Packers XLV

In Cutting Harris, Packers Are Rolling the Dice

Posted November 9th, 2010 @ 02:11pm

While dismantling Dallas on Sunday night, the Packers showed their strength at cornerback, with Woodson, Williams and Shields. For a second consecutive game, the trio shut down a passing attack and made big plays.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking for Ted Thompson and the Packer brain trust. Al Harris either had to be activated, placed on IR or released on Monday. The play and health of the top three corners convinced them that Harris would be the fourth corner. Would he be okay with that? He's been a Pro Bowler, a vocal leader that might bristle watching an undrafted rookie listed ahead of him on the depth chart.

So they made the move and cut ties with him, deciding that a fourth cornerback who can't play on special teams removes some much-needed flexibility on a roster that has already been stretched to its breaking point. I can't fault the decision. The rash of injuries has affected the starting line-up and the special teams units, where a number of those guys are being asked to play regular snaps. Adding a nose tackle like Howard Green was a shrewd pick up by Thompson, but he probably won't be asked to cover kicks.

The problem with going down this road is you can't lose one of those top three corners. If one gets hurt, there would appear to be a significant drop off to Pat Lee, Brandon Underwood or, gasp, Jarrett Bush.  The way this season has gone, it's hard to believe that position would go unscathed. And the Pack's D still has to face big arms like Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan and the gray-haired texter.

Many Packer fans are wringing their hands, worrying that the Vikings or Bears might pick him up. If nothing else, he could serve as a spy and provide plenty of recon on the Packers D. Or, he could prove that he still has some gas left in the tank. Until the devastating knee injury, he had never missed time. He's kept himself in great shape and has always been a workout warrior.

But the reality is, he will turn 36 in a few weeks. How many 36 year old CBs get significant snaps in the NFL these days? Then add a knee injury where all three ligaments were shredded, causing his surgeon to call it as bad a knee injury as he had ever seen. The likelihood that he can step onto an NFL field and produce at a high level is not too high.

The Pack made a tough decision here. Harris will one day be in the Packer Hall of Fame. He's been an integral part of a number of very good Packer teams. But injuries happen and they sometimes cause you to lose your job. Don Majkowski can tell him a thing or two about that. He'll get a chance somewhere to show whether he can come back.

The Packers are hoping/believing/crossing their fingers that their three top corners stay healthy. If they do the Harris decision will not be second-guessed, wherever he lands. But if one of those guys goes down, we might be wishing we could have found a way to hang on to a gritty, hard-nosed leader like Harris.

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Comments (16):

Nat~He is soo cute! Both your boys are! Hope that the helmet thing goes well, and he cenuintos to NOT mind it too much! Just wondering-what blog are you using now since you aren't using blogspot? I kinda like this format.

on August 3rd, 2012 at 02:56am

thanks for share!

on February 25th, 2012 at 08:20pm

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on February 29th, 2012 at 12:12pm

The rec center at Mizzou has a spa...a spa! Students can go get a 1/2 hour magsase for $9.00. I can't get a magsase for $9.00 and I'm old. I need that more than a bunch of college students do (sorry Monica). They also have one of those lazy old rivers. All you have to do is lay back and the current carries you away while easing your tensions. There are a bunch of comfy rocking chairs in the same room. Huh? We had nothing like that when I went to Madison. We had to drink to get rid of our stress. Geez. How fair is that? I agree that football in a dome is not right. If I didn't look at the players on the field, I felt like I was at a giant indoor soccer game. We are lucky to have Lambeau field and the Pack. And Aaron Rodgers.Go Pack. Make sure to go after that old dude who is wearing purple and throwing interceptions.

on July 31st, 2012 at 09:08pm

Almost 900 yards per game is not inexcusable, it is hroerndus. Capers you better stop this and stop this now. With an ordinary offense the Packers would be 0-2 right now. Something is wrong, seriously wrong with your base defense. I always felt comfortable with Capers at the helm of the D. No more! It's time for you to figure out what's going on. Another game like this and the season could go south fast.As much as we (include me) bitch about the play calls and the offense, they won both games. QB ratings of 131 and 119 are not too bad. They scored 42 point and 30 points also not too bad. Effectively the offense only played 3 qtrs yesterday. First qtr. = 3 plays.Ground Hog Day = a D problem more than an O problem. Capers, it's time to wake up.Now with Collins and maybe Pickett we are looking for even more D troubles in the week(s) ahead. I might sugest one change, dump Wslden now. He is awful.

