Around the NFL
Look for Packers to add backup QB
Posted Aug. 17 at 06:37 AM
For most of the Brett Favre era, the Packers got by with barely functional backup quarterbacks like Doug Pederson and Jim McMahon. Sure they had Mark Brunell and Matt Hasselbeck, but they traded those guys. Favre never got hurt, so they took some chances at that spot for a number of years.
Aaron Rodgers is a tough guy, as well, but he runs around a lot. On one scramble in last night's exhibition, he got sandwiched between a pair of Browns defenders. The NFC North features Jared Allen, Julius Peppers and Ndamukong Suh, and Rodgers has already missed a game in his career due to a concussion. The Packers need a capable backup quarterback.
Graham Harrell, which you know if you watched last night's game, isn't it. Mike McCarthy acknowledged Harrell missed some throws in his performance, which involved playing eight series without leading a touchdown drive against Browns backups. What he didn't say, but could have, is that all the coaching in the world isn't going to make Harrell into a capable No. 2.
Forget the stats, since neither of Harrell's two interceptions were his fault; one was a Hail Mary, and the other a good throw where his receiver fell down. Then again, he was fortunate to have a pick-6 erased by a penalty (although it should have been caught) and have a defender fail to get his feet down on an interception where Harrell was trying to throw it away. The arm strength isn't there, and neither is the ability to lead this offense.
All that won't matter much if Rodgers doesn't get hurt, but Green Bay saw first hand from Chicago last year what happens when a starting QB gets hurt and there isn't a capable backup in place. The Bears went from a playoff favorite to sitting home with Caleb Hanie in for Jay Cutler. Something similar could happen in Green Bay.
Colt McCoy is a rumored possibility, and he looked pretty good leading a touchdown drive last night. He's no Aaron Rodgers and never will be, but Green Bay would be in better shape with him filling in a few games than they would with Harrell.
We'll see, but if you're looking to handcuff Rodgers with his backup, don't waste a spot on Harrell. He shouldn't be in that job a month from now.
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