Packer Update



Sportscaster Al Michaels uttered the iconic phrase, “Do you believe in miracles?” three decades ago in response to the United States hockey team defeating the Soviet Union in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. Well, in our humble opinion, those five words will deserve to be repeated if Al Harris is able to recapture his Pro Bowl form next season. In fact, a 35-year-old corner coming back from a devestating knee injury to play at a high level would probably be even more unlikely than a bunch of college kids whipping a well-oiled veteran hockey machine on a frozen pond. That’s what Harris is up against, and that’s why Ted Thompson has to proceed as if the corner position is a major priority – and not just for the future but for right now.

Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams ended last season as the only capable corners on the roster. That’s one of the reasons why Pittsburgh and Arizona were able to carve up Green Bay’s secondary like Rex Ryan decimates a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. And while Harris, Pat Lee and Will Blackmon are all expected to return from injury in 2010, that shouldn’t make Thompson feel any more secure. “You can’t screw around when it comes to cornerbacks,” said a former scout. “After quarterback and left tackle, that’s probably the most important position in today’s NFL. You need at least four capable players. The Packers have only two right now.  The way I look at things, any positive contributions they get next season from Harris, Lee, Blackmon or even [second-year man] Brandon Underwood should be viewed as a bonus and not as what can be expected.”

As for Harris, he’s been chronicling his recovery at the National Football Post website. Part IX was released a few days ago and Harris continues to make noticeable progress. However, until we see a video of him actually covering a top NFL wide receiver, what we’re watching is really nothing more than a nice home movie. Can Harris return to his pre-injury form? Well, people keep saying, “if anyone can do it, it would be him,” and they are right. But that doesn’t answer the question. In the history of the league, there have been very few 35-year-old starting corners. There have been even fewer 35-year-old starting corners playing on a newly-constructed knee. So while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with hoping for a miracle, you’re probably better off hoping for new players instead.

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  1. nerdmann says:

    Move him to safety. He’ll be an upgrade over Bigby.
    Meanwhile, I suspect at least one player will emerge from between Pat Lee, Brandon Underwood and Josh Bell. I think TT goes there in the draft, but we obviously have more depth there than at LT.

  2. Archie says:

    nerdman – Al Harris excels at man coverage, particularly jamming at the line but I don’t think his skill set translates to S.

    re: topic at hand – Another analysis right on target. Pack’s shaky coverage came apart at the seams last year once Harris went down and planning on him to return to form this year from a devastating knee injury at 35 years of age is akin to fool’s gold.

    Bigby getting benched against Cards for repeatedly screwing up his assignments is the other piece to this puzzle.

    It is time for TT to remodel his secondary. Woodson is probably OK for another two seasons as he chases his Super Bowl. Williams is young and starter quality, though a better nickel back than 2nd CB. I still think we have no idea of whether Patrick Lee is a player or not. Packer coaches liked Underwood more on potential than production. That’s four CBs IF lee and Underwood come through. Blackmon is an OK nickel/dime but will he return to form off his knee injury? I think TT has got to bring in two DBs in top 3 picks (top 4 if he trades down for an extra pick).

    The guy AOA out of IUP is a CB/S who figures around Pack’s RD 3 pick. He could be a very useful guy for Pack if he’s as good as some scouts are saying. I really like his size, speed and movement skills. Great addition for ST too. Morgan Burnett, S, or Nate Allen, would be a major upgrade over Bigby. I’m real tired of waiting on Bigby. He was a pleasant surprise three years ago but no follow-through since. Could be because of injuries.

    Woodson – CB1
    Williams – CB2
    Collins – S1
    Allen/Burnett – S2
    Lee/AOA – CB3 (Nickel)
    Lee/AOA – CB4 (Dime)
    Blackmon and Underwood = maybe keepers

    Can we get two good DBs and a LT and a pass rushing OLB from the first three rounds of this draft? That’s what we are all tuning in to see Thurs/Fri nights this week. It’s possible. In fact, given TT’s penchant of not spending premium picks on OL, we could be looking at drafting DBs 1-2-3. Or throw in one OLB and two DBs. TT has spent only one RD 1 pick on an offensive player in his first five drafts – Aaron Rodgers. I don’t believe Clifton will make it beyond game 4 w/o missing time for injury but somehow I get the feeling that TT has no intention of going for Charles Brown or any other LT in RD 1, 2 or 3. RD 4 is where he likes to go OL. I expect 2nd big defensive draft in a row. If it is, and if he hits on his guys, and if Harrell makes a comeback, Packer D will be more fun to watch than in a long time. Although I still say its like playing 10 vs 11 with Hawk on the field.

  3. admin says:

    Harris weighs less than 190 pounds, so safety isn’t going to be an option. It’s either corner or nothing.

  4. PackerMax says:

    As usual, I think you’re right, but hope you’re wrong. I’m rooting for Harris, but I realize that his success is unlikely. Do you think he can find a role as the nickel back?

  5. jeremiah says:

    Jerome murphy
    Aj jefferson
    David pender
    Aua(much easier that way)
    Kyle wilson
    Devin mccourty
    Chad jones
    Nate allen
    Earl thomas
    Brandon ghee

    I want at least 2 of those.

  6. [...] him and another rookie lined up behind him. Is it fair to blame Thompson for the current situation? Sure it is. He chose not to sign a corner in free agency or draft one in April. He believed strongly in two of [...]

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