Getting To Know... Donald Lee


*How well do we know the men who make up the Packers roster? Even the most ardent fan - the one who studies every play, knows the 40-yard-dash time of every prospect, is at every practice during training camp - most likely is familiar with what the players of the Green and Gold do on the field. is taking a look at some of the off-the-field interests of the players who you cheer for during the football season. This is a chance to get to know the players through a series of questions and answers, some football-related and others having nothing to do with the gridiron.

It's time to get to know... Donald Lee.*

Tight end Donald Lee did not join the Packers until a week before the 2005 regular season began, but he proved to be a quick study.

A fellow Mississippi native, Lee formed an instant bond with Brett Favre. His first two receptions went for touchdowns, including a 16-yard touchdown catch during Week 4 on Monday Night Football. Lee played in 15 games and finished fourth on the team with 33 catches and sixth on the team with 294 yards. The 25-year-old ended the year on a tear, catching at least one pass in each of his last 13 games.

The Packers gave Lee a great opportunity. He started his final three years at Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs' run-oriented offense primarily used him as a blocker. The nimble 6-4, 248-pound Lee, however, showed his pass receiving skills while earning MVP honors in the East-West Shrine Game. That performance helped convince the Miami Dolphins to draft him in the fifth round of the 2003 draft. But with Randy McMichael in tow, the Dolphins primarily used Lee as a run blocker in goal-line situations.

After catching 20 passes for 220 yards during his two years with Miami, Lee became a more integral part of the offense in Green Bay. Filling in for the injured Bubba Franks and David Martin, he became a downfield threat.

"It really was a blessing to be here because last year they used me more as a receiving tight end," Lee said.

This tight end who found new life in Green Bay recently sat down with to tell us about working since the age five, his bad luck with cars and the reason he must avoid honey buns. Do you have a nickname?

"My friends and everybody back home call me D Lee."

Who was the biggest influence in your life?

"That would be my mom. Growing up, I sort of came from a poor family. We didn't have that much. My mom -- she worked two jobs just to buy us clothes for school. I watched her struggling, working two jobs. That just made me feel like that there's nothing on this earth I can't do. If she can do that and tough through that and get three kids through school, I feel like I can do anything."

What was your first job?

"I used to work with my uncle. He had this log truck. I used to help them haul logs and stuff. Man, I was probably about five or six-years old."

Five or six-years-old? That seems awfully young.

"Yeah, they had me doing only what I was able to do."

How do you feel when you walk through the Hall of Champions on your way to the locker room every day?

"Believe it or not, that really gets me going. When I get up in the morning, it's cold and I come inside of the building and walk around the halls and see all those old pictures of those old guys making plays and you see the excitement in their face. That really gets me going in the morning."

Besides the physical nature of the game, what's the most difficult part of playing in the NFL?

"That probably would be the playbook because every year it seems I would have a different offensive coordinator, a different tight ends coach. Just adjusting to different playbooks every year is kind of tough. The book is so thick. When I know what to do, I just let natural instinct kick in."

Who was your favorite athlete to watch in any sport?

"Growing up I would like to watch (Denver Broncos tight end) Shannon Sharpe. He was my hero for a long time. Once I made it to the NFL, I just try and do my own thing. I don't try and pattern myself after anyone else."

What were your favorite sports team growing up?

"The Broncos and the Chicago Bulls."

What was your first adult decision?

"Buying my first car -- a Cadillac Escalade. With my luck it got stolen when I was in Florida, but I think that's my first decision."

Did you ever get your car back?

"I never saw it again, and the insurance paid it off. Then I got another (Escalade), and it got stolen right before I came up here."

What did you do after your second car was stolen?

"I got another (Escalade). It's in Mississippi. I'm not taking it out of the state."

What was the last movie you saw?

"Ice Age: The Meltdown. Man it was great, funny. I was hoping I could have gotten a chance to see it with my children, but they were in Mississippi. Actually my girlfriend -- flew up for awhile , and so we went and checked it out."

What is your favorite non-sports hobby or way to relax?

"I just like watching cartoons with my kids (Shea is five-years-old, and Don Jr. is three-years-old). That's my favorite way to relax."

What do they watch?

"Sponge Bob, Powder Puff girls. My little son -- he loves Dragonball Z."

What's on your iPod?

"I've been listening to Project Pat. That's a rapper from Tennessee."

Do you have a favorite food?

"I have a favorite snack. I love those Icy White Honey Buns (made by Hostess). I've got to stay away from those, though, or I'll gain a little weight."

If you could have dinner -- consisting of something other than Honey Buns -- with one famous person who would it be?

"Probably Beyonce Knowles. She's a gorgeous woman and a talented singer."

What were you like in high school?

"I used to get all the trophies and stuff in sports. That's how I got my shine on."

Did you excel at any other sports besides football?

"I was really good in basketball. I would usually lead the team in points. I was pretty good at track and baseball too."

What position did you play in basketball?


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

"You know what? I love Mississippi. I would rather just stay in Mississippi."

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