A demotion for Harris?

A vintage Led Zeppelin song is named "Communication Breakdown." That seems to be what happened on Wednesday at 1265 Lombardi Ave.

Before practice, ace cornerback Al Harris was quoted by The Associated Press as being "demoted" and would not be covering standout Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson during Sunday night's prime-time matchup.

Needless to say, that news was a stunner to Harris, who only has been the Packers' best defender this season. He gave up only two completions against the Vikings on Sunday, and in the game before that, Harris made the game-saving interception despite a sprained ankle that nearly kept him out of the lineup.

But before practice, Harris told reporters he learned at a meeting that he would be covering the Texans' other starting receiver, Jabar Gaffney.

"I guess I haven't been doing a good job, so this week I'll probably be on the less productive guy," Harris said.

After practice, Harris said that he, indeed, would be covering Johnson.

"I think it's changed," Harris said. "What I was telling you, I wasn't pulling your leg. That was the initial how they wanted to do it. I don't know what changed or whatever. But it changed when we got to practice."

As confused as Harris was before practice was as confused as coach Mike Sherman was when told of Harris' comments. Sherman called Harris his "go-to" cornerback.

If there's a middle ground, it could be this: When Harris started with Mike McKenzie, Harris lined up on the right side and McKenzie on the left on every snap. But with Harris starting with rookie Ahmad Carroll, the Packers have elected to put Harris on the opposing team's primary receiver and sticking Carroll on the No. 2 pass-catcher. If the Packers go back in that direction, then Harris wouldn't always be on the No. 1 receiver, and thus would have taken the change as a "demotion."


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