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Notebook: Harris Thrives As Pass Rusher


Cornerback Al Harris serves a crucial role as the Packers' best shutdown cornerback, but the Packers also utilized him in a different capacity, blitzing him repeatedly on Sunday.

"When it's time to cover, I'm ready to cover," Harris said "When it's time to blitz, I'm ready to blitz."

He harassed Vick all day with one of his most impressive plays coming on an Atlanta Falcons 3rd-and-10 possession at the Packers' 36-yard-line. Harris sacked Vick for a two-yard loss, which pushed the Falcons out of field goal range.

Harris said he blitzed more against the Falcons than he ever has in one game.

"Yeah. Definitely. I'm not really known as blitzer," Harris said.

So does that mean Harris has a new role as pass rusher? Not quite.

"It's cool, but I want to cover," he said. "I want interceptions."


Back To His Old Ways

Ryan Longwell rebounded from a week in which he missed a 31-yard field goal by hitting four field goals, including a pair from 53 and 51 yards.

"That's the way we've been," said Longwell, who entered the season as the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history at 82.4 percent. "If you keep swinging away, you know they're going to come your way."

Although Longwell accounted for 15 points, the kicking game was not perfect. Longwell never received a chance to attempt a 50-yard field goal. With 8:36 left in the third quarter and the chance to take a 23-17 lead, holder B.J. Sander mishandled the snap. With no chance for a success with a field goal, Sander rolled out and hit tight end Bubba Franks with a four-completion, which fell short of the first down.

The Sander and Longwell duo proved resilient, nailing a 53-yarder on the next series.

"You can either go out there and be scared or go out there and swing away," Longwell said. "I kept swinging away."


On Guard

Second-year player Scott Wells made his first start at guard, replacing Adrian Klemm on the left side. His debut proved successful with many of the Samkon Gado's 103 rushing yards coming behind the left side.

"I knew when they moved me over it was going to be a big test," Wells said. "They see me as a run blocker so that didn't surprise me."

Wells had great confidence occupying the position he practiced at during the latter part of training camp and back in high school at Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy.

"I felt comfortable going in," Wells said. "All the questions out there weren't coming from me. They were coming from everybody else."

Wells' success came against defensive tackles Rod Coleman and Chad Lavalais. The Falcons flip-flopped both from side to side.

"They do an excellent job rotating them," Wells said. "We got some good explosive runs."


Many Happy returns

Linebacker Na'il Diggs received his first action since injuring the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in an Oct. 3 game against the Carolina Panthers.

"It felt good, man," Diggs said. "It felt good."

Diggs did not start but played extensively during the game, alternating just about every other series with Paris Lenon at strongside linebacker. The Packers made great use of Diggs' versatility. He snuffed out runs against Michael Vick, Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett and covered Alge Crumpler down the field.

"I definitely had my hands full -- no doubt about that," he said. "I handled it well as far as coverage and discipline and knowing what I needed to do and responsibilities and assignments."

During training camp Diggs had strained the MCL in his other knee, making his return all the more meaningful.

He finished with four tackles on the day.


In The Driver's Seat

Despite facing a lot of attention from defenses because he's playing without wide receivers Javon Walker, Robert Ferguson and Terrence Murphy, Donald Driver has excelled.

"It's all about making plays," Driver said.

Driver made plays even though the Falcons covered Driver with their talented second-year cornerback DeAngelo Hall for most of the game. He caught 10 passes for 114 yards

"The guy's just a tremendous athlete and very determined," Brett Favre said. "It's about making a good enough throw to enable him to make the catch, and then Donald does the rest."

Driver attributed his special connection to Favre to their seven years of experience together.

"He knows where I'm going to be. I know where he's going to throw the ball," Driver said. "It's about having trust in each other. When he gets to moving around, you've got to move with him because he will find you."

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