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Quarless Dubious About Worth Of Rookie Symposium

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Quarless Dubious About Worth Of Rookie Symposium

With this year's version of the Rookie Symposium about to get underway at IMG Academies Bradenton, Fla. on June 28 and 29, count second-year Packers tight end Andrew Quarless as one player who didn't mince words when it came to discussing the usefulness of the event.

During Donald Driver's annual charity softball game on June 5, Quarless––virtually unprompted––replied to a question about meeting his rookie teammates, "I think they’ve got it good. They didn’t have to go to the Rookie Symposium and sit in hour meetings."

At the time of Quarless' comments, it had recently been announced that the NFL would be cancelling the Rookie Symposium to begin June 26 at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Oh. due to the NFL lockout.

The NFL Players Association had since announced that their version, titled "The Business of Football: Rookie Edition" would be held this week in place of the Rookie Symposium so this year's draft class didn't miss the opportunity to attend the orientation event.

The event is intended to be educational and inform players about topics such as life skills, personal finance and post-football careers as they're about to enter the NFL. According to Bill Huber of Packer Report, all ten Packers draft choices are expected to attend.

Quarless, though, didn't get much out of it.

"The only thing I can say that’s good about the Rookie Symposium is it’s in San Diego, and it’s beautiful out there," said Quarless, referring to where the Sympsium was held last year. "That’s about it."

Two Packers scheduled to attend this week's Business of Football: Rookie Edition are tight ends expected to compete with Quarless for playing time this upcoming season.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the Packers selected fifth-round draft choice D.J. Williams of Arkansas and seventh-round draft choice Ryan Taylor of North Carolina at a position they already have a lot of depth, including the highly-touted Jermichael Finley and Tom Crabtree.

Despite the influx of tight ends, Quarless appeared unconcerned about challenge new players might have on his job security.

"I love competition," said Quarless. "I’m all for competition. I think the tight end is a position that’s very used in our offense, so I think the more depth, the more people we have that do different things, it makes us a better team."

As a first-year player whose playing time increased when Finley went down with a season ending knee injury Week 5, Quarless had a combined 26 receptions between the regular season and the playoffs for 284 yards and one touchdown in 2010.

While indifferent about competition, Quarless did express concern about the impact the NFL lockout would have on the spike in development players typically see between their first and second years in the NFL.

"It’s definitely going to affect me going into this year," said Quarless. "I really was more concerned about getting my hands on that playbook.

"When the lockout was off for a day, and I was able to speak to Coach (Ben McAdoo), he was ready to give me the playbook, and then the next day I couldn’t speak to him. I was anxious to get my hands on that playbook. That’s really what I’m concerned about."

Regardless of the lockout, Quarless is focusing on what he can control this offseason, and that's working out and preparing for the upcoming season as best he can.

With the evidence that Quarless was inactive for the first two regular season games of the 2010 season, the sophomore tight end said he perhaps wasn't ready for primetime––at least to begin with last year.

"I think last year I came in and I might have been a little sluggish," said Quarless. "I think I could have been in much better shape. So that’s just where my focus is. Whenever that phone rings and this thing is over, just be ready to go 110 percent."

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (36) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

BubbaOne's picture

"I think last year I came in and I might have been a little sluggish," said Quarless. "I think I could have been in much better shape."

Maybe last year's symposium would have been meaningful to Quarless if it had a class titled "Now that I'm a pro I need to be in shape". What a Dumb Ass!

T's picture

He was not a good person while in college, why expect anything to change when he made it to the NFL?

CSS's picture

He really cleaned up his act during his last 1.5 years with Penn State (after Joe Pa threatened to kick him out of the program). His issues, like many talented kids that slide in the draft, is maturity. Kid cleaned up his act but had no idea what it meant to be a pro.

Let's see how prepared physically and mentally he is after one full year of being surrounded by other emotionally mature professionals that prepared in the off-season.

Ken's picture

My pick for "surprise training camp cut" is this guy.

That's life when you're battling to make the roster of a World Champion

ceallaigh's picture

Totally agree, only I don't see Quarless getting cut as any great surprise. At this point he's happily expendible.

packeraaron's picture

Has everyone gone mad?

How is he "happily expendable"? So they would be left with Finley, Crabtree and two rookies who are learning the offense as they go?

Thank god fans aren't in charge.

Point Packer's picture

He's expendable.

Ken's picture

"Thank god fans aren’t in charge."

That would probably extend to your "expertise" in play-calling, Aaron :)

Without an offseason under the coaching staff -- particularly Ben Mac's eye -- it's hard to see this guy making any improvement. And he offers nothing on Special Teams.

packeraaron's picture

Link to where I claimed expert playcalling status? I'll wait...

Ken's picture

Are you serious?

Ummm, whenever you complain about Capers' 3-man rush?

Or, when you complain about McCarthy/Rodgers taking too many shots down the field and not working underneath?

packeraaron's picture

Again, where did I claim to be an expert? I have an opinion and I write it down. People read it. I am a fan. Am I going too fast?

ceallaigh's picture

I'm just not impressed. I don't think he lives up to the hype. *shrugs* Sure, if he's better than all the rookies that were drafted, I will take it back. But between the three vet tight ends, I think he may be the first to go. With Finley returning, Quarless and success or lack thereof will be scrutinzed more. Crabtree offers a different package. There's not doubt it's Quarless' job to lose, but I'm not convinced he'll be successful in that venture.

packeraaron's picture

"I don’t think he lives up to the hype" - WHAT hype? He was a late round pick!

PackersRS's picture

I totally agree.

