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Introduction.. Justin Harrell

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, May 4, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    So far so good, seems like a decent kid from a small city, welcome to Green Bay.

    http://www.packers.com/news/stories/2007/05/04/1/

    Justin Harrell had been in Green Bay less than a full day, and already he was feeling at home.

    When he arrived in town Thursday afternoon, the Green Bay Packers' first-round draft pick out of Tennessee took a short ride from his hotel to Lambeau Field, and looking around he saw a lot of similarities to his roots in Martin, Tenn.

    "It really reminds me of my hometown," said Harrell in his introductory news conference, after being presented with his No. 91 Green Bay jersey by General Manager Ted Thompson. "Just riding through the neighborhoods...it looks a lot like home and it's a place I know I'll be able to get settled in and have a good time."

    Martin is actually much smaller than Green Bay, with a listed population of just over 10,000 people. But it has produced another Packer in offensive tackle Chad Clifton, and though the two haven't spoken since Harrell's arrival, Harrell says he's received advice from Clifton in the past and knows he'll be able to lean on him now that they're teammates.

    Much like Clifton ended up doing as a rookie on the offensive line in 2000, Harrell expects to come in and compete for a starting role on the defensive line his first season. He said he hasn't discussed yet with the coaches where they'd like his playing weight on the interior of the defensive line (he weighs 310 pounds now), but he plans to bring the same attacking style of defense he played at Tennessee, particularly in defending the run.

    "I'm going to come in and work as hard as I can and try to put the coaching staff in a position that I'll be ready to start and ready to play," Harrell said. "I'm going to get myself in the best shape, and when the rotation comes around I plan on being a starter."

    Harrell indicated he's nearly fully recovered from the torn biceps that forced him to miss all but three games of his senior season in Knoxville. He's seven months removed from surgery and needs to gain a little more strength back, but he doesn't expect the bicep to limit him during this weekend's rookie orientation camp or the full-squad mini-camp coming up in two weeks.

    Harrell never felt the injury was career-threatening, having been told by doctors that they expected a 100 percent recovery and that the muscle would actually come back stronger. He was depressed about having his college career end prematurely, but he quickly had to get himself focused on the future and not the past.

    "I talked with parents, family, a lot of friends, and the coaching staff at Tennessee, and they pretty much reassured me that I still had a chance to play some football," he said. "I couldn't mope around. I had to go and get myself ready for this whole draft process, which I did, and now I'm in the final stages of my rehab. Everything's pretty good."

    That includes his attitude towards Packers fans, many of whom booed Harrell's selection on draft day, hoping the team would fill a more immediate need on offense at running back or receiver.

    Those positions were addressed later in the draft, and Harrell believes the fans will give him a chance to prove himself. He noted that on his plane ride Thursday from Minneapolis to Green Bay, one passenger noticed that his large body was crammed in between two other people and offered him his more comfortable seat. There were also some fans at the airport that wished the incoming rookies luck upon their arrival.

    "Everything since I've been here has been great," he said. "I'm going to try to show everybody the Packers didn't make a bad decision selecting me and I'm just going to continue doing what I've been doing my whole life. It got me to this point right here, so there's no reason to change now."

    Harrell conceded the fans' initial reaction was just an indication of their loyalty and passion toward their team. Since he's been in Green Bay, Harrell has been learning more and more about the history and tradition of the Packers.

    All the rookies had dinner at the stadium Thursday night in an upper-level suite overlooking the field and the names in the ring of honor. They also watched a video on the history of the Packers.

    No stranger to tradition, having come from a program like Tennessee and becoming the last player there to wear Reggie White's No. 92, Harrell feels like he's starting over but is ready to make some new history of his own.

    "Today is going to be our first practice, and there should be a lot of adrenaline going, a lot of emotion going," he said. "The first time you put on the Green Bay Packer helmet, and being on the same practice fields as all the great players that came through here,...just to wear the jersey and the colors, it's all just starting to sink in."
     
  2. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    If they didn't have alot of contact with him, did they research his injuries out in depth? Thought it was curious...

    from jsonline.

    Green Bay - Justin Harrell has a plan. He intends to turn jeers to cheers, just the way Donovan McNabb did it in Philadelphia.

