Silence is golden for Green Bay Packers rookie Shields : Packers Insider

Silence is golden for Green Bay Packers rookie Shields

November 5, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Nov 5, 2010 ~ by Tom Silverstein

~Green Bay — Sam Shields hasn’t been in the news much.

For a rookie cornerback playing a heavy dose of snaps, that’s not such a bad thing, really.

Since coming back from a calf injury that knocked him out of the Detroit and Washington games, Shields has been playing at a high level for the Green Bay Packers. Usually, when rookies hear their names it’s because they’re getting beat a lot.

“Being out on the field, you have to bring your best ‘A’ game, especially playing with all the veterans out there,” Shields said Thursday. “You have to be on top of your stuff and know what you’re doing.

"You don't want to make no mistakes because it'll hurt you. I just try to go in there with a level head and a lot of confidence and play hard."

The 5-11, 184-pound Shields might be the fastest player on the field, and while his cornerback skills are still a work in progress, his speed always weighs in his favor. Before hurting his calf, he had his ups and downs, but since returning against Miami, he hasn’t given up any touchdowns, committed any penalties or been thrown at all that much.

The Packers are more likely to keep  a safety over the top of Shields than they are over starters Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams, but Shields still has to be on his man or risk getting torched. He nearly gave up a big play against New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, who dropped the ball, but that’s the breaks you get sometimes as a corner.

Besides not allowing any big plays, the most impressive part of Shields has been his unwillingness to back down against receivers like Holmes, Bernard Berrian, Lee Evans and DeSean Jackson. On Sunday, he probably will have to cover one of Dallas’ big three – Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Roy Williams – which will present a challenge given his size.

“I try not to be a rookie out there,” Shields said. “I try to be a veteran. My whole thing is don’t let a ball that is caught on me, (to) even think about it. Whoever I’m against, I have to do what I’ve got to do.”

Another obstacle for Shields would be the return of cornerback Al Harris, which is a possibility this Sunday. The Packers have until Monday to decide whether to activate him off the physically unable to perform list, and after a two-game delay it would make sense that this would be the week.

Harris isn’t sure what coach Mike McCarthy‘s plan is yet.

“I’m confident my body is ready for it,” Harris said. “I don’t know if that will happen. If my number were called, I’d be able to play.”

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