Davis agrees to retire, joins front office

While he wasn't necessarily ready to "pull the plug" on his career, the 39-year-old is taking a job in the Packers' front office as director of player development, a role he delved into last season.

Longtime Packers long snapper Rob Davis announced his retirement on Wednesday. While it wasn't his idea, Davis sounded genuinely happy to be starting a new phase of his football career.

"I talked to (coach) Mike (McCarthy) and (general manager) Ted (Thompson), and we had agreed that I would serve as an assistant in this position with the understanding that I would retire after the '07 season," Davis told reporters Wednesday. "Things went fairly well during the season, and had they needed me to come back and service them in that position, I would have done it. But I had no desire to go to another team.

"When they came to me and said, ‘We're going to pull the plug on your career,' I wasted no time in saying, ‘Well, I'm ready to go to work, and I would like to be considered for another position within the organization.' So, when they pulled the plug, I was ready to go."

Davis, 39, was Green Bay's long snapper for 11 seasons. His streak of 167 consecutive games ranks third in team history behind Brett Favre's 255 and Forrest Gregg's 187.

Davis will serve as the Packers' director of player development. It's not an unfamiliar job, since he assisted Tim Terry in that role while playing last season. In that capacity, Davis will be active in the locker room and will assist players to life on and off the field in Green Bay.

"I'm at peace with this," Davis said. "When you've been cut as many times as me, it's pretty special to be able to walk away on my own terms. I feel this is a great place to transition. The organization has some respect for me in this role, and I want to live up to it. I told them my commitment will exceed mine as a player, which is going to be tough because I was really committed to being the best football player I could be.

"I was a part of something special for a long time and I'll cherish those moments. There are a lot of memories there but I'm ready for the next phase."

With the retirements of Favre and Davis, no players remain from the Packers' last trip to the Super Bowl, the Jan. 25, 1998, loss to Denver.

Terry, who was the director of player development last season while working in the personnel department, will now focus on his personnel duties.

Davis joined the team on Nov. 4, 1997. His other professional stops included the Chicago Bears in 1996 and the Baltimore Stallions in the Canadian Football League in 1995.

Last month, the Packers signed Thomas Gafford, who had challenged Davis for the job during the 2006 training camp and failed to make Seattle's roster in 2007.

Davis was practically invisible on the field last season, which is a compliment for a long snapper, although he had a poor outing snapping in a late-season game at windy, frigid Chicago. For the first time, he had no tackles in punt coverage.

"We're looking forward to having Rob evolve into his new role within our organization," Thompson said in a statement announcing Davis' retirement. "He's been a tremendous contributor as a player, and I have no doubt that he will carry that commitment and enthusiasm to his position. He is someone who has always been respected as a leader and mentor in the locker room, and we know that will continue."

Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com

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