Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers has a lock on the starting quarterback position until he decides he is done with the game of football. However, it is imperative that the Packers have a solid backup quarterback in case something were to happen to Rodgers, such as when he suffered multiple concussions in 2010. Will Graham Harrell be the clear cut No. 2 on the depth chart or will B.J. Coleman show the Packers he has what it takes to be Rodgers’ backup?
Obviously, if Rodgers went down Green Bay can kiss the promising 2013 season goodbye. That is not intended to be disrespectful to the other 52 players on the roster. It is just a fact that Rodgers is simply that good. He is what makes the Packers contenders every year regardless of how bad the offensive line may be or the lack of a running game.
Harrell struggled in the preseason last year, which frustrated the coaches and the fans. The fact is Green Bay never really had to worry about the backup position because Matt Flynn proved on more than one occasion that he could handle starting a football game. Word is that Harrell has improved immensely in the offseason, which means he should be exciting to watch in training camp. However, it will all come down to what he is able to do during the preseason games in August.
“He needs to perform in the preseason at a high level,” head coach Mike McCarthy said, according to Packers.com. “That’s what you look for. He finished the right way against Kansas City last year, but he has to have a good preseason.”
Meanwhile, Coleman has the luxury of learning from the best quarterback in the game. The seventh-round draft pick from last year is certainly not going to let that go to waste. The coaches are impressed with his improvement, which means he is making the most of his opportunities.
“You just cannot get enough reps for a young quarterback in those situations,” McCarthy said. “He needs those reps and he needs to play.
“B.J. has a ton of talent. He needs to get the game to slow down for him, which is normal for where he is.”
Harrell certainly has the edge to be the backup as it is his job to lose. However, no one can take anything for granted at the professional level, which means he must perform at a high level if he wants to keep his job.