If he doesn't perform like Shannon Sharpe in his prime next year, I think it's safe to say that Quarless was the biggest bust in NFL history.

packeraaron's picture

Lol.

Ken's picture

Thank you, Aaron.

All I'm saying is I don't have time for a guy that can't line up right -- rookie or 10-year veteran or fumbles.

Keep in mind that probably his biggest reception of the year (TD in the home Vikings game) was identified later by the league office as incomplete.

Sure, if we were a rebuilding club, he'd have a better chance. But this is a Super Bowl champion, who could justify only keeping TWO TEs (see 2007) if they wanted.

packeraaron's picture

So you would have cut Jermichael Finley after his rookie year?

Ken's picture

The only parallel between the two is their immaturity when they entered the league.

Even in '08, Finley's rare athletic ability (though raw as sushi at the time) was apparent to everyone in the building -- hence why we kept throwing him the fade route inside the 5. Everyone knew the arrow was still pointing up on Finley.

Plus, he was a higher investment(third round pick) and we didn't have many options (an aging Donald Lee, a converted LB in Havner) as compared to now (Finley, the dependable Crabtree and 2 rooks).

So no, I felt very differently at that time about Finley than I do with Quarless at this point.

PackersRS's picture

WHAT? Kept throwing him the fade route?

Finley was SO BAD his rookie year that he only had 6 receptions THE WHOLE SEASON. This, in a very shallow TE corps.

AND HE WAS A HIGHER INVESTMENT! If anything, he should've contributed MORE than Quarless did.

Talk about double standards!

Ken's picture

Apparently you don't remember fourth down in a tight ballgame against Tennessee and two games later that season.

Are we really comparing Quarless' athletic ability with Finley's? Really? Finley was/is a freak of nature and a match-up nightmare (hence the fade routes)! He just needed seasoning.

Despite having more productivity his rookie season, the two are night and day going into Year 2. We'll see how much you cling to Quarless if he makes the team and misses a max-pro block that gets QB1 knifed.

PackersRS's picture

"Are we really comparing Quarless’ athletic ability with Finley’s? Really?"

NO! YOU ARE! Nobody has even mentioned anything about athletic ability so far...

I give up... Just too much blinding hate God knows why...

Ken's picture

PackersRS,

It's not hate -- I just don't think the guy is any good OR will ever be any good.

The point with Finley was at least he had the freakish athleticism, so he at least had a shot. Quarless? Maybe in another city.

Ken's picture

Then why can't I have an opinion that Quarless isn't an NFL-caliber player and should be let go?

"Thank god that Ken guy doesn't give Ted his advice. He doesn't have a blog. Just your regular guy that goes to a few games a year and can't stand TEs that crumble like crackers in crunch time. What an idiot!"

PackersRS's picture

Because it's based on one rookie season, where he was supposed to struggle due to being extremely raw coming out of college. A season he wasn't supposed to contribute much, but was forced to because of injuries.

But, hey, it's your opinion. For ages people thought that the Earth was flat, based on the fact that it appeared to be flat...

If you want to condemn the guy already, be my guest, but there's more to it than a couple of plays where he struggled.

packeraaron's picture

You can - and I can disagree.

All I said was I was glad the fans aren't in charge. Why is this so hard to understand?

Oppy's picture

@Ken:

Compare Finley's ATHLETIC ability to Quarless.. Go ahead.

You'll find AQ's combine numbers are actually slightly better than JM's on most counts.

Where Finley is years ahead of Quarless at this point is route running and focus..

I know, you think I'm a nut, because Finley is some sort of athletic freak of nature at the TE spot.. Well, guess why they picked up Andrew Quarless? Basically, identical physical tools and athleticism in a bigger frame.

Quarless is raw and needs refinement. Once his head stops swimming and he learns the finer points of route running and how to read pro coverage more thoroughly, we should see his athleticism and his hands shine through. He may never be a Finley clone, but it's certainly not for lack of athleticism.

packeraaron's picture

Perfectly stated Oppy.

Ruppert's picture

Jeez. I thought his only sin was dropping some easy passes. A lot of guys were guilty of that last year. He dropped more than his share, but come on...a bad person???

Did he get in some off-field trouble I missed? Did he have many (or any) stupid penalties at bad times? I don't think he's going anywhere. And I don't think he should.

Chad Toporski's picture

+1

I couldn't imagine going through this world never getting a second chance for the things I'd done wrong. And I don't think I'd ever wish that on anyone else.

MarkInMontana's picture

Exactly. He was a mid-round rookie that dropped some easy passes. We only have to go back a couple years to find another rookie tight end with maturity issues that dropped some gimmes, and that Finley guy turned out to be kinda ok.

I don't know how good a tight end Quarless will end up being in the NFL, but there was nothing about his rookie performance that screams "bust" to me.

PackersRS's picture

Yeah, I really, really don't get all this hate Packers fans have for Quarless. Do they even remember Finley in his rookie year?

I think the issue is frustration with the pick. They didn't want for TT to draft a TE, so they complain anyway.

Mr. Red's picture

Ironic title. Because I'm dubious about the worth of Andrew Quarless.

jeremy's picture

@ Mr. Red

Judging by their draft the Packers probably are as well.

Oppy's picture

Judging by comments that have popped up nearly every time Quarless' name is uttered, the DNR could very possibly have to put crow on the endangered species list in the near future if he remotely lives up to his potential... It may become a very popular dish for many Packers fans.

The kid has all the physical tools to be an extremely enticing bookend to Jermichael Finley..

packeraaron's picture

Could not agree more Oppy. The disdain for this kid mystifies me.

foundinidaho's picture

I can't even come over here for some peace and quiet. End the lockout now.

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