Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. And as long as he’s under center in Green Bay, the Packers will be in good shape at football’s most important position.
But behind Rodgers, incumbent Graham Harrell and 2011 seventh-round pick B.J. Coleman leave the team with a training-camp battle between a pair of unknowns.
Harrell has been in the system longer than Coleman, but the duo has combined to attempt just four regular-season passes.
Between garbage time and briefly filling in for a shaken-up Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback Graham Harrell played all of 32 snaps in 2012. But everyone remembers one of those 32 plays in particular.
On the first play after Rodgers was poked in the eye by Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, the Packers faced a first-and-goal on the Saints’ two yard-line. Harrell came in for one play–a handoff to Cedric Benson.
But in the process of handing the ball off, Harrell tripped on Jeff Saturday’s foot and fumbled. The Saints recovered, making an already close game even more nerve-racking for Packers fans.
But despite the generally low perception of Harrell, there’s been some good Graham the past two preseasons.
Last summer in the preseason finale against Kansas City, Harrell posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns without turning the ball over.
In Week 2 of the 2011 preseason, Harrell completed seven of nine passes for 81 yards and a touchdown–good for a 141.2 passer rating.
After losing Matt Flynn as an unrestricted free agent last summer, the Packers backup quarterback position has been a question mark. They still had Harrell but decided to spend a seventh-round pick on B.J. Coleman in hopes of adding some competition at the position.
Coleman was never a serious threat to Harrell for the backup spot a year ago, but this summer will be different.
Question: Will Graham Harrell back up Aaron Rodgers, or will B.J. Coleman?
Physically, Coleman (6-3 231) has the edge, but another year within the Packers system may be exactly what Harrell needed to be a solid NFL backup.