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Harris says he's done in Green Bay next year

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by wizard 87, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. wizard 87

    wizard 87 Old Enough To Know Better

    Sep 6, 2008
    Pulling back his long dreadlocks and pulling on his necklace Thursday afternoon, Al Harris headed for home, where Thanksgiving dinner — with wife Shyla and sons Al Jr. and Gavin — was waiting for him.

    And while he doesn't know where he'll be next Thanksgiving the Green Bay Packers veteran cornerback was most certainly giving thanks after coming back from a potentially season-ending and career-threatening lacerated spleen suffered earlier this season.

    "I am extremely thankful. Extremely thankful," Harris said as the Packers prepared for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. "It was scary. It just made me put my life in perspective. This (football) is only a small piece, but an important piece. I appreciate it a little more.

    "It was scary. I thought it was over for the year, and being that our team is going in a younger direction, that it could be it here."

    Set to turn 34 for the Packers' Dec. 7 game against Houston and coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, Harris admitted Thursday he thinks this is probably his final season in Green Bay, even though he's under contract through 2011.

    Although he said he hasn't spoken to general manager Ted Thompson about it, he believes with the team's stable of young cornerbacks — Tramon Williams, who played well as a starter in Harris' place, as well as Will Blackmon and Pat Lee — behind him, the club will move him during the offseason for a draft pick.

    "I think that's going to happen. And not from my performance or anything, but we're going young," Harris said. "I haven't talked to Ted about it. I've just got a gut feeling that that's the direction our team is headed. That's what happens in the league. I just have to make sure that I'm on top of my game.

    "Every game I play is an audition. I have to make sure that I put good stuff on tape."

    He's doing that. Harris, who suffered the injury Sept. 21 against Dallas in a collision with linebacker A.J. Hawk, and missed the team's next four games, has been nothing short of phenomenal since returning to action Nov. 2 against Tennessee.

    In the four games he's played he has allowed only one completion, a 10-yarder to Bears tight end Greg Olsen.
    In the Packers' otherwise embarrassing performance against the Saints Monday night, Harris pitched another shutout. Quarterback Drew Brees threw his direction only once, and the ball fell incomplete.

    "He really played well. And that was the good news," defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said of Harris, who was matched up with Marques Colston and Devery Henderson in the game. "He's one of the hardest workers we've got in practice. And it's showing in the game."

    Despite Harris' longtime reputation for having a good work ethic, cornerbacks coach Lionel Washington said he has seen a change in Harris since coming back from the injury.

    "It seems like he's more focused. Even in practice, he's working his techniques — his footwork, his hand placement — better," Washington said. "Not that he wasn't focused before, but I think he's more focused on trying to go out there and play every snap as hard as you can play. He's doing the same thing in practice. He's so much more focused in practice and meeting rooms and asking questions, things like that. I think he's doing everything he needs to do.

    "He's played pretty doggone good the last few weeks. He's getting back into his groove."

    Harris needed to do that after the disappointment of last January's NFC Championship game, when Plaxico Burress caught most of his 11 passes for 151 yards against him in the New York Giants' victory at Lambeau Field en route to the Super Bowl XLII title.

    "You get tired of people bringing up the Giants game, the Giants game, the Giants game," Harris said. "The guy caught some passes. He's a good receiver. I just got tired of people trying to define my career here or me as a player based on one game."

    Instead, with the ambitious goal of playing 20 NFL seasons — meaning he has eight to go, and he admits the last few will have to be as a nickel or dime back — Harris needed to re-establish himself as a dominant cover man. And in the past four weeks, he's done that.

    "You go from the Pro Bowl to people wondering if you're a starter, if you're over the hill," Harris said. "You always hear, 'Oh, he can't run,' this or that. You name the last time you saw somebody run past me. I've got things planned out. And I've got to finish strong. Always.

    "Eight years from now when I'm calling you up, and I'm like, 'I'm about to shut it down, dawg,' I want you to remember this conversation we had. I'm going to get it in. I won't be a starter. Not playing my style of play. I won't be able to do that. But I love playing the game. So I'm going to get all I can get out of this thing."
  2. packer98

    packer98 Cheesehead

    Aug 8, 2008
    Good article, but Harris needs to stop belly aching. Yes, he did get smoked by Plaxico, no if's, ands, or buts about it. Remember he could not even start for the eagles when we got him, he was their nickle back. He has done real well here, but he is a **** down corner when he can keep up with the receiver, other then that he did what he got payed to do and nothing more or extraordinary.
  3. wischeez

    wischeez Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    I'm gonna say they're looking at Williams to take his place one day. Maybe not next year, but soon.
  4. bp65

    bp65 Cheesehead

    Dec 2, 2008
    Im not completley sold on the Packers young corners and really wanted to see them go after one of the big dogs in the draft last april but If Harris does leave they will need to draft a big corner in the draft and pick up one off free agency
  5. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

    Sep 21, 2005
    I can't help but wonder if Harris isn't voiceing his desire to go elsewhere. I base this on the Packer's collapse and what that does to the psyche of players accustomed to winning. Although the players cannot criticize their coaching, inwardly they may very well blame much of this year's debacle on those calling the O & D plays. There must be more than one simple explanation for the DLs not holding the line, the LBers being out of place to defend, and the ability of so many WRs and RBs to rip off huge gains unmolested. I doubt if, in their own minds, the players blame themselves completely. A player totally dedicated to winning will NOT be comfortable if he feels he is being misused or given poor instructions. He'll want to continue to be successful elsewhere. I believe Harris suspects that those coaches responsible will not be replaced...and he doesn't want a repeat next year. What real pro would?
  6. doughsellz

    doughsellz Cheesehead

    Jun 20, 2008
    I cringe when I see Tramon Williams dropping into coverage. Nobody on the current roster is groomed well enough to step into a starting role at CB.

    TT isn't going to keep an aging, back problem waiting to happen like Harris. Al is only trying to prepare himself for the inevitable this coming off-season. That's why Woodson is playing safety now instead of Rouse. They want him on the field but need Williams to get the PT so he can take over for the soon-to-be-departed Harris.

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