Veteran cornerback Al Harris participated in his first OTA workout this offseason on Wednesday at The Don Hutson Center.
Harris said that he had planned all along to participate in some OTA practices this offseason, and will be in attendance for the remainder of the workouts through the mandatory mini-camp.
"You've got to get back into football tempo instead of just offseason workouts," Harris said. "It's good for skill positions, receivers, defensive backs, and quarterbacks to get your timing down and things like that."
Harris is coming off a 2007 season that saw him earn Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his 10 seasons in the league as he posted 37 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defensed.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said with the changes in the training camp schedule this year, the offseason work takes on even more importance. He said Harris keeps himself in great shape so his conditioning was not a concern.
"We have a very distorted training camp schedule, compared to the ones we have had in the past," McCarthy said. "There is an amount of work that needs to get done in the offseason. It's important for Al to be here, just like everybody else, to make sure he is getting ready to go because the practices are less than what we have done the last two years in training camp."
The other half of the Packers' starting cornerback tandem, Charles Woodson, has been participating in OTA workouts since last week. He normally spends his offseason in Houston, but this year he spent more time working out at the team's facility during February and early March before the team's offseason program began.
"This year I kind of felt like I needed to be around the team," Woodson said. "You try to be an example (for the younger players) as much as possible. Whatever they can learn from me, then that will be a plus for the team."
Rookie tight end Jermichael Finley went down after a collision while going up for a pass on the sideline, and he did not return to practice. It appeared Finley came down awkwardly trying to haul in the pass with safety Aaron Rouse and linebacker Desmond Bishop closely defending.
After practice, Finley said that his knee hit his chest as he went to the turf and he got the wind knocked out of him. He said he was fine and expected to practice with the team Thursday.
Safety Nick Collins picked off an Aaron Rodgers pass over the middle during a team period on Wednesday.
Earlier, Rodgers connected with rookie wide receiver Jordy Nelson on a seam route down the middle of the field as he was defended by fellow second-round pick cornerback Pat Lee.
For the rookie tandem, it was the second time in the past 10 months that they squared off on the field. The original meeting came on Sept. 1, 2007, when Lee's Auburn Tigers hosted Nelson's Kansas State Wildcats, with Auburn coming out on top, 23-13.
A look back
This past Monday, the NFL Network began airing a weekly summer series of classic games, and two of the upcoming broadcasts involve Packers contests.
First, on June 30, NFL Network will show Brett Favre's first comeback, when he came off the bench in relief of Don Majkowski against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 20, 1992, at Lambeau Field.
Then, on July 28, fans can see another classic that didn't turn out so well for Green Bay -- the 1998 NFC Wild Card playoff contest in San Francisco, featuring the most famous catch of Terrell Owens' career.
The network will air the complete television broadcast of these "classics," including the original announcers and graphics. Each Monday, the series is slated to air at 7 p.m. CT, with encore showings at 11 a.m. CT Tuesdays and at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Saturdays.
Mini-camp schedule set
McCarthy announced practice times for the team's mandatory mini-camp, to be held June 17-19 in the Don Hutson Center. McCarthy also announced that the final "open" OTA practice would shift one day, from June 11 to 12.
Mini-camp will consist of five total practices - two each on June 17 and 18 and 10:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days, and one on June 19 at 10:15 a.m. All three morning practices will be open to the public for an initial period. There will be no public access for the two afternoon workouts.
The final "open" OTA practice also has been moved back one day, to June 12. Consequently, there will be no public access for the OTA practice on June 11.