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A Packer only, Driver to retire

Donald Driver

Donald Driver

NEW ORLEANS — No other uniform would fit Donald Driver.

The Packers' all-time leading receiver announced his retirement Thursday, with a public ceremony planned for Feb. 6 at Lambeau Field.

"I've always said that I owe it to the fans to retire as a Packer," said Driver, who turns 38 Saturday. "I feel like I can still play, but if I can't play for my organization, then I can't play for anyone else."

Driver finishes his 14-year career as Green Bay's all-time leader in yards receiving (10,137), catches (743) and 1,000-yard seasons (seven). He's one of only 18 receivers in history with 700-plus career catches and 10,000 or more receiving yards in 200 games.

Rooney rule: Three former black head coaches — Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards and Jim Caldwell — said the NFL needs to rethink its Rooney Rule for promoting minority hiring after 15 top vacancies were all filled by white candidates since the regular season ended a month ago. "I know the concept is good," said Dungy, the former Bucs coach who was with the Colts when he became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. "Obviously, it's not working the way it should."

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney pushed the league to require every team to interview at least one minority candidate for each coaching or GM opening. The league established the rule in 2003.

Robert Gulliver, the NFL's executive vice president of human resources, said he expects to make revisions in the rule.

Union makes safety complaints: Players association executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Domonique Foxworth, critical of the league's handling of player safety, threatened to file a grievance if the NFL refuses to institute a system to verify the credentials of all medical personnel on each team. He said the NFLPA has three amendments it wants for the collective bargaining agreement, including the appointment of "a neutral chief safety officer who can hear appeals about acceptable levels of medical care."

Rainey pleads: Former Gators and Steelers running back Chris Rainey pled no contest to disorderly conduct in Alachua County after his arrest in January on charges of simple battery in a dispute with his girlfriend. Rainey was fined $200 and imposed court costs of about $300. His charge was reduced to disorderly conduct because the reported victim denied being battered. The Steelers released him after his arrest.

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.

A Packer only, Driver to retire 01/31/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:25pm]
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