I am an Al Harris fan. Always have been. But the time has come for Bob Sanders to put Charles Woodson on the opposing teams best wide receiver.
Writing in today's Green Bay Press Gazette, Pete Dougherty quotes Ted Thompson regarding Harris and his performance against Plaxico Burress in the NFC Championship Game:
I thought that was a day where one guy had a heck of a game, but I don’t think it was necessarily an indication that Al’s skills have diminished...A lot of those plays were bang-bang, and the other guy made some plays. We’re not overly concerned about that.
What Thompson fails to mention is that Harris' failure against Burress was more a mental breakdown than a physical one. Just as he did against Terrell Owens the month prior, Harris allowed the player across from him to dictate his emotions and get him out of his game. Time and again you can see Harris and Burress jawing back and forth both before and after plays. The same thing happened against Terrell Owens. Harris simply gets so jacked up for these big-time matchups that he seems incapable of keeping his cool, and against these elite talents, it costs him. Big time.
So Sanders should matchup the much more levelheaded Charles Woodson on the oppositions' number one wide receiver. Woodson's cover skills are just as good, if not better, and he has shown an uncanny ability to bounce back after a bad play and, for whatever reason, a better temperament for dealing with the baiting and the trash talking that the best number one wide outs all seem to engage in.
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