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bluestree
07-11-2012, 09:20 PM
As Aaron Rodgers garners all the off season aclaim his MVP year has afforded, a young man from Texas prepares for perhaps the most important August of his football life.
The Packers will go into training camp with Graham Harrell slated as Rodgers backup, a prospect that makes pundits and fans alike nervous, some maybe even a little incredulous. While they did draft BJ Coleman in the seventh out of Tennesee-Chatanooga, the same round they got Matt Flynn, Coleman isn't coming off a national championship win like Flynn. BJ looks to be a bear of a project. The same was said of Harrell, including some comments on this site by Turk Schonert.
In Ted We Trust. Thompson has proved the skeptics wrong many times in his tenure. Look for him to do it again, with a little help from Mike McCarthy and Co. While once again Wisconsin sportswriters wring their hands and look for the Packers to bring in a veteran, which Ted never, or at least rarely does. I don't see Donovan McNabb in green and gold.
Here's an excerpt from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article regarding the young fella from Texas Tech that's being called on to step up;

Matt Flynn, Green Bay's backup quarterback the last four seasons, left for Seattle in free agency. That means Graham Harrell gets first shot at the No. 2 job.

Since the season ended, Harrell has put on 14 pounds of muscle, and his arm appeared stronger than ever during off-season practices.

"I think everybody would agree that Graham's throwing with more velocity, and I would say that starts with him," McCarthy said. "That's a credit to really what he's done from the end of last season until now."

Still, the fact remains Harrell went undrafted in 2009, was released twice by the Packers and once by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

In many ways, the Packers are taking a major risk giving Harrell first crack at the backup job.

"I'll say this about Graham: I've always been impressed with the progress he's made with every opportunity he's been given," McCarthy said. "This is clearly his best opportunity of his professional career. He's getting better. It's right there for him as far as being the No. 2."

If Harrell flops this summer, the Packers will likely go searching for a veteran quarterback.

Sure they will. Maybe they'll call Favre. Yeah. If they thought there was any chance the kid would flop, they'd already have somebody coming to camp. Harrell's been running scout team for two years. Who writes this stuff?

packa7x
07-11-2012, 11:16 PM
I'm actually more excited about BJ Coleman. I wouldn't be shocked to see him climb to No. 2. Dude can play!

KabaModernFan
07-11-2012, 11:21 PM
I'm actually more excited about BJ Coleman. I wouldn't be shocked to see him climb to No. 2. Dude can play!

Uhhhh...sure. Good luck with that.

packa7x
07-12-2012, 12:27 AM
He's physically a much better QB than Harrell. It's the mental aspect that may keep him at No.3.

SpartaChris
07-12-2012, 01:41 AM
I don't get all the concern with having Harrell as Rodgers' backup. Rodgers has played at such a high level throughout his career so far that I feel like it's just unrealistic to expect any backup, regardless of how veteran they are, to play anywhere near his level. Rodgers is at the level where, unless you have Tom Brady, Manning I or II, Big Ben or Drew Brees, you're going to experience a pretty significant drop off at the position anyway. Unless you have a defensive juggernaut, it's simply unrealistic to expect the team led by a backup to win a Super Bowl. Sure, you may be able to squeak out a playoff spot with someone who has a bit more time under their belt, but when the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl, simply making the playoffs really isn't all that important.

KabaModernFan
07-12-2012, 06:48 AM
He's physically a much better QB than Harrell. It's the mental aspect that may keep him at No.3.

It's a lot of things that will keep him at #3. It was a weak QB class this year, I looked at Coleman a fair bit. I didn't think he deserved to be drafted.

GoBigOrGoHome
07-12-2012, 10:02 AM
Graham Harrell ran a very complex offense at Texas Tech so he has the mental acuity to keep up with McCarthy's scheme. I'm just not sure I see the arm talent needed to even fill in for ARodgers.

packa7x
07-12-2012, 11:50 AM
It's a lot of things that will keep him at #3. It was a weak QB class this year, I looked at Coleman a fair bit. I didn't think he deserved to be drafted.

I'm a huge fan of his mechanics and his work ethic. The dude studied Peyton Manning's mechanics and modeled his game after him. I know he's not Peyton Manning and likely will never be Peyton Manning, but mechanics are extremely important in McCarthy's offense. It's about precision. He's a project, but he's a great fit with the Pack. He'll grow there no doubt. He may not move up to number 2 this year, but I doubt Harrell will stay past this year as the No. 2 guy. I haven't been impressed with anything the guy has done. I've watched every preseason game he's played in. I'm just not sold. I know he's been improving, but I think Coleman will surpass him soon enough.

packa7x
07-12-2012, 11:52 AM
Graham Harrell ran a very complex offense at Texas Tech so he has the mental acuity to keep up with McCarthy's scheme. I'm just not sure I see the arm talent needed to even fill in for ARodgers.

+1, great point Big. He floats balls all over...worse than Flynn. Flynn at least had other things going for him. Harrell is pretty much just an okay backup at best. I don't want him to see the field.

bluestree
07-12-2012, 12:43 PM
I don't get all the concern with having Harrell as Rodgers' backup.

