Graham Harrell is the Next Matt Flynn

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Graham Harrell

Graham Harrell

They’re really hyping Graham Harrell this year. From Mike McCarthy to quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo to starter Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers are touting how comfortable their No. 2 quarterback is in the system and how he’s improved since his second year.

That’s all well and good because we get stories like this about the backup quarterback every year at this time. How many days until training camp again?

However, here’s the money shot, by none other than Rodgers.

“I think Graham’s done a great job. I think he’s really improved,” Rodgers said. “I think you saw it last year throughout the season as he became more comfortable. I look at him as being in the same spot that [Matt] Flynn was when Flynn was in his last year with us. We’re very confident in the offense and it means more to him to be successful every day in practice like you saw just a slight shift with Matt, and it was no surprise when Matt got a chance to play how well he played.”

What Rodgers is referring to there is the final game of the 2011 season. With the No. 1 seed in the NFC wrapped up, the Packers sat Rodgers and started Flynn against the Detroit Lions.

That was a 45-41 Packers win where Flynn threw for 480 yards, a team-record six touchdowns and no one played anything resembling defense. The Seattle Seahawks gave Flynn a big free agent contract to be their starter in the offseason, based largely on that performance.

And we know how that turned out.

Is Harrell capable of such a performance? Against that Lions defense anyone probably is. It would be like he was back at Texas Tech.

Against a team that can actually play defense? That remains to be seen.

Harrell is exactly 2-of-4 for 20 yards in his NFL career. In his regular-season debut in 2012, Harrell botched a handoff against the Saints that resulted in a lost fumble. He didn’t see action again until mop-up duty in that debacle against the Giants.

That being said, if Harrell is completely comfortable in the offense, there’s hope for him. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal. In a certain sense, so long as he doesn’t do anything stupid, he should be fine.

Finally, if for some reason, you want to relive every one of Flynn’s throws in that Lions game, then this video is for you.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

10 Comments on "Graham Harrell is the Next Matt Flynn"

  1. GBslacker

    In other news:

    Is Miley Cyrus the next Justin Bieber ???

    (or, if my suspicions are correct, are they really the same people???)

  2. Jurgens

    Here’s the thing about Flynn – everyone makes him out to be bust, but it’s not like he flamed out. Wilson was simply too good to keep off the field. It doesn’t mean Flynn is a bad QB.

  3. Nacho Libre

    I don’t know which one is worse, the dirty Sanchez butt fumble or Harrell’s fumble to Benson vs New Orleans. Needless to say more..

  4. Eli

    I would hope Harrell is starting to understand the system, otherwise wtf does he have to offer? I think the Packers are just selling him in hopes of getting some return. I don’t think anyone will confuse Harrell for a starting QB. He is the absolute prototypical system QB.

  5. NEWpackerJERSEY

    Concurrence, Fitzall. B.J. Coleman has the prototypical Size and a Football Rocket Catapult Mechanism in his right shoulder that could be cultivated into something worth trading away…

  6. HarrellFan

    There’s alot of “feeling” going on in in response to this article. A little bit of mind-reading, too, getting inside the head of Aaron Rodgers to extract the true intent behind his praises of Harrell’s progress. I could really learn alot from you guys…or not. Maybe I’ll just trust the likes of Mike McCarthy, Ben McAdoo, and Rodgers when it comes to Harrell’s development rather than rely on a single fumble because the wimpy lineman got pushed back into Harrell and tripped him as his back was turned. I think I’ll rely on the perfect QB rating Harrell has from his final pre-season game that was based on almost an entire game rather than a single play.

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