football League for eight years."

Q: Did Brett joke around with you about your prediction that he wasn't going to return?

Driver: "He never said nothing like that. That was reverse psychology. That's all I did (smiles). I'm going to keep saying that to make sure he comes back, so when I'm done playing 13, 14 years, he has played 26 or something like that."

Q: Will losing Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera in free agency change the offense?

Driver: "If we can get some guys in free agency and the draft that can play well, I think we can fill those guys' (Wahle and Rivera) shoes. It's going to be hard. We'll miss those guys a lot. We've got to keep moving on regardless of the situation. Things happen and we've got to keep pushing."

Q: What do you know about new receivers coach James Franklin, his reputation and what might be different with him compared to (former receivers coach) Ray Sherman?

Driver: "I don't know too much about him. I know he's from Maryland. I met a couple of friends of his who say he's a good guy. You know how our receiver corp is, we like to have fun and joke around, so hopefully he can deal with it."

Q: How do you feel about other teams within the NFC North Division this season making big moves in free agency while the Packers are losing free agents?

Driver: "It doesn't matter. We're three-time division champs. Minnesota is making some great moves, Chicago and Detroit. We've got to make sure that we win our division one way or the other. If the young guys on the team have to step up, that's what it means."

Q: How do you feel about Minnesota's secondary with the addition of cornerback Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield, and now Darren Sharper?

Driver: "We still got to match up and play ball, regardless of the situation. We don't care who they get. We'll make sure when the game is on, we're ready to play. Our receiver corp right now knows that no one can stop us. I don't care who they got out there."

Q: How tough is Smoot from your experience against the Washington Redskins last year?

Driver: "He was pretty good, but they put Shawn Springs on me the whole time. Smoot played more on Javon (Walker). You'll have to ask Javon on how he played him."

Q: Do you think Robert Ferguson will be the same mentally after suffering that hit against Donovin Darius last year?

Driver: "I think so. You have to go back out there and face the first contact again. I think that's what Robert wants right now. Knowing Robert, during mini-camps he's going to be out there trying to jump into people to see if he really can take another hit."

Q: You came back from that kind of a hit (September 2003), but Ferguson has had to wait this whole off-season to get that physical contact. How difficult do you think that might be?

Driver: "It's very difficult, but one thing about it is I know Robert is fearless. He wanted to come back for the Atlanta game if we would have made it through the second round of the playoffs. He didn't get an opportunity to do that, I know he'll be ready to play."

Q: How is the Vikings' offense different without Randy Moss?

Driver: "Their offense is good. (Wide receiver) Nate Burleson is a young guy and very explosive. He played well against us. They'll find another guy in free agency and the draft to make up for Randy, but no one is going to be like Randy."

Q: Are you surprised that the Vikings traded Moss?

Driver: "Everyone does what they have to do for the organization. We did what we have to do with the Green Bay organization. They did what they have to do in Minnesota. He's going to have fun in Oakland. That's the lifestyle he loves to live and party and enjoy and have fun, so he's going to have fun with those guys."

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