on May 17th, 2012 at 11:57pm

So, I guess this forces Capers to sit down and retnihk his defensive philosophy this year. At least that's some good news. Maybe we can defer the pad level crap for a couple of weeks. If and that's an unsure if, Tramon comes back maybe CW goes to Safety. They need to get some rush help for CM3. Has anyone else noted how effect the screen was on the right side? Actually it was effective on both sides. #28 had 100 yards receiving on 6 catches. 16.5 per catch.

on May 18th, 2012 at 06:27pm

What's scary is McCarthy goes into conservative play calls, team lets onppoents hang around till the end and Packers are 0-16 when losing in 4th Qtr. Have not regained leads and won at end of games under McCarthy. Keeping offense rolling to keep onppoents off the field works if first downs are accomplished, keep the hammer down on offense. Defense can't continue to win every game in the end. Defense saved the Bears game at season's end, the Eagles game, the title game against Bears and SB, when Packers run up score against Falcons in playoffs it took pressure off the defense.

on May 18th, 2012 at 12:08am

slocum is probably the worst coach on the staff IMO, but i do not know how you can blame him for the Cobb fumlbe. You can either blame cobb for not being strong with the ball, or you can blame ryan taylor for getting stoned on his block and pushed back into cobb.but i think cobb is to blame for that one. that was a pretty routine play to fumlbe on.

on May 20th, 2012 at 03:30am

Bowling is our favorite!!!! But caioilrnfa is lame and they don't have many of those kid bowling ramps and when they do they say it is only for people who have a disability. Whenever pacen is asked what he wants to do as a family it is always bowling. when you come out here we're going!

on May 20th, 2012 at 04:28am

"Haha, I remember a sialimr bet between MN and GA for an NFC playoff (I think). GA was supposed to send Georgia peaches if they lost, and get lutefisk if they won. They had no idea what lutefisk was. And the Falcons won."Aargh! 1998. Randy Moss's rookie year. The year that Anderson had a perfect year kicking. No misses on extra point OR field goals going into the NFC championship game. Game on the line, one minute and change (if I remember right) left, about a 30 yard field goal, and he whiffs. Then we actually get the ball back, and Denny Green decides, with the league's most explosive offense that year and with like a minute left to take a knee and go to overtime.Yeah, I sort of remember that game.

on May 20th, 2012 at 06:41am

I voted "devastated" on the poll because I am one of Al's biggest fans. I hope he retires as a Packer ( I would be crushed if he ever donned purple) but we all know the vikes like to pick up our leftovers. Thank you, Mr. Al Harris, for the many years of dedication and professionalism you gave to our team. I will miss you!

on November 9th, 2010 at 02:31pm

Thank you Al Harris.....you will be in the Packer Hall of Fame. Dave....you are right...we can not afford an injury to one of our top three corners. Harris does not play special teams and needs to play in a bump and run scheme. He is really not a Cover 2 type. Its too bad he would not as reported accept a back up because even at 36.... he is better than Underwood, Lee, or Bush assuming the knee can perform to an acceptable standard. We will have to trust the coaches that it wasnt in his workouts and practices. Leadership lost is also a key unknown....wil this hurt ??

on November 9th, 2010 at 06:15pm

I heard Demovsky say today if Harris was gonna be the fourth corner maybe he wouldn't be the most positive person in the locker room...I appreciate everything he did for this team too but with the "D" on the upswing maybe that was taken into consideration.

on November 9th, 2010 at 06:53pm

I like the take and it's dead on. I've heard talk like they should have let him compete for to get his job back. I would say that he's had the last two weeks of practice to make his case for that. Also, that cutting him now is probably the best thing the Pack could do for him. If they put him in IR he would be 36 before entering a potential hold out year. By cutting him now he has a chance to jump on with a team that needs him before a whole new class of rookies come out next year, each trying to take his job. I wish him good luck and hope his pump and run style still works in today's NFL.

on November 9th, 2010 at 09:54am

I am assuming he's done, because if there were any way they could help them he would not be released. He will get a few tryouts and then we will see.

on November 9th, 2010 at 10:00pm

I just hope this doesnt come back and bite us in the butt. This is a team that is winning today so play/pick the players for this run....

on November 9th, 2010 at 10:31pm

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