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Wed, May 22, 2013
Harris, Woodson Show Up For OTA's
Woodson Says "Plane Took A Wrong Turn!"
By Lance Allan
GREEN BAY - Here's an oddity that might top the latest alien landing, Sasquatch sighting or whatever else is in the supermarket tabloids this week: Veteran cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson both were present for the Green Bay Packers' voluntary offseason workout session Wednesday. No, really. "What happened is, I got on the plane and I was headed south, and somehow we took a wrong turn and I ended up here," Woodson joked. "So here I am." Harris and Woodson typically have skipped past Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts, which technically are voluntary but are considered a sign of commitment by coaches. That hasn't really mattered to Harris and Woodson, two veterans who were secure in their standing with the team and preferred to work out on their own at home. But this year, both players seem to have had a change of heart. Woodson has been in Green Bay for much of the offseason, and Harris showed up for Wednesday's session and plans to stay. "I had planned on being here," Harris said. "It was just time to come to work." Woodson said he hoped to provide a veteran presence for younger players, especially now that recently retired Packers icon Brett Favre isn't around. "It's going to be a transition period for the Packers without Brett around, so we need as many of the vets back, obviously, as possible," Woodson said. Favre, of course, skipped out on his fair share of voluntary workouts. But Woodson said it still was strange not having him around. "The guy hasn't missed a game in 17 years, or whatever it was," Woodson said. "So not to have him around just for this organization, this community, is going to be a lot different." And, of course, there are the constant reminders that Woodson and Harris aren't getting any younger. "People always repeat what they hear on TV," Woodson said. "You hear a lot of the sportscasters and those people speak about my age, Al's age, how we've maybe got another year left or whatever it is. "You hear it all the time, so people repeat it when we're in the streets or around barber shops or whatever. I know I can still play. Al knows he can still play. We're just around here getting a little extra work so we'll be ready for the season to start." Whatever the reasons, Packers coach Mike McCarthy was encouraged by the veterans' decision to work out in Green Bay. "You only have a certain window to get ready, and it's important for our players to be here," McCarthy said. "We're smart with our veteran players; we always have been since my time as the head coach and we'll continue to do so. You've just got to kind of find that happy medium." TORY'S TIME: Tight end Tory Humphrey returned to the practice field this week after breaking his ankle in last year's training camp and sitting out the entire 2007 season. "It was great to see him back going through everything," McCarthy said. "It has been a long road back for him and he has done a great job from the standpoint of being here all of the time, throughout the season, throughout his rehab, and he looks good. He is a unique player that I was very high on last year." Humphrey said he was trying to put the injury out of his mind. "I didn't think about the past," Humphrey said. "I'm just trying to move forward and get past the injuries and just keep going." HE'S GOT THE LOOK: For years, Favre and wide receiver Donald Driver didn't need anything more than a quick glance at the line of scrimmage to change a play. With a glance, Driver knew what Favre wanted him to do. Now Driver is striving to have the same kind of relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. "It's going good right now," Driver said. "We talked about it last week as well, and I just told him, me and 4, we had that thing that probably it's going to be hard for me and him to get, but I think for the last couple of weeks we were able to get that." Rodgers said it's only a matter of time. "But just the more reps that I get, the more comfortable I'm going to be in this offense, and the more reps I get with Donald, the more comfortable we're going to be working together," Rodgers said. NOTES: Rookie tight end Jermichael Finley came up limping after he was hit by two defenders during team drills Wednesday. Trainers examined Finley's lower right leg on the sidelines, but Finley said he was OK after practice. ... Junius Coston and Jason Spitz split time at right guard with the Packers' No. 1 offense Wednesday, with Allen Barbre taking most of the snaps at left guard.