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Packers Sign QB Harrell

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Packers Sign QB Harrell

Yes, Graham Harrell might be nothing more than a camp arm. The Packers have shown they aren't afraid of only keeping two quarterbacks on the roster rather than the traditional three.

But given what the Packers do on offense, namely throw the ball, a lot, out of the shotgun with multiple reciever sets, I think Harrell is a very, very interesting project for McCarthy to work with.

For a great overview of the type of program Harrell was a part of in college under Mike Leach, take a look at this from Chris over at Smart Football. The kid may have questionable physical skills, but I have no doubt he can handle McCarthy's offense.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

DAWG's picture

Not very good physical skills, but smart, maybe some type of future coaching candidate?
MM likes a challenge.

jerseypackfan's picture

I`ll give MM a challenge. Sign me!

joepacker's picture

Lets hope Mr Harrell is a bit more accurate than the copy editors at 'smart' football, where smart doesn't seem to include much English.

CSS's picture

Not quite as concerned about accuracy, it's his inability to stretch a field vertically. With his skillset I would have 10 guys within 10 yds of the line of scrimmage. He has no arm. But hey, Vernon Davis just had his 'breakout' year with big numbers primarily because of the noodle-armed crew of checkdown QB's in San Fran.

Screen, screen, flat, flat, slant, slant....

packeraaron's picture

Very true, but given time to develop physically that could change. Look at how Rodgers went about improving his arm strength from the time he was drafted. Not saying Harrell will ever have as big an arm, but it can improve.

CSS's picture

I don't doubt Harrell can throw the ball 50 yds in the air. Hell, I can still do that at the age of 36. Strength training can certainly 'assist' in that task, but that's only one component of truly being able to stretch a field vertically. The ball needs to get their in a hurry from the time you start your delivery to the time the ball hits the intended target. Rogers didn't always have the quick release, but he's always had a 'live' ball and it arrived in a hurry. All the training in the world won't help Harrell develop a 'live ball' coming out of his hands. Either you have it, or you don't.

MM can certainly teach him mechanics, a faster release, better footwork, etc. Trainers can develop his strenght to throw the ball further. But safeties will have a ton of time to react when he attempts it, he will never have a 'live' arm.

CSS's picture

That being said, I'm realistic about his developmental role. Highly unlikely he has a future in the league as a starter, but could someday come off the bench for somebody in a pinch. You will have a seriously limited playbook at that time, but most back-up QB's do.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Ya know Chris, I really think you're a well informed football fan 'most of the time'. But, I sure wish you'd give me your Crystal ball 'hook-up'.

If I had your ability to forecast the future, I'da made a killing on Brady... he had the same knock.
Don't think he was touted as having a ‘live’ ball when he came out... 50 TD's in a season later...

Not saying Harrell will even make the squad, but there's a reason undrafted kids go to the HOF, and #1's are out of a job in three years... It's 'cause nobody f'ing knows. What round was Bart drafted in???? Wonder what they said about him when he was coming out, to be drafted in the SEVENTEENTH ROUND, probably wasn't getting ringing endorsements...

Just Sayin'

What could a year or two under one of the best QB coaches in the league do?

Measured... stay, measured.


FITZCORE1252's picture

"Vernon Davis just had his ‘breakout’ year with big numbers primarily because of the noodle-armed crew of checkdown QB’s in San Fran.

Screen, screen, flat, flat, slant, slant…."

Did you watch the San Fran vs. GBP game last year???

If my memory serves me... I recall Davis streaking down the field on 'GO' routes... been wrong before though

CSS's picture

You seriously just jumped the shark by comparing Brady with Harrell in any way, shape or form. Playing 4 years in a fast break offense vs. a pro-style college offense is a start. Brady was at least drafted, Harrell not only wasn't drafted but cut from multiple camps, including the CFL. Want to make a bet the kid is neither on the roster or practice squad come October?

CSS's picture

On Vernon Davis: I did watch the GB VS. AZ game. Your sample size is at 1, did you see the other games Davis played in? He had all the touches because there was no other option for a crew of QB's that can't get the ball down the field. Davis is a physical specimen, let's see him do it 2 years in a row and see what happens to his yds/catch this year when defenses let him do nothing but go underneath (knowing the QB's there can't stretch a field vertically.)

CSS's picture

Other guys that respective franchise message boards were cheering for when they entered camp out of gimmicky college offenses:
(short list top of head)

Colt Brennan
Andre Ware
Tim Couch
David Carr
Danny Wuerffel
Patt White
Ken Dorsey
Joey Harrington
Jason White
Eric Crouch
Chris Weinke
Charlie Ward

I’m missing a ton of guys, but you get the picture. Vince Young is the only, THE ONLY guy that’s even marginally looked like he could transition from a gimmick college offense into a pro-style offense.

