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August

Andrew Quarless Losing Out in Packers Tight End Battle

Andrew Quarless

Andrew Quarless will need to really prove himself after coming into training camp injured.

Though the season has just started and the Green Bay Packers are only three practices into training camp, there might be some concern for the role Andrew Quarless will play in the offense this year. Quarless, who hasn’t passed his physical yet due to a hip flexor injury, has been sidelined for all of the practices thus far.

With Jermichael Finley being eased back into action after his knee injury last year, this has given draft picks D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor ample time on the field.

D.J. Williams in particular has drawn a lot of attention. Coming from the University of Arkansas, he has been praised for his great hands, fighting spirit, and versatility as an H-back type of player. And so far in camp, he has proven every one of those distinctions to be true. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has connected with Williams on multiple occasions.

“One thing I can say is he’s going to be a hell of a player,” said Packers safety Nick Collins. “He’s very fluid, knows the game, understands the game. I just can’t wait to see him in live action.”

While this is great news for the Packers offense and the tight end position, it is sobering news for Andrew Quarless.

Heading into his second year, it was expected that Quarless would make a jump in performance from his rookie season, and many people were excited at his potential. After Jermichael Finley went on injured reserve in October, Quarless took on a larger role in the offense, essentially becoming the new starter.

To the dismay of fans, however, he failed to produce at a significant level. Granted, it was only Quarless’ rookie season, and he still had a lot to learn.

But that’s what makes his current situation so disconcerting. Having to stand on the sidelines while a rookie steals the spotlight is no way to prove to the coaches (or even the fans) that you have what it takes to play a starting role. Compounding the problem was the absence of OTA’s and mini-camps during the lockout that could have helped Quarless make his second-year strides.

Hopefully this trend of training camp issues doesn’t continue for Quarless. Last year, in his rookie season, he showed up to camp overweight and in less-than-ideal football shape. Mike McCarthy remarked on some initial sluggishness, yet also pointed to his natural football instincts, saying it was just a matter of continuing to improve. But has he?

As many have noted, the tight end position for the Packers is very crowded right now.

It’s doubtful that Ted Thompson would release Andrew Quarless in his second year, and there is still plenty of time for him to get in on the action and prove his worth. However, he will need to make the most of every rep he gets when he does return. It could be the difference between playing a starting role and playing a back-up role in what looks to be a high-octane offense.

Andrew Quarless and D.J. Williams are both 22 years old and were both fifth round selections in their respective drafts. So far, though, it has been Williams in the spotlight. He came to camp in shape, healthy, and with a fire to perform. And while it could just be a matter of bad luck, Quarless has fallen behind in the running due to his injury.

The tight end position battle will definitely be something worth watching this preseason. It could even get exciting if Quarless jumps in with guns blazing, since he will probably need to.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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20 Responses to “Andrew Quarless Losing Out in Packers Tight End Battle”

  1. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    It’s early yet – if this continues into late August, THEN I’ll start thinking about him not making the 53. I’m excited about Finley, Williams and Quarless in 3 TE situations for sure!

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    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      As I said in the article, I don’t think Quarless will be cut. But he could potentially lose snaps during the season.

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  2. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

    The saving grace for Quarless could be playbook knowledge as DJ is just learning and Andrew has a year up and in.But,if he comes on the field(when)and isn’t much more book smart than the others,he has a serious problem.

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  3. Lindy Infante says:

    Relax boys….TT doesn’t get rid of players that he drafted. Quarless is a talent and will be on the roster this year. My true concern is Jermichael Finley and if we are ever going to be able to sign him to a 2nd contract. The guy is a Randy Moss/Terrel Owens type of personality. He hasn’t done much in the league, but carries a swagger to him that makes me think that he is going to be a hold out after he has a big season. He’s a holdout just waiting to happen. I think that’s why we have drafted so many TE’s in the last couple years. DJ Williams could be our #1 TE in 2 years…..when Finley is gone. I love Finley….he’s a freak…..but you know he’s going to hold out.

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    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      Perhaps I should put in bold where I wrote: “It’s doubtful that Ted Thompson would release Andrew Quarless in his second year…”

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      • FireMMNow says:

        perhaps “highly unlikely” should have been used instead of “doubtful”.

        Quarless reminds me of David Martin a little bit, which scares me. You see the talent, but for some reason it does not translate. Hard to knock him too much at this point because he is only a second year guy and has been unable to show the improvements he made in the offseason. But he may never get that chance if Williams and Crabtree continue to perform.

        Cut Quinn Johnson and keep all of the TEs, unless TT thinks he can slide taylor onto the PS and not lose him.

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  4. Chris K says:

    also notable that Quarless doesn’t play on ST’s…

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  5. robbie says:

    idk how much of a talent andrew really is he didnt show me a whole lot last year and just because finley made a huge jump doesnt mean he will but im thinking Andrew will maintain his 2nd TE slot and Williams will play as the H back type kinda like how they used to you cooley in Washington put him at FB let him lead block some pass protect in the absence of jackson and let him tear it up catching balls out of the backfield with finley going deep down the middle driver running quick outs and jennings and james going deep im excited about this season

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  6. Mojo says:

    Since Quarless has not passed his physical I don’t believe he’s on the active roster. If that’s the case he eligible for the PUP list. If he starts the season on the PUP I believe he has to stay on for at least six weeks, which would be a good opportunity to see what the newby TE’s have, if anything. Plus his contract isn’t so high that you’re paying out a huge amount for nothing.

    So I say PUP his ass and lets see what the latest flavor of the day produces. And if they suck, bring AQ back.

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  7. Ron LC says:

    Quarless one of many TE’s. Who gives a crap which one(s) they keep. I’m more concerned about Sherrod palying the #1 LG position. A whole lot of questions and no answers. He has never played G before. His own admission! Why the hell is Kampen still coaching that unit?

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    • Oppy says:

      Ron,

      If Marshall Newhouse keeps on playing and improving the way he’s been showing out thus far in camp, I don’t think you’ll have to worry, Sherrod might get a year or two to develop before he gets any significant PT.

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      • Ron LC says:

        Oppy, that would be great. So far, it’s only Coach/Reporter/PR talk. I want to see him play amny downs in the pre-season. He appears to have the physical tools. Then, so did Moll/Breno/Spitz/et. al.

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        • Oppy says:

          For what it’s worth, Ron, shortly after the draft last year I read two separate NFL scouts thought that Marshall Newhouse could end up being the steal of the draft in the 5th round. THey both agreed he was a project and needed to mature physically but that he’s a diamond in the rough.

          Makes me particularly excited about his development.. People always talk about developing back up QB’s and trading them away for net gains.. LT’s could be right up there in value, too..

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  8. Oppy says:

    The biggest knock on Quarless in his rookie season was his drops.

    This isn’t a guy with questionable hands. He has always been known for his sure hands.

    This tells me he had the rookie jitters. Quarless should be fine once he settles in.

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    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      I sure hope so. There’s nothing I’d love to see more than a TE corps consisting of Finley, Crabtree, Quarless, and Williams all at the top of their game.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      exactly, Oppy. As a Penn State Dad, I saw Quarless play A LOT in college. His hands were his best quality, especially catching balls thrown behind him. He probably was not used to the velocity of Rodgers’ passes, as the PSU QBs were not the strong-armed type. He also was never asked to catch a slant pass in college, where most of his drops occurred. I believe he will improve in those areas with practice. The lockout didn’t help him any.

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  9. [...] On why Andrew Quarless Losing Out in Packers Tight End Battle. [...]

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  10. Mente says:

    Did anyone catch the E:60 on DJ Williams on tuesday? Pretty good, even though it is espn

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