I think it's mostly generated in the press. The header on PFT was something like Concerns In Green Bay About Graham Harrell, then there's a link to the Milwaukee Journal article that was 70% about Rodgers. So they infer there's some signigicant doubt in the Packer's organization about going with Harrell, to which they offer no proof, and the only quotes from MM are positive. Let's face it, either sports journalism is totally in the crapper, or it's July. :) Clearly the kid is working his tail off, or he'd have been dumped.
As far as his past preseason performances, hard for us to tell what's true when it's scrub v. slappy. Turk and Cris will have some insight when we get into preseason. As to BJ Coleman, I've read conflicting stuff on his mental and physical game, so to me he's a total mystery.

Curtis
07-12-2012, 01:55 PM
+1, great point Big. He floats balls all over...worse than Flynn. Flynn at least had other things going for him. Harrell is pretty much just an okay backup at best. I don't want him to see the field.

I've only seen Harrell once and that was at a preseason game here in KC a few years ago. He wasn't impressive at all, even against the Chiefs 57th string defense. He threw quite a few rainbows and was consistently inaccurate, throwing to the wrong shoulder which contributed to many dropped balls.

I watched a few game films on Coleman and I like what I see so far. I'll wait and see how he does in preseason. But I do think he is better than Harrell.

These are the ones I watched:

vs Auburn (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onCq77m5fs8)

vs Nebraska (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aO49YM48UQ)

packa7x
07-12-2012, 09:55 PM
I listen to footballguys.com a lot, those guys LOVE Coleman and feel like he's a perfect fit in GB. He's going to be a solid backup in the NFL for sure.

packa7x
07-19-2012, 01:05 PM
Here's a scouting report from Matt Waldman on BJ Coleman...


Strengths: As a redshirt freshman Coleman asked for all the film he could get on Peyton Manning and studied the throwing motion, footwork, drops, and play-action game and it shows. Coleman has the best play fakes of the quarterbacks in this class. Coleman played in a pro-style offense, has a pro caliber arm, and leads his receivers with good accurate in the short, intermediate, and deep game. He also does a good job of manipulating a defense with his eyes, play fakes, and pump fakes. He places the ball in good spots for receivers to either avoid contact from a defender or to make sure no defender has a chance to make a play on a throw that might other wise be risky. He shows an internal clock in the pocket and will leave the pocket in situations where he has made his reads and feels he needs to anticipate the rush. He'll also check down when he feels pressure coming fast and shows knowledge of his check-down options.

Weaknesses: His deep accuracy is very good for a college quarterback, but it needs to improve for the NFL. The range limit of his accuracy seems to fall between 45-50 yards. He needs to improve his touch on these throws as well as the quality of spin on some of his throws. Coleman has an aggressive mentality that is good for a potential NFL quarterback, but he can be too aggressive - especially in scenarios when it might seem like the right decision outside of the context of down and distance but not within the context of field position, time left on the clock, and the momentum of the opposing team. These are conceptual issues that are important to leading a team in the NFL. In this area of quarterback, Coleman has a room for improvement.

2012 Outlook: Green Bay in 2012? You're kidding, right? If he has to play, he might have some good yardage weeks but anticipate the Packers bringing in a free agent if they had to rely on Coleman or Graham Harrell for any length of time.

Dynasty Outlook: Coleman is a great pick as a future backup, but he has all the physical tools to develop into a future starter. He has the right combo of accuracy, poise, aggression, and base decision-making to become a team leader. If he develops his conceptual approach to the game, he could be one of the steals of this draft. It's always a big if when talking about transitioning to the NFL, but Coleman is worth the investment - especially if the Green Bay front office picked him as a future backup worth development.

NFL Comparison: Peyton Manning is the player Coleman has worked hard to emulate from the standpoint of the fundamentals of quarterbacking. Coleman's upside is good enough that he can become a starter with Manning-like characteristics, but not Manning's productivity and decision-making.

packa7x
08-18-2012, 08:39 AM
Lol, does anyone else think that Graham Harrell may not even make the roster?

Bengals1181
08-18-2012, 09:34 AM
he would if he had the arm strength...

SpartaChris
08-18-2012, 10:54 AM
Cheesehead TV has a snap by snap breakdown of Harrell's performance: http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/packers-vs-browns-re-watch-film-breakdown-of-several-key-players

As for whether he makes the team, I think the coaches will be looking at progress when it comes to Harrell. How did he look last season, with no QB school or off-season, compared to how he looks this season. How does he look in weeks 3 and 4 compared to weeks 1 and 2. If he's shown enough improvement in their eyes, and if he knows the playbook, he'll make the team.

I get there's a huge drop-off in the quality of play between Harrell and Rodgers, but there's also a huge drop-off in talent between Rodgers and just about all but maybe 5 or 10 guys, and those 5 or 10 guys are busy starting for their own teams. Plus, Rodgers didn't exactly light it up during his early years as the backup either, but that turned out just fine. I believe there's hope for Harrell, if he applies himself. Now he just needs to do it.

packa7x
08-18-2012, 07:18 PM
Cheesehead TV has a snap by snap breakdown of Harrell's performance: http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/packers-vs-browns-re-watch-film-breakdown-of-several-key-players

As for whether he makes the team, I think the coaches will be looking at progress when it comes to Harrell. How did he look last season, with no QB school or off-season, compared to how he looks this season. How does he look in weeks 3 and 4 compared to weeks 1 and 2. If he's shown enough improvement in their eyes, and if he knows the playbook, he'll make the team.