    Even now, a week later, it still boggles the mind. How an estimated 2,000 green-and-gold-clad fans in the Lambeau Field atrium let general manager Ted Thompson have it with boos described as "deafening" after the Green Bay Packers selected Harrell in the first round of the National Football League draft.

    Thompson pretended the reception didn't sting but he would have to be devoid of emotion for it not to hurt. The same goes for Harrell, who was with his family back home in Martin, Tenn.

    On Friday, Harrell was introduced to state reporters for the first time and took the high road, refusing the chance to lash out at fans.

    "Yeah, I saw it, I heard about it," Harrell said. "That's something I can't control, but I understood where they were coming from. They're just showing their loyalty to this organization and what they felt like they really needed."

    McNabb was serenaded with boos eight years ago in New York when the Eagles used the second pick to select him rather than running back Ricky Williams. The so-called "Dirty Thirty," groupie-type listeners of Philly sports talk radio station WIP, were responsible.

    Not only that but Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, now governor of Pennsylvania, lobbied for Williams and then ripped the selection of McNabb afterward.

    In the end, after McNabb proved himself as the finest quarterback in Eagles history, each "Dirty Thirty" member as well as Rendell apologized to him.

    Harrell, the defensive tackle from Tennessee, isn't looking for 2,000 letters of apology anytime soon. But just as the slight undoubtedly helped motivate McNabb, who frequently has harkened back to the painful start of his NFL career, it probably will drive Harrell.

    "It does, but I'm not really going to focus on that," Harrell said. "I just want to show everybody that the Packers didn't make a bad decision selecting me.

    "Reggie McKenzie pulled me aside today and said: 'I don't want you coming in and changing anything. You just continue being the person you were at Tennessee and everything will work out.' That's what I want to do."

    Harrell hit a lot of the right notes during his 15 minutes at the podium, coming across as humble, straight-forward and goal-oriented. No one from the Packers has ordained Harrell as a regular at one of their deeper positions but it's clear what he expects from himself as a rookie.

    "I will come in and work as hard as I can and try to put the coaching staff in position that I'll be ready to start," he said. "When the regular season rolls around, I plan on being a starter."

    Harrell called his selection by the Packers at No. 16 as "a big shock," seeing that he had little or no contact with the team since a brief meeting at the combine.

    But having said that, Harrell professed to being comfortable in the small-town environment and enthusiastic about playing for a franchise steeped in tradition.

    One of his heroes, the late Reggie White, addressed the Volunteers a few times during Harrell's five-year stay in Knoxville. He became the last Tennessee player to wear White's now-retired No. 92 jersey. Green Bay issued him No. 91.

    "I got a chance to meet him and his wife," Harrell said. "He was a great person on the field but also off the field. He's one of the people you want to model your game and your life after. That's one thing I tried to do."

    Harrell, 6 feet 4½ inches and 310 pounds, stands about one-half inch shorter than White and almost the same weight.

    He's also comparable in size to Kevin Williams (6-5, 311), the ninth pick in the 2003 draft who has two Pro Bowl appearances and 30 sacks in four seasons for the Minnesota Vikings.

    Williams ran 40 yards in 4.85 seconds, a major difference from Harrell's 5.06. But Harrell performed better than Williams in three of four athletic tests at the combine and also was stronger on the bench press.

    On Friday, two NFL personnel directors disagreed that the comparison between Harrell and Williams had validity. However, two insisted that it did.
    "I don't see why you wouldn't say that," one of the scouts said. "Is he that good? I didn't see that. But I saw a big man that was athletic like Kevin Williams. The only question mark was the durability."

    It has been about seven months since Harrell underwent surgery to repair a torn biceps. His collegiate playing days also were interrupted by leg surgery in March 2003 and a broken ankle in August 2003. He promises to be full-go for minicamp in two weeks.

    "I look at my injuries like I was unlucky," Harrell said. "I broke my ankle tackling a tackling dummy. You can't really predict tearing your bicep reaching out for a tackle. They're unfortunate injuries that I can't really explain."

    Harrell also has been compared to Jacksonville's defensive tackle tandem of Marcus Stroud (6-6, 321, 5.10, three Pro Bowls, 17½ sacks in six years) and John Henderson (6-7, 328, 5.01, no Pro Bowls, 20½ sacks in five years).

