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Graham Harrell “more comfortable” in Packers’ offense

Graham Harrell, Mike McCarthy AP

There are multiple routes a backup quarterback can take to a starting job.

In the case of Green Bay’s Graham Harrell, he will likely have to take a road familiar to the passers who have played behind Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in the last 20 years. In short, Harrell’s going to have to show enough in limited playing time, whether in the preseason or in a rare regular-season stint, to attract interest from another club, for the Packers have their starting quarterback in Rodgers.

Harrell is 28, and he is restricted free agent at season’s end. If he progresses in 2013, he could draw a solid tender offer next offseason from Green Bay. Perhaps even a trade market could develop for him.

First things first: Harrell needs to secure the top depth-chart spot behind Rodgers once again. In a feature published Monday, Harrell told Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette that he’s become more well-versed in the Packers’ offense than ever this offseason.

“As a backup, you really get more reps now than you get anytime else,” Harrell told the Press-Gazette. “I think that’s one of the biggest things and I feel more comfortable now than I’ve ever felt, knowing the protection, pretty much the O-line and feeling good with protections, because routes when you play quarterback at some point you check defenses similar ways no matter what system you’re in.”

Per the Press-Gazette, Rodgers believes Harrell has taken a step forward like former backup Matt Flynn did in his time in Green Bay.

“I think he’s really improved,” Rodgers told the paper. “I think you saw it last year throughout the season as he became more comfortable. I look at him as being in the same spot that Flynn was when Flynn was in his last year with us. We’re very confident in the offense and it means more to him to be successful every day in practice like you saw just a slight shift with Matt, and it was no surprise when Matt got a chance to play how well he played.”

Flynn parlayed his rare opportunities to play — with his 2011 performance vs. Detroit his audition tape — into a free-agent deal with Seattle. To take the next step up the ladder in his career, Harrell needs to hold off B.J. Coleman and hold his spot as the top backup to Rodgers.

And when it comes to play, Harrell needs to put something good on tape for evaluators to consider.

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30 Responses to “Graham Harrell “more comfortable” in Packers’ offense”
  1. skittlesareyum says: Jul 1, 2013 9:45 PM

    Step 1: Don’t fumble your first and only snap in a real game.

  2. sb50 says: Jul 1, 2013 9:46 PM

    I’m not really a Packers fan and I’m not intending on criticizing them by any means. But, I think the Packers should really invest some of their time into finding a legitimate backup quarterback rather than having Graham Harrell take over the offense, if god for bid Rodgers goes down.

  3. stellarperformance says: Jul 1, 2013 9:47 PM

    If there is one thing the Packers have historically done well, it is the development of NFL-caliber quarterbacks. Other people have listed them too many times for me to repeat the list, but Harrell is being kept around for a reason. I’d Rodgers gets hurt, and he might, this guy has to come in and simply not be the reason they lose. If I’m not mistaken, I think the Packers won the SuperBowl the last time Rodgers missed playing time (but I could be wrong.) In any case, this guy should be as prepared as as anyone. There is a reason the Packers are keeping him around.

  4. ibrandon360 says: Jul 1, 2013 9:52 PM

    He should work on his handoffs, then focus on the more important job … his clipboard.

  5. johnnyb216 says: Jul 1, 2013 10:23 PM

    Well I sure hope so! He’s only been in it for 4 YEARS! Last year he was awful and I don’t think he could’ve been any worse! Only one direction to go here!

  6. firestarter0728 says: Jul 1, 2013 10:32 PM

    Would love to see the Packers scam a high draft pick from the Vikings for him before training camp…

    Harrell > Ponder

  7. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jul 1, 2013 10:38 PM

    Flynn had the game he did against Detroit because the Lions secondary was decimated by injuries. They actually had multiple guys who had recently been signed off the street getting significant playing time.
    No one ever seems to remember or acknowledge this fact.

  8. punkthepack says: Jul 1, 2013 10:42 PM

    Good job Harrell.

    So, the Packers can make the playoffs this year and have Rodgers injured on the final regular season game. The the Packers can go on the road for the first game and Harrell, who hasn’t taken a snap all season, can start the game and perform at the same level as Rodgers.

    Sound familiar?

  9. chi01town says: Jul 1, 2013 10:58 PM

    They will need him this season because that O-line is weak. Now that Rodgers has his big contract he will get hurt and the packers wont risk him playing hurt

  10. gtorlone says: Jul 1, 2013 11:12 PM

    Graham Harrell – likeable guy – but will never be anything more than Michael Crabtree’s college quarterback.

  11. tokyosanbblaster says: Jul 1, 2013 11:13 PM

    BJ Coleman. Get it?

  12. noeffinway says: Jul 1, 2013 11:38 PM

    Flynn put up those numbers against a decimated Lions secondary. They had CB’s starting that had been on the street just a week or two before. Flynn is not and will not be a good NFL QB…… Harrell will be just as over-rated.

  13. nutsacker says: Jul 1, 2013 11:47 PM

    Who?

  14. noeffinway says: Jul 2, 2013 12:03 AM

    Flynn put up those numbers against a decimated Lions secondary. They had CB’s starting that had been on the street just a week or two before. Flynn is not and will not be a good NFL QB…… Harrell will be just as over-rated.

  15. gbpbacker84 says: Jul 2, 2013 12:13 AM

    In pretty much his only snap last season he fumbled it on the goal line vs the Saints and put the W in extreme jeopardy. I really hope Coleman beats him out just as I hope that Tavecchio beats out Crosby. How the hell either of those guys are still on the team baffles me.

