Bay Packers quarterback Vince Young runs with the ball
during the second half of an NFL preseason football game
against the Seattle Seahawks Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Green
GREEN BAY —
While the Green Bay Packers may have decided on their backup
quarterback, they're still uncertain about their kicking
On Sunday, the
Packers announced the release of incumbent No. 2 quarterback
Graham Harrell, making it likely that Vince Young will open the
season as Aaron Rodgers' backup.
Also, the Packers
signed kicker Zach Ramirez and had him competing with Mason Crosby
and Giorgio Tavecchio, who've been battling throughout camp.
"How do I
feel about the kicking position? We had three kickers (on) the
practice field today. I think that illustrates how exactly we feel
about the kicking position," Packers coach Mike McCarthy
job available and someone needs to jump through the door and take
it. That hasn't happened yet."
significant wind at their backs in practice, the three kickers
attempted 11 kicks.
Crosby went 10
for 11, missing wide left from 53 yards. Tavecchio went 9 for 11,
missing wide right from 45 and wide left from 63. Ramirez went 10
for 11, with his miss coming from 45 yards.
"This is a
different situation. (But) I never question what the thoughts are
upstairs," said Crosby, who made only 21 of 33 field-goal
attempts last season for a league-worst 63.6 percent success rate.
Bay Packers quarterback Graham Harrell throws during the
first half of a preseason NFL football game against the
Arizona Cardinals Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis.
it's just focus on what needs to be done. I want to make this team
and I've got to keep kicking like I did today. That's all I can
it's definitely a different a situation as far as bringing him in
right at the end here. But we'll see what happens."
6-foot, 212-pound rookie out of Portland State, was an FCS
first-team All-America and earned first-team All-Big Sky
Conference honors after connecting on a school-record 24 field
goals on 27 attempts (88.9 percent) as a junior in 2011. He was
limited to six games as a senior in 2012 due to a knee injury and
made 4 of 7 field goals.
Ramirez said he
tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on an extra
point, the first kick of the first game of the 2012 season.
While he returned
later in the year, he wasn't 100 percent.
The only NFL
interest he garnered was a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks in May
at the team's rookie camp, but he wasn't signed to a contract.
nowhere near full strength, even two weeks after the last game.
Body weight was still down, my leg still didn't feel comfortable,
wasn't the same," Ramirez said.
"This is all
I wanted, basically another opportunity. I went to Seattle and got
my shot. They didn't like what I did, but they didn't explain too
much what was wrong, it was kind of, 'Great job, we felt like this
guy kicked better than you.'"
That could be the
end result here, too.
say if he would take all three kickers into the preseason finale
at Kansas City on Thursday night, but Ramirez showed enough in his
workout to pique the Packers' interest.
someone that we worked out in the past. We were impressed with him
(then)," McCarthy said.
this morning in a workout and when we take him up from the
workout, (we) felt the second time around, we needed to take a
closer look. I thought he did a heck of a job. I thought all three
kickers did a heck of a job in today's practice."
The Packers still
have 10 more roster moves to make before Tuesday's mandatory
cutdown to 75 players, having released Harrell, wide receivers
Alex Gillett, Omarius Hines and Justin Wilson, running back Angelo
Pease and defensive tackle Gilbert Pena.
said that Young still must compete with third-stringer B.J.
Coleman for the top backup job, the odds of the inexperienced and
inconsistent Coleman overtaking Young seem unlikely.
Young completed 6
of 7 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown (130.7 rating) and had
scrambles of 21 and 18 yards against the Seahawks.
Young's making progress," McCarthy said. "I think it's
the obvious. He's more and more comfortable each week with our
terminology and with our offense."
Young, who was
out of football last year after being cut by Buffalo at the end of
training camp, said he can't let up now.
working, still trying to get better, still catching up. It's a lot
to learn right now," said Young, who was the No. 3 overall
pick in 2006 said. "I just really feel like just a lot of
extra work behind the scenes is going to help me get to where I
need be at."
Harrell, who was
the No. 3 quarterback in 2010 and 2011 while splitting time on the
practice squad and the 53-man roster, served as Rodgers' backup
last season but didn't appear to take a jump this year.
preseason games, Harrell completed just 23 of 42 passes (54.8
percent) for 169 yards with no touchdowns and one interception
(54.6 rating). In 14 possessions, he led the Packers to just three
tough decision to release Graham, more so on a personal
level," McCarthy said. "Graham's been with us for three
years. Very fond of him. He was developing and he was getting
better. At the end of the day we talk about creating opportunities
and performance and we feel at this particular time we're going in
another direction with the two remaining quarterbacks."
Morgan Burnett (hamstring), cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring),
inside linebacker Brad Jones (hamstring) and running back DuJuan
Harris (knee) all missed practice with injuries sustained against
Seattle. McCarthy ruled Burnett and Hayward out for Thursday's
game and said doctors were still gathering "more
information" about Harris' injury. ... Wide receivers Jordy
Nelson (knee) and Randall Cobb (biceps), neither of whom has seen
action in preseason play, both took part in practice and could
play against the Chiefs.