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?