  16. brownsfanincali says: Jul 2, 2013 12:41 AM

    And as a Packers fan, I’d be more comfortable having a much better QB on hand than Harrell should AR go down… the Pack would be lucky to go 6-10 if Harrell had to play for a year.

  17. gloryfromheaven says: Jul 2, 2013 1:01 AM

    I was a huge fan of Graham coming out of college, I’m glad he’s worked his way up into a backup role. Hopefully he’ll be good enough to get an opportunity elsewhere someday…

  18. squared80 says: Jul 2, 2013 1:47 AM

    Without Rodgers, they have a solid WR core, a terrible O-Line, no run game, no defense, a kicker who can’t kick, and a back-up quarterback who may be the worst in the league.

    Better hope Rodgers doesn’t go down. At least when Favre was around, they had a good team all around him.

  19. greenmeattruck says: Jul 2, 2013 7:23 AM

    Great! Regardless, I hope he never has to play in the regular season.
    If he does, I hope Ted Thompson doesn’t just let him walk w/out getting anything for him, like he did with Flynn.

  20. hscorpio says: Jul 2, 2013 8:08 AM

    It goes without saying that the Packers would be worse off if Rodgers went down. But I’ve seen nothing from Harrell the leads me to believe he’s so much as a competent NFL backup QB.

    Converting Harrell into a competent QB would be miraculous from McCarthy & Co. based on what I’ve seen from Harrell so far. I watched Rodgers, Flynn and Hasselback develop from year to year in the preseason. I’ve seen very little of that from Harrell so far.

  21. mp4philly says: Jul 2, 2013 8:54 AM

    This idiot came in for one play and fumbled a handoff on the 1 yard line against the Saints. Cost me a grand.. I how he gets cut.

  22. skimbell says: Jul 2, 2013 9:27 AM

    “…Harrell…(says)… that he’s become more well-versed in the Packers’ offense than ever this offseason…
    Oh boy! Now he REALLY knows what he can’t do.

  23. pl4tinum514 says: Jul 2, 2013 9:56 AM

    This dude has no business playing in the NFL, sorry.

  24. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jul 2, 2013 11:11 AM

    johnelwayishorsefaced says:
    Jul 1, 2013 10:38 PM
    Flynn had the game he did against Detroit because the Lions secondary was decimated by injuries. They actually had multiple guys who had recently been signed off the street getting significant playing time.
    No one ever seems to remember or acknowledge this fact.

    What jagoff would thumbs down this comment? Its the absolute truth. Why would you disagree with a known, established fact unless you were just a hater trying to be argumentative?

  25. stellarperformance says: Jul 2, 2013 3:09 PM

    johnelwayishorsefaced says:
    Jul 2, 2013 11:11 AM
    What jagoff would thumbs down this comment? Its the absolute truth. Why would you disagree with a known, established fact unless you were just a hater trying to be argumentative?

    ////////////////////////////////////

    Nobody cares. And I particulalry don’t care how “decimated” your secondary is/was. SIX TD’S? In the NFL? That’s not decimated, that’s invisible.

  26. deltaoracle says: Jul 2, 2013 4:11 PM

    I’m jacked that he may be able to take a snap, pivot, and hand the ball off instead of tripping and fumbling. From tiny seedlings mighty redwoods grow.

  27. 7ransponder says: Jul 2, 2013 4:18 PM

    johnelwayishorsefaced says:
    Jul 2, 2013 11:11 AM
    johnelwayishorsefaced says:

    What jagoff would thumbs down this comment? Its the absolute truth. Why would you disagree with a known, established fact unless you were just a hater trying to be argumentative?

    ———————-

    Don’t bother man, “GB drafts/develops/plays the master race of football players” is the mantra around here with these homers and they can’t see past the ends of their own constantly-red noses.

  28. wafflestomp says: Jul 2, 2013 5:01 PM

    Flynn put up those numbers against a decimated Lions secondary. They had CB’s starting that had been on the street just a week or two before. Flynn is not and will not be a good NFL QB…… Harrell will be just as over-rated.

    ——————————————————————————–

    In 2010, Matt Flynn’s 1st and only other start, he had the (12-2)Patriots against the ropes on the road, with a 6 point lead in the 4th quarter.
    And almost rallied them back at the end, before fumbling the ball on their 15 yd. line.
    He threw for 251 yds and 3 TDs that night.

    Look, I honestly don’t know what kind of NFL QB Matt Flynn is going to turn out to be, but I’m glad someone is finally going to give him a chance, because he has been pretty Darn good with the small amount of opportunities he’s had.

    Also, calling Graham Harrell over-rated is just about the dumbest statement I’ve ever seen on this site.
    Almost nobody outside of Green Bay even knows who this kid is.
    Thanks for playing though.

  29. axespray says: Jul 2, 2013 5:20 PM

    johnelwayishorsefaced says:
    Jul 1, 2013 10:38 PM
    “Flynn had the game he did against Detroit because the Lions secondary was decimated by injuries. They actually had multiple guys who had recently been signed off the street getting significant playing time.
    No one ever seems to remember or acknowledge this fact.”
    ———————————————
    We had games late last year w/o four of our starting linebackers, starting safety – yet no one made excuses for us (when we swept the lions in that time span)…

    The 49ers/Peterson got to tee off on our 3rd string linebackers, no one ever seems to remember or acknowledge that fact… then again, maybe you’re just having trouble seeing past the ends of your “red noses” … ka-durrh?!

  30. omgvikingsrule says: Jul 2, 2013 5:50 PM

    7transponder and I made out.

    Normally my standards are higher, but sometimes there are no sheep to be found.

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