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Receivers Eager To Get Back On The Field


While the excitement displayed by all the fans over the weekend at Fan Fest has proven that Green Bay supporters just can't get enough Packers football, statements made by a pair of Packers receivers Saturday confirmed that they can't get enough of the action either.

Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson were both on hand at Lambeau Field and expressed a desire to get out on the field as soon as possible to put on a show for those fans.

The last thing most Packers fans had heard from Driver this offseason was his (thankfully) incorrect prediction that Brett Favre was going to be calling it a career.

The two met face to face for the first time since the receiver's comments as Favre was signing autographs Saturday and shared a few laughs, with Driver just as happy as everyone else that he had been proven wrong by Favre's recent statements that the quarterback will in fact play in 2005 and possibly beyond.

"I think I used a little reverse psychology on him," Driver said, jokingly taking credit for Favre's return. "I'm happy he's back. I'm ready to get ready for this season and having him back gives another opportunity to get to 'The Big Show.'

"I took my wife to Mexico for our anniversary and on my way back, I got a phone call saying Brett was coming back. The first thing that came to me was a smile. I was just happy that I would be able to play with him for another year and be able to tell my son and my grandkids that I played with the greatest quarterback in the National Football League for eight years."

Ferguson is just as eager to get on the field, especially after being forced out of the final three games of the recently concluded season as a result of a hit that hospitalized him for a few days.

The notoriously tough receiver says that he's ready to get back to action and has no fear of any hits he might take in the future.

"I don't think it will affect me at all, as far as taking hits or being worried about it," Ferguson said. "I'm not worried about it all, it's just part of the game. Whenever you go out there and play, injuries are going to happen. You can't avoid those."

Ferguson said he fully expects to be participating in the team's training camp this summer.

"There was a little concern maybe about mini-camps, but as of right now I'm ready to go."

Driver said that he and his fellow receivers are ready to help the Packers defend their NFC North Division title, even if their archrivals from recent years - the Minnesota Vikings - have made some big free agent signings to bolster their secondary.

"We're the three-time division champs," Driver reiterated. "Our biggest thing is to try to get over that hump once we win the division. Minnesota's made some great moves, Chicago, and Detroit (as well). We've got to make sure that we stay on top of our division one way or the other. If that means that every young guy we have on this team has to step up, that's what it means.

"We've still got to match up and play ball. Regardless of the situation, we don't care who they get. We'll make sure that when the game is on, we're ready to play. Our receiving corps right now - we know that no one can stop us."

The most recent move made by the Vikings in order to catch up with the Packers involved bringing in a face that will most definitely not be a stranger to anyone in the Green and Gold - safety Darren Sharper, who signed with Minnesota Saturday.

Driver stated that while it will be different seeing Sharper in Vikings colors, he's sure their meetings will be just as competitive as they always have been over the years.

"It just means we've got to play him twice a year," Driver said. "Things happen, and now he's with Minnesota. We've got to make sure that we get ready to play him.

"It's always competitive. (It was) in practice, and now it's going to be real competitive because we're going to be playing against him twice a year. Sharper's going to go out there and try to knock our heads off, and we're going to try to make sure we put enough points on them where he (won't have) to do that."

It sounds like for these Packer pass-catchers, those match-ups can't come soon enough.

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