Bay Packers quarterback Graham Harrell throws during the first
half of a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona
Cardinals Friday in Green Bay.
GREEN BAY - Graham
Harrell will have to play better than he did Friday night if he's
going to hold off Vince Young and B.J. Coleman for Green Bay's No. 2
quarterback job behind star Aaron Rodgers.
Harrell also will
have to play better to avoid being booed, as he was by a portion of
the Lambeau Field-record crowd of 73,738 during the Packers' 17-0
exhibition loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
yeah," Harrell said. "You always hear those. But that's
part of the game."
12 of 19 for 76 yards with two sacks, an interception and a 49.5
rating against. He also lost a fumble on one of the sacks, by John
Abraham, and was at fault on the other, by Tyrann Mathieu, when he
missed the pre-snap protection adjustment and then couldn't
high-step away from the diving Honey Badger on the 12-yard loss.
"Graham has to
play better, and it's tough," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said
Saturday, after breaking down the Packers' first scoreless
exhibition game since a 9-0, rain-shortened loss to Kansas City in
the 2003 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.
Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to quarterback
Graham Harrell during the first half of a preseason NFL
football game against the Arizona Cardinals Friday in Green
quarterback in the preseason, it's never clean, and it's been like
that as long as I've been in this league. You're going to have
things go wrong. You're going to have guys run the route too deep
and your guy who doesn't get off the press and they run into each
other. Then you have to go on to the next receiver. It's those types
of things — where you have to play through odd looks, play through
situations that someone gets beat and throw the ball away, things
challenge for any of those guys that get in there at that time
because you've got some guys playing in their first NFL game, you've
got some guys playing right tackle that haven't even practiced
there. That's the way the preseason goes. For quarterbacks
particularly, you have to play above that."
In the annual
intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 3, Harrell had done just that, leading a
collection of backups to 10 points and unofficially completing 9 of
12 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. And in the two practices
after the team brought Young in for a tryout on Monday, Harrell had
thoroughly outplayed both Coleman and Young, the 2006 No. 3 overall
pick, NFL Rookie of the Year and two-time Pro Bowler who was out of
football last year.
is only going to make you better, it's only going to make you fight
and scratch and claw to keep your position," quarterbacks coach
Ben McAdoo said. "Graham probably doesn't get as much respect
as he deserves, but you know what? He's got the edge right now, and
I think he's competing for his job."
probably wouldn't have sewn up the job with a better performance
against the Cardinals, he could have put greater distance between
him and his challengers. Instead, even though Young only had time to
learn a sliver of the playbook (he completed one pass for 7 yards
and ran twice for 12 yards) and Coleman continued his summer-long
struggles (2 for 7, 15 yards), Harrell may have come back to the
pack a bit.
Bay Packers quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (12) and Graham Harrell
take a break during NFL football training camp July 30th in