    Scouts say Harrell isn't as talented as Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth (6-5½, 317, 4.85, no Pro Bowls, nine sacks in five years) but plays much harder.

    "We played the run pretty good at Tennessee," Harrell said. "We used technique, tried to create havoc and ran to the ball. That's what I plan on bringing to this organization."

    And if some Packers backers come to apologize, Harrell's career will have come full circle.
     
  3. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

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    I have been at all three Packer draft parties in Atrium. Not everybody was booing Ted Thompson or Packer first round draft choice at Atrium when announcement was made. This happened also, in 2005 at Packer draft party when announcement was made that Aaron Rodgers was the Packer first round draft choice. I guess some Packer fans think this is a tradition at Packer draft party to boo when "these wanna bes" GM s think they are all experts on Drafts and disagree with the Packer picks.

    I think this is "Bush league" but Fans pay $25 to be there and have the right to boo.. No one including Packer fans at atrium or even the Packer organization or any Draft Experts, really know what kind of career a college draftee is going to have in the NFL, especially on draft day.
    ,
    I learned my lesson about prejuding Rookie players.. It happened in 1956, when the Packers picked a 17th round draft choice out of Alabama which had 2-9 season that year. It was Hall of Famer Packer QB Bart Starr of the Packer teams of the decade of 60's coached by Vince Lombardi. Those teams won 5 NFL championships in 8 years.(that included winning Super Bowl 1 & 2). It took Bart Starr until 1960 which was his fifth year with the Packers until Lombardi made him the permanent starting QB of the Packers.

    I thought during 1956-1957-1958 seasons , why is this 17th round draft choice QB Bart Starr not been released yet. Packer won 8 games lost 27 and 1 tie during those first three years Starr was on the roster. In fact in 1958 the Packers were the worst team in Packer history with 1-10-1 season record.

    You just never know who that next good or great player will be , Also and how long it will take for a rookie to develop in to a good or great NFL football player.

    Will Justin Harrell become an average, good or great NFL football player or just a bust!!. Only time will tell us that!!
     
  4. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Ask pyle, he knows everything!





    Good articles btw, thanks.
     
  5. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

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    pack93z-posted:" If they didn't have alot of contact with him, did they research his injuries out in depth? Thought it was curious"

    NFL College player scouting Combine was held, I believe, in Indianapolis earlier this year before the NFL draft this year. Most potential college player NFL draftees attend ,as well as representative from all NFL Franchises. Player go thru work outs and are available to be interviewed by the teams. The players are given physical exams ,as well as, mental tests such as the Wunderlic test . The results of these tests are available to NFL teams.

    Some players do not attend NFL Scouting combine sessions, but have their own workouts for NFL teams , usually at college they attended

    There was a article in the Saturday May 5, 2007 issue of the Green Bay Press-Gazette by Pete Doughterty entitled "Ready to Dominate? " Here is excert from the article concerning health of Harrell.

    "The team's medical staff, headed by Dr. Pat McKenzie, checks out all draft prospect medical records, X-rays and MRIs and has long-term statistical studies of how various injuries affect career length. McKenzie, in effect, has an actuarial table he uses along with his experience and judgment to give draft prospects medical grades.


    Nevertheless, Thompson says those projections help only so much in selecting players and pointed as an example to Jeff Miller, a fourth-round draft pick from Mississippi in 1994 who never was hurt in college. He sustained a knee injury before his first training camp, was hurt for two years and never played for the Packers.


    "It's sort of a crapshoot," Thompson said. "We felt that (Harrell's) injuries were such that they're not debilitating long term. Sometimes you can get an injury that's going to cause arthritis, and it's always going to be with you. These injuries were not of that nature in our opinion."

    pack93z-- I Hope this posting answer your questiona about the Packer's checking out Harrell's injuries.
     
  6. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Thanks PT.... I was curious that they brought in Lynch but not Harrell. With injuries and spending a first round pick, I would have thought they would have ran test with their own staff.
     
  7. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    PTW36 makes a good point about not everybody at the Atrium booing Harrell. Those articles get too simplistic sometimes. Still, it's a shame that so many people did. A lot of Packer fans have gone down the toilet beginning with that playoff loss to Atlanta in January 2003.

