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Point of Veau: Microscope Treatment For Quarless Is Undeserved

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Point of Veau: Microscope Treatment For Quarless Is Undeserved

The recent release of the depth chart on the Packers' official website has been met with heavy reaction from fans and media.

Tight end Andrew Quarless is getting his fair share of attention. More than one blogger has classified it as a surprise to see Quarless listed as second-string at his position.

But the bloggers aren't alone. Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette felt compelled to point out Quarless' position on the depth chart.

Even Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggested Quarless could be fighting for so much as a roster spot this season. "The Packers probably didn't draft Arkansas' D.J. Williams and North Carolina's Ryan Taylor to release them," writes Dunne. "Unless general manager Ted Thompson decides to keep five tight ends, one roster spot could boil down to Quarless, Tom Crabtree and Spencer Havner."

I'm beyond surprised at the reaction to Quarless.

Yes, he missed the first four practices of this year's training camp when he couldn't participate because of a hip flexor issue, but that shouldn't be enough to warrant a lower spot on the totem pole. He's been back for the last five practices since that time.

I think perhaps people would rather see guys like Tom Crabtree and D.J. Williams climb up the depth chart and Quarless fall because of their divergent personalities and backgrounds, even if it's a subconscious feeling on behalf of the general populace.

Out of the thousands of players in the NFL, Crabtree at one point topped ESPN's Twindex rankings for his engaging persona and willingness to interact with his fanbase on Twitter.

Williams, whose story overcoming childhood abuse has made him an incredibly easy person to root for, is similar to Crabtree in that regard.

People also like pulling for the underdog, which is what rookie Ryan Taylor is as a seventh-round draft choice.

They all stand in contrast to Quarless, who had "God's Gift" tatooed on his arms. Quarless has attempted to rationalize his choice the message as a misunderstanding and has since added an "S" to make it "God's Gifts."

In college he was arrested for underage drinking, a DUI and associated with roommates that were found to have marijuana in his apartment (all detailed in today's article on Quarless by Dunne).

Since becoming a professional football player, however, he's at least stayed out of the police blotter. And if he's a locker room cancer, I've yet to see any of those reports.

Furthermore, Quarless had an average rookie campaign last season that saw him tally 21 catches for 238 yards and one touchdown.

I think sometimes people have unrealistic expectations of rookies in the NFL. Those that become Pro Bowlers in their first seasons get tons of media attention, but they're the exception and not the rule. Those that start as rookies are in the minority.

The overwhelming majority of rookies are role players league wide. Personally, I don't have high expectations for any rookie in the NFL, even first round draft choices in that first year. I know rookies can develop into very exceptional performers with a little seasoning and experience.

One doesn't have to go back very far to remember fellow tight end Jermichael Finely had all of six catches his rookie year and is now considered one of the top talents in the game.

I'm not saying Quarless is going to be the next Finley. Maybe it will even turn out that once preseason action starts, Quarless will look pitifully out of his league.

But at this point in time, when a preseason game has yet to even be played, I'm not sure why people are surprised Quarless is listed as the second-string tight end or questionable to make the 53-man roster. Let's see him in a game environment first and give the man the benefit of the doubt.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ken's picture

Not a fan of the guy. Dude, just quit alcohol altogether.

Although if Crosby connects at Washington for the game-winner, he probably would've scored a few more points with the fan base as it was his reception that put us in position.

Chazman's picture

Let me see, someone who drank too much in college . . . was around marijuana . . . my god was I being followed!?! Oh wait we're talking about Quarless and every other college student I ever knew.
Give the kid a chance and we may end up with two Finley-esque players.

PackersRS's picture

Drugs are baad, you shouldn't do drugs, and if you do them, you're baad, because drugs are baad, mmkay? It's a bad thing to do drugs, so don't be bad, by doing drugs, mmkay? That'd be baad, and drugs are baad, mmkay.

Chazman's picture

Uh . . . Okey doke . . . uh . . . what was the question again Alex?