I get there's a huge drop-off in the quality of play between Harrell and Rodgers, but there's also a huge drop-off in talent between Rodgers and just about all but maybe 5 or 10 guys, and those 5 or 10 guys are busy starting for their own teams. Plus, Rodgers didn't exactly light it up during his early years as the backup either, but that turned out just fine. I believe there's hope for Harrell, if he applies himself. Now he just needs to do it.

He's had years to apply himself and IMHO, his progress is unacceptable.

SpartaChris
08-18-2012, 07:36 PM
Yes, he's been on the roster since May of 2010, but he also had no off-season and a dramatically reduced training camp last season, which is why I'm willing to extend to him a bit more patience. He's made some good plays and some crappy ones, but the question is whether he's made improvements in his skills or not. Since we really don't know where his starting point is, I don't think you or I are qualified to make that assessment at this time. For now I'll place my trust in the guys who see and work with him on a weekly basis.

packa7x
08-19-2012, 08:54 AM
I'll go with the incredibly poor QB rating and inability to score against the Browns along with the incredibly poor outing vs San Diego as proof. That along with the buzz that the Pack is gonna go after Tavaris Jackson and the comments like "we're giving him all 4 games to prove himself" lead me to believe that the Packers are close to letting him go unless he blows them away.

mkocs6
08-19-2012, 04:23 PM
I'll go with the incredibly poor QB rating and inability to score against the Browns along with the incredibly poor outing vs San Diego as proof. That along with the buzz that the Pack is gonna go after Tavaris Jackson and the comments like "we're giving him all 4 games to prove himself" lead me to believe that the Packers are close to letting him go unless he blows them away.

Look, I'm with Packa on this one. I've been following Harrell for years and I'm a Texas Tech fan (and alum, for my M.A.), but that dude is Ken Dorsey 2.0. He just doesn't have the arm. He might be great with the playbook, in the film room, with the guys--he's a coach's son, so he's been around the game his whole life and all that makes sense, and that might be reason enough to hold on to him for a while in some capacity. Dorsey, for instance, is now a scout for his old coordinator at Miami and in Cleveland, Rob Chudzinski, who is the O.C. of the Carolina Panthers. That may be where Harrell ultimately makes his mark. His footwork has improved in the last couple of years, but his arm is still his arm. It's not magically going to get better. (I do not intend for this to resurrect one of the great FP controversies of all time. I'm not saying someone needs a rocket to be an effective NFL quarterback, but I am saying there is a minimum of arm strength necessary to succeed in the NFL. I'm saying I don't think Graham Harrell has that.) Also, we should note, he's 27, not 23.

I'm not trying to beat up too much on Harrell and I don't think there's exactly a good option for Green Bay to back up Rodgers, especially considering how heavily you lean on the pass. I don't think Tarvaris Jackson can run that offense, unless you're hiding a back who's as good as Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch somewhere. It's worth pointing out that everywhere he's played, he's had a solid, solid running game. And he's got a gun, but he's not accurate. Colt McCoy is an upgrade over Harrell and Green Bay has weapons aplenty (unlike his time in Cleveland), but he's playing a lot this pre-season in Cleveland--that could mean he's the backup or he's being featured to give teams a reason to trade for him. Would the Packers actually give up a draft pick for him, especially since Arizona may be shopping, or the Browns may be inclined to hold on to him? He'd still probably struggle throwing the ball into tight spots and down the sidelines, especially late in the year.

Shrug.

packa7x
08-19-2012, 06:42 PM
Tjack may not be able to run the team extremely well, but he's better than Harrell.

edave
08-19-2012, 07:02 PM
I get the angst, I'm just as worried as anyone else, but we don't count. Graham has finally had a QB school, albeit a shortened version that had McCarthy grumbling about the CBA. The folks in Wisconsin aren't going to telegraph what they're planning, we'll know at the end of camp if Harrell is the number two or not.

The Packers organization often does confounding things. Trading away a 5th round pick at the last moment for someone who doesn't know the offense is not usually one of them. Back in the spring, I thought they might try to swing a deal for McCoy, but at this point I'd bet money against it happening. Absent a significant injury to Rodgers, a trade to bring in another QB is not likely.

What will be interesting either way is the end of training camp, the cut downs and how the Packers try to keep their 3 QBs with only 2 on the active roster. Having BJ throw 1 pass that was intercepted helps in that area if he's the one they want to stash on the PS.

xaks
08-19-2012, 07:56 PM
I'm concerned as heck, yea. If A-Rod has to miss a couple games with another concussion, I don't trust Harrell to run the offense fully. Yet.

packa7x
08-19-2012, 09:56 PM
I think that if Harrell has another awful game, the Pack will be forced to get rid of him. He really just hasn't played well. I cant defend it.