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My Final Words on Al Harris

My Final Words on Al Harris

I knew I should have never opened my mouth on the Al Harris release, but after an epic Twitter conversation, I feel the need to leave my final thoughts before watching that sick interception by Sam Shields last Sunday.

Al Harris was an awesome Green Bay Packer. He was never hurt, he came to play, and added a ferociousness to the secondary that we truly needed. Most of all, he will be forever inked in our minds for his game winning interception in overtime against the Seahawks. It's one of the greatest memories, if not the greatest memory, in the last decade of Packer football.

I will always love Al, and that interception will most certainly put him in the Packer Hall of Fame.

What I can't understand is the outrage by some fans that feel the Packers needed, or were in some way responsible for keeping Al on the roster. To me, that's just the legend talking. And outside of that miracle moment, there isn't much more to add.

Al Harris was a great Packer, a great football player, and gave Packer fans something they will never forget. The Packers are obligated to acknowledge that fact, but certainly not to keep him on the team.

It's funny, when talking about Al Harris' legend I never once had to mention exactly which interception I was talking about. To put that in perspective, I leave you with these following follow up questions:

1. Remember when Favre threw that game winner with seconds left?

2. Remember when Reggie sealed the game with back-to-back sacks?

3. Remember when Sharpe made that amazing catch to seal it?

4. Remember Darren Sharper picking it off in the endzone to win the game but then running it out to the 10 yard line instead of kneeling on it and then getting hurt?

5. Remember that interception by Al Harris?

Perspective. Al made a great play that will last in our mind for eternity. It doesn't mean he can make another one.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bob Pankratz's picture

Yes but if I say remember that time Al ran the wrong way in zone coverage; it will be just like saying remember when Farve lost the game with a stupid interception. Al at his age and the packers with the amount of zone they run are just not a good fit any more. Al is a great guy by all accounts and he gets to go play out his career near his home; and the Packers keep the guys that are proving to be good in zone. Everybody wins. Any Al says in the press is about pride and we need to remember that.

Zach G's picture

1. Favre to Bradford to lead the Rhodes-led Pack to win over the Vikes at Lambeau.

2. Reggie vs. the Elway-led Broncos on a Sunday night game on Lambeau broadcast on TNT.

3. Hmm...no.

4. No clue.

5. "We want the ball and we're gonna score!"

Alex Tallitsch's picture

The bigger point is, when you ask someone about the game winning TD Favre threw, the next question is always, "Which one." Same with 2-4 too. Not number 5.

ron's picture

Al's value was never in the big interceptions that he made. For a few years there, actually before he was even rewarded with a pro bowl nod, he was as close to a shut down corner as there was in the NFL at that time, and the receivers going against him said as much. He didn't get a lot of picks but the receivers he covered didn't get a lot of catches or TDs.

Don't hold that interception against him now by saying he didn't make more or won't make more. That just wasn't what he was about.

bryce's picture

I thought you meant Reggie's back to back sacks in the Superbowl.

You're right Alex. At first I was like, "How can they cut Al?!?!" But then when I calmed down and thought about it, I realized it was probably the right choice. The Packers could stand to save some money. He's probably never going to be the same player again, and if he was, how much time would he really have left at a high level?

Also, Williams and Shields need their time now. Bringing Al back would just hinder their development. Al will always be a beast in my mind. But this is just how the Packers do business.

I'm a bit worried about what would happen if we had someone in our secondary go down...but...I think MM and TT got it.

PackFanatic's picture

Al,

I don't know why you are so surprised at the fan's reaction to Al Harris getting cut. I think it was more surprise than anger...we just didn't have a clue this was coming. We felt bad more than anything else, like when a friend moves away or someone got let go at work.

This is a mini-mini version of the same reaction when Favre left (er, was asked to leave...whatever). Some fans just don't want to let go, don't accept that a player may not be better anymore than his replacement.

That's why I joked about the teal and orange #31 jerseys about to be seen in Lambeau.

PackersRS's picture

Oh. Amazing point. Perfect Alex.

Trully diehards will remember more than one of his interceptions. Most will also remember the MNF Bears game where he picked Cutler.

But you're absolutely right. Harris was a GREAT Packer, but GREAT moment, he has basically that. Which is not little, as you said, it may very well be THE moment of the last decade.

asshalo's picture

I don't know how healthy he is, so I am going to be patient. Thompson has earned the right.

Plus they save the prorated portion of the rest of his contract at 1.3 million dollars. That might not seem like much, but Green bay seems to be frontloading a lot of contract money to this UnCapped year. And financing costs are obviously high during a recession, so it's nice to free-up that capital.

I agree with Wilde in that this could come back to bite them if any of the top three CBs get hurt-- that is assuming he's healthy.

PackersRS's picture

"Thompson has earned the right."

So true. I think this insane ammount of injuries, and the way the backups responded, has given the fans a real perspective to how good a job TT is doing.

Almost every fan is recognizing it now. I confess that I had my doubts. I was always a supporter, but I had doubts. But to have this kind of injury-riddled season, and to have so many backup players playing at such a high level, it takes an absurd talent.

TT deserves GM of the Year without a doubt.

bryce's picture

TT has earned the right...and he does deserve GM of the year, you're both right. He's made me eat my words on so many occasions. Sinorce Moss got released by the Giants this week, a lot of experts had him above Greg Jennings on their draft boards. I was mad when they drafted Jennings over Moss, shows how much I know.

TheRealJosh's picture

The Packers are paying Al Harris 2.5M to not play for them. IT's a good thing the secondary hasn't suffered injuries.

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