Bleed green and gold guy's picture

I like quarless , he was there and dependable when we needed him , if we all lost our jobs for what we did in college , nobody would be working

CSS's picture

It's how hew responds to the competition throughout his 2nd year that will be telling. He's competing among as talented a group of tight-ends I've seen in camp (or any other positional battle for that matter). Physically, it's there. Mentally, I want to see what he does with his game and practice habits considering the level of competition. Will be fun to see how this group of skill position players evolve and grow.

In theory, it should be rapid.

On a side note, not everything Thompson and his staff do on draft day involves a 'plan' in the future.

Late round guys like Williams, Quarless and Taylor could be part of a plan, but more often than not they simply have too much value on TT's board to pass up (best player available); or the later rounds are the time for positional coaches and scouts to plead for their 'guy' on the board.

People saying the drafting of Quarless last year was a 'plan' to replace Finley or Williams and Taylor this year was a 'plan' to push Quarless could be over-thinking. Sometimes it's just the most talented guy there. Depth + competition = accelerated positional growth

Nerdmann's picture

Yeah, Best Player Available. I also suspect that TT wasnted TEs to beat Lovey Smith version of the Tampa 2 defense, where you need a couple of good pass catching TEs to get up the seams.
Even if Quarless struggles this year (and I don't think he will) the dude has way too much upside to just cut. Dude's not a freak like Finley, but he's got skills.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think that the problem is that people expected Quarless to produce more after Finley went down last year. In training camp last year people were comparing him to Finley at the same stage of his development. So Finley goes down, Quarless is handed tons of opportunities, and folks saw modest production (maybe not be rookie standards, but by NFL starter standards). Oh, and he didn't seem to be much of a blocker. Crabtree comes in, looks more effective in the blocking game, and catches a couple of balls. But the bar of our expectations was set lower, because no on ever compared Quarless to Finley. It's not Quarless' fault, but to the extent that he cares what the fans think, he is stuck with that comparison. Now we hear about the great things that DJ Willams is doing in practice, and we all want the shiny new toy.

channel Don Hutson's picture

Me thinks, so true. Last year was all about incredible drama in losing anticipated stars and the replacements who filled those gaps. Nowhere was there quite as much of a star loss than Findley, and in many ways the whole receiver corps filled there, including Quarles. Quarles had a reasonable rookie season especially when you consider the situation he faced. But he didn't become the second coming of JMike, so in that he fell short of the A-story level of the 2010 Packers' saga. We live in a world of crazy expectations and put that together with the journalistic focus on all things Packers and stuff gets overhyped. Fortunately we have professional coaches and managers who make football decisions, not fans and journalists. Here's to a great 2011 season for all Packer Nation.

Tarynfor 12's picture

Not being able to watch camps and relying only on what is written about them,I cannot help but feel that due to the missed OTA's and the veterans not performing their version of the circus act(player workouts),are fans getting a self built in notion that every guy that walks on the field for the Packers...is/will subplant another.
There is a lot of hearsay being spoke,lets wait for the courts of truth to open, with four sessions being held before we condemm those without...LIVE ACTION proof.

bill dickson's picture

quarless had a much better rookie year then finley did....another year in system should be benificial to him....was made to start his rookie year in this offense,not easy to do..will,i think make the team easy baring injury

Chris K's picture

Good Article that brings us back down to earth, well many... I agree with you Brian! I believe that this kid has the talent, and to see 23 or whatever amount of catches he had wasn't bad for a Rook who habitually lined up in wrong spots... Now that he's got it down I really am excited to see if he can add another dimension to this offfense and if not then bring in the shiny new toy DJ! Keep up the good work!!

P.S. Also notable I think, is that Ryan Taylor was drafted to play special teams although he's not a starter on a single one. I'm excited for the whole group!

Oppy's picture

I hope Quarless is reading and hearing all the haters and all the doubts about where he fits on this roster.. And I hope he uses it to fuel the fire and excel.

Second, I hope Quarless does realize his potential, because I love it when a huge chunk of a fan base slams on the brakes and quickly changes their tune.

Tom Crabtree has enough fanboys out there. I'm throwing my lot in with Andrew Quarless. Go win that job, Andrew!

PackersRS's picture

Quarless: "Yeah! I have to work much harder! I'm gonna prove them wrong, man... lolwut? Hey... But first I gotta go to White Castle..."

Tony Hartzheim's picture

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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