Monday, June 21, 2010
Al Harris vows to be ready for opener
By Kevin Seifert
Day One of the Green Bay Packers' minicamp was notable for the return of one cornerback and the promised return of another. Tramon Williams spent his first full day with the team after skipping most of the offseason program, while Al Harris vowed once again to be ready for the Sept. 12 season opener at Philadelphia.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Harris "is going to be definitely challenged" to be ready to practice when training camp begins July 31. That makes Harris a prime candidate to open camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
But at some point after that, Harris expects to get back on the field and demonstrate he will ready to play in Week 1. Harris tore his anterior cruciate ligament Nov. 22, 2009, and has had two surgeries to repair the damage.
Here's what Harris about playing against the Eagles, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "There's no doubt in my mind. There is no doubt in my mind. At all. That was my goal from Day One, and that's still my goal today."
I'll be interested to see how the Packers play this one. Williams is clearly the future of the position, as evidenced by the high $3.168 million tender they issued over the winter. Would Harris slide back into his starting job after missing part of training camp, or would the Packers limit him to nickel situations? We'll soon find out.
Speaking of the nickel, the Packers used an unusual personnel grouping in passing situations during Monday's practice. According to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, defensive end Cullen Jenkins worked several snaps as a left outside linebacker -- even dropping into coverage.
Left outside linebacker is where converted defensive end Aaron Kampman opened the 2009 season. Defensive end will remain Jenkins' primary position, but now is the time to experiment and test all options.