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Williams Returns To Action

With the Packers in their final week of offseason practices before a month off until training camp begins, the team welcomed the return of one of their most dependable players in cornerback Tramon Williams.


Williams, who didn't sign his restricted free agent tender until last week, was back on the field for the first time this offseason and worked with the No. 1 defense at right cornerback on the opening day of Green Bay's mandatory mini-camp.

"I felt great," Williams said. "I felt better than I thought I was going to feel, so it was a good thing."

Williams did not participate in the Packers' four weeks of organized team activities, instead working out back in Houston with LeRoy Franklin, a trainer he also worked with coming out of college back in 2006.

"I watched him work out (last) Thursday," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's in excellent shape. I'll have more information when I watch the film. But I'm not concerned with where Tramon is right now. I think he'll be fine and ready to go when training camp starts, and we'll use these couple days here to get him up to speed.

"He's someone that I've personally enjoyed watch grow from his time here, the way he came into our program and the individual success that he's had, and really for the bright future that's in front of him. It's great to have Tramon back."

Williams said the primary reason he chose to work out in Houston was to be with his wife, Shantrell, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.

"It was a blessing for me to be off for the offseason to be there for my wife," Williams said. "That was the main reason, to be there for her. She was going through sickness and all of that throughout the pregnancy, and I didn't feel comfortable leaving her home like that. That's why I was home."

Despite his absence, Williams stayed in contact with members of the organization to stay up to speed with what was happening in Green Bay.

"I always talked to my DB coach, Joe Whitt," Williams said. "I always do a good job communicating with him. He let me know what was going on, if I need anything from up here. They do a great job of sending me DVDs, CDs, whatever it may be to do things that I need to do.

"The strength coach, Mark Lovat, he has done a great job of just sending me some workouts and getting me some supplements and stuff down here just to keep me going. I have been doing a good job of communicating with those guys."

Williams' role this season is a little bit up in the air because of the status of veteran starter Al Harris, who is coming back from a major knee injury sustained in Week 11 last season. McCarthy said on Monday that of the injured players that are rehabbing, Harris is the one that is most in question for the start of training camp on July 31.

"Al is going to be back, I have no doubt," Williams said. "Al has been doing a great job. I have been keeping up with him. You always keep up with guys like that. Al is a hard worker and you never doubt the guy. He is going to be back."

Williams, who started out in Green Bay on the practice squad in 2006, has played in all 48 games over the past three seasons. After Harris went down with the knee injury last season, he took over as the starter at right cornerback, a move he also made in '08 when Harris missed four games due to a spleen injury.

When Harris and fellow veteran cornerback Charles Woodson have both been on the field, Williams has worked as the nickel back. He led the team last season with a career-high 22 passes defensed, along with four interceptions after picking off five passes in '08. Starting in 10 contests in 2009 as either the right corner or as the nickel in the Packers' sub package, Williams was on the field for more than 77 percent of the defensive plays.

"He's a smart guy," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "He's a guy we feel we can move around. He can play inside in our sub package. It appeared to me that he's in pretty good shape out there today. It didn't look like he hadn't been here the whole time."

By signing the Packers' tender, Williams is signed just for 2010, but said he isn't preoccupied with worrying about long-term security.

"It's always a gamble in football," Williams said. "It's the name of the game, it's the business. I was never one to worry about injuries or any of that stuff. I haven't ever been injured in my career, so hopefully that stands. Like I said, I'm just here to play and I'm not worrying about the other stuff."

Instead he will focus on what he can control, his performance on the field, and let the business side of things take care of itself.

"One thing about the Packers, they are a first-class organization," Williams said. "You know they are going to do what is best for the team, and that is all that matters. I am here to play football, and at the end of the day that is all there is to do. That's what we are here for.

"The only thing that I can control is being here and being accountable. Being here and being a great teammate, and that's what I am here for."

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