    I like hearing that Harrell plays hard. That's very important for a DT, a position where you can't really let up on any plays and where a lot of those big guys are not consistently hard workers. If Harrell stays healthy and plays as hard as Aaron Kampmann, he could be very good.
     
  8. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    I didn't boo. I don't even know the guy! lol I really wish I could watch more college ball so I knew who to hope the Packers pick in the draft.
     
  9. packerfan1245

    packerfan1245 Cheesehead

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    Thats Mel Kiper's job
     
  10. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    thats what i did. my first reaction was kinda like the guys in that video "WHO THE **** IS JUSTIN HARRELL?" but not so ..violent. I was more curious (but not bi-curious).

    I had a hand full of names that i thought we'd walk out with, that wasnt one of em.

    should be fun to see how camp goes.
     
  11. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I was sitting in the car when they picked him.........I said "WHO!?!?" But didn't throw any fits.
    I'm not the one who gets paid to pick them. And I'm not the one who gets the praise, or the jeers if they do good or crash.
     
  12. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Hey........maybe we should have signed the tackling dummy!!!
    Sounds pretty tough to me! LOLOL!!! :rotflmao:
     
  14. Oannes

    Oannes Cheesehead

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    A couple of things...

    First, Justin Harrell looks like a slimmer Gilbert Brown to me. Watching him speak at the podium, I kept thinking, this is what Gilbert Brown would've looked like minus 65lbs.

    Second, the most curious thing about the pick was TT's statement that he thought he might have said, "Hi" to him at the combine. You are the leader of this franchise and you make a pick at 16 that has a long injury history and you've never even really spoken with him? It seems to me that TT has already a built in defense if Harrell is a bust. He claimed he made the selectiion of Harrell based on Reggie McKenzie's ( a Tennessee Volunteer alum) endorsement. So, if Harrell sucks TT can blame Reggie McKenzie. No leader would ever put that important of a pick solely in the hands of someone else while basically washing his own. I guess he didn't make the deal with Cleveland because he didn't want to be told who to pick twice in the first round next year.
     
  15. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    TT was big on Harrell and probably had his only questions answered by the medical staff. His character was not in question. If you remember TT kind of spoke up Vernon Davis last year and then admitted Hawk was his man after the draft. He doesn't like to promote his favorite guys.
     
  16. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Do you REALLY think Ted Thompson will blame Reggie McKenzie if the pick doesn't pan out? And do you REALLY think that if he did that, he would get away with it? Thompson's not that stupid, and neither are Packer fans. Everybody knows that the GM is responsible for the draft, period. I suggest that in the future you limit your criticisms of Thompson (or anybody else) to stuff that is real, instead of stuff that you just made up.
     
  17. Oannes

    Oannes Cheesehead

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    Stuff I made up? Go back and read Ted's own words on why he selected Harrell. Obviously, TT isn't going to come out PUBLICLY and claim Harrell wasn't his choice if he doesn't pan out. You tell me what leader of a team is going to make an important pick like the one in the first round and claim that you didn't even have a conversation with the guy and you took him because someone else felt good about him.?

    Let's bring this into terms we can all understand... Your boss has an opportunity to hire one individual that can really help you in your profession. He announces who you're going to be working along side and your wondering why the heck he chose this guy because you'd been hearing about some other potential hires that you really thought would help your business succeed. He then stands before you and tells you that he hired this guy to work with you because one of his right hand men liked him a whole bunch. Your boss goes on to admit that he didn't even really interview him, he may have said, "Hi" to him in passing on a business trip. To make matters worse you then learn the man hired to work with you happened to have some connection to your bosses right hand man in a previous endeavor. What are you then thinking?

    I would be shocked to learn my boss hired someone he never met who had difficulty showing up for work (injury history) and did it based on a connection his right hand man had to him.

    No leader is going to be that hands off. Did Bill Belichick say he might have said, "Hi" to Randy Moss once and that he decided to bring him in based on what someone else who had a connection to him said? No. Bill Belichick talked straight with Moss and went ahead with it because he felt comfortable with it. He indirectly took responsibility for Randy by his own words about his acquisition. Ted Thompson didn't come across like a guy who did his homework. That can't be debated with even a hint of intellectual honesty.
     
  18. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    Re. the "rich injury history", that's why I said the medical staff answered those questions for him.
     
  19. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Nearly every pick is a risk. Get used to it.
     
  20. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    yah dude business dosent work like that, if the people working under you mess up then its your fault no matter what the circumstances. TT has total accountability for everything
     
  21. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    My understanding is that Harrell had two injuries in his college career--a broken ankle and a torn bicep. Neither is the kind of injury that is expected to recur. I'm still a little worried because maybe he's just one of these guys who has bad luck, like Najeh Davenport. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect his injuries to be a thing of the past.

    As for risk, you could go right down the list of other players the Packers could've picked, and you would find plenty. Greg Olsen is a TE who can't block. Alan Branch is a DT who has issues with weight and motivation. Robert Meachem is a receiver who supposedly does not go over the middle. Etc. etc. etc.

    I'm not wild about the Harrell pick, but I can see the reasoning behind it, and I'm interested to see how it works out for Harrell and the Packers.
     
  22. Oannes

    Oannes Cheesehead

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    Neither of those two injuries would've been expected to occur in the first place. He broke his ankle getting tangled up with a tackling dummy? That doesn't bode well for a double team meeting with Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson.

    Risk is an unavoidable part of any draft pick. You're adding risk with injury history, or character issues. Thank God he has none of those to go along with his injuries.


    Since it was missed in my edit of the post getting quoted....

    Stuff I made up? Go back and read Ted's own words on why he selected Harrell. Obviously, TT isn't going to come out PUBLICLY and claim Harrell wasn't his choice if he doesn't pan out. You tell me what leader of a team is going to make an important pick like the one in the first round and claim that you didn't even have a conversation with the guy and you took him because someone else felt good about him.?

    Let's bring this into terms we can all understand... Your boss has an opportunity to hire one individual that can really help you in your profession. He announces who you're going to be working along side and your wondering why the heck he chose this guy because you'd been hearing about some other potential hires that you really thought would help your business succeed. He then stands before you and tells you that he hired this guy to work with you because one of his right hand men liked him a whole bunch. Your boss goes on to admit that he didn't even really interview him, he may have said, "Hi" to him in passing on a business trip. To make matters worse you then learn the man hired to work with you happened to have some connection to your bosses right hand man in a previous endeavor. What are you then thinking?

    I would be shocked to learn my boss hired someone he never met who had difficulty showing up for work (injury history) and did it based on a connection his right hand man had to him.

    No leader is going to be that hands off. Did Bill Belichick say he might have said, "Hi" to Randy Moss once and that he decided to bring him in based on what someone else who had a connection to him said? No. Bill Belichick talked straight with Moss and went ahead with it because he felt comfortable with it. He indirectly took responsibility for Randy by his own words about his acquisition. Ted Thompson didn't come across like a guy who did his homework. That can't be debated with even a hint of intellectual honesty.
     
  23. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    If he couldn't handle the tackling dummy (and it wasn't just a freak accident) then I suppose he did poorly in gameplay in college too, eh? Wouldn't bode well.
     
  24. Oannes

    Oannes Cheesehead

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    Fair point. You're going to shell out big money to a guy who is just a victim of freak accidents?

    No... it wouldn't bode well. He was injured tearing his bicep and missed almost his entire senior year. He went from missing a lot of time with an ankle injury to missing more time with a torn bicep.

    You honestly think it was wise to take a guy with Harrell's injury history? Take his name out of it... If Meachem, Olsen, Hall, etc. had that injury history it wouldn't have been smart to take them. To make matters worse, we make our next pick on a guy who had surgery on both shoulders. That's gambling in my book.
     
  25. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    I honestly don't know. I've never seen any statistics on players with those types of injuries in college and how often they reoccur in the NFL vs. 1st time injuries of those kinds. I know B Jax played his 2006 season after the second surgery and was fine. And I know Harrell was checked out by our medical staff who deemed him fine, and bicep tears are likely to heal stronger than before the injury.
    Short answer, I'm no more worried about injuries to them than I am any other player on the Packers.
     

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