Am I cheering against the kid, no. I hope he steps into camp and becomes the talk of the town. History is against him (big time). His noodle arm is against him. His lack of athletic ability is against him (Noah Shepard is twice the athlete). Best of luck to the kid, but I don’t need a ‘crystal ball’ to know history is really against him. Pretty condescending btw.

FITZCORE1252's picture

I enjoy how you consistently discount factual evidence.

"Your sample size is at 1"

What the fuck is your point?

Was it factual or not? That's what I thought. Just like your argument that moving around O-lineman isn't counter productive. I referenced College, you said that's only one example... once again, I only need to see something once, you on the other hand...

"You seriously just jumped the shark by comparing Brady with Harrell in any way, shape or form."

Why, because you said so? I am in no way, shape or form in awe of what you bring to the table on these boards. You are a generally well informed blogger, just like 95% of the people who come on here, get over yourself. I'll put my GBP knowledge against yours any day of the week, any day.

Was Brady said to have a weak arm coming out of college? Yes or no, Chris? That's what I thought. So I think that's a very fair comparison... no system, just arm strength. Can you dispute that? That's what I thought...

Carry on

Oh, and, GBP 4 LIFE

CSS's picture

I'll take note when you start posting factual evidence. I listed some kids that came from comparable offenses and the fact that none of them had a pro career. My opinion about his arm is nothing but opinion and never said it was fact. I've said in the past I'm probablly wrong more often than I'm right. I (nor you) have coaches tape, interview players, college coaches and teamates. I speculate just like you're doing now, only without the condescention or insult.

Not sure why you're so angry, I didn't insult you in any way. And yes, I believe Brady had a much stronger arm coming out of Michigan.

CSS's picture

Thought about it a bit. I don't dislike anybody on this board, that's why I post here. This is a well informed, very moderate environment. I had one run in with an obnoxious Favre poster and probably got carried away with the back and forth exchange. So, I don't personalize things I guess. I don't know how people read context in an email, but some get pissed. It's unfortunate.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"I don’t dislike anybody on this board, that’s why I post here."

Agreed. I apologize for being a Dick. I respect your takes.

Now that that's out of the way...

"I believe Brady had a much stronger arm coming out of Michigan."

Your belief is inconsequential in this debate. Was Brady said 'by scouts' to have a weak arm? YES = FACT.

It was a simple comparison in arm strength, THAT'S IT. Nothing to do with system. That's a great list you compiled, hope you saved it, maybe you can use it in a post where it's actually... relevant.

Did Vernon Davis do more than just
"Screen, screen, flat, flat, slant, slant…", against us last year? YES = FACT

6 rec, 108 yds, 18 per, long of 32, 1 TD.

What did I say that wasn't factual?


CSS's picture

I acknowledged Vernon Davis had a good year, didn't say that wasn't factual. I said, he needed to repeat it. I also said he was a beneficiary of a weak QB crew. Didn't say he couldn't or wouldn't. Again, I acknowledged Davis had a good year but I want to see how he adjusts when defenses have 10 guys within 15 yds of the line of scrimmage this year daring the San Fran QB's to go downfield? I don't know....

Not being a dick with this question at all, but despite whatever your reference is to Tom Brady's arm coming out of college (I agree, he doesn't have an elite arm at all) do you believe that Harrell's arm is even comparable to Brady's coming out? The biggest difference for me between the two at that point in their career: I remember how uncomfortable Harrell was in the all-star game when asked to take a snap under center (Brady already did that and all spread guys struggle with it after taking shotgun snaps for their collegiate career) and throw when rolling out (Harrell was horrible).

BTW - Passion is a good thing on boards and I'm not offended. Just realize I had no intent of doing the same.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"do you believe that Harrell’s arm is even comparable to Brady’s coming out?"

My 'beliefs' are no more relevant to this than yours. Not talking about our 'beliefs'. Simply stating they both were said to have weak arms when coming out of college by 'scouts'. That's a common thread they share, that's all I was getting at. Nothing more, nothing less.

As usual, it's been real CSS. Have a good weekend. 8-)


PackersRS's picture

So.. He's, what, the 4th QB on the depth chart?

How's Pizotti???

CSS's picture

How's Pizotti? Well, somewhere on a cab ride to the airport in Green Bay talking to his agent. I'm guessin he's not well....released to make room for Harrell.

PackersRS's picture

Didn't know that...

Ah, the preseason... Such meaningful stories... JK, JK... But not.

packeraaron's picture

Pizotti was released.

IPBprez's picture

Wow, interesting. Wasn't the guy like 6'5"... Must be a personality issue. Not one of the boys, sorta?

packeraaron's picture

And as far as I know, Noah Shepard is still there.

Ron LC's picture

Pizzoti released? Shit, there goes the team average IQ.

wgbeethree's picture

I get the feeling that TT and MM were sitting back, cracking a few beers and discussing how all the hate has really calmed down quite a bit lately in the blogosphere when a lightbulb went off in TT's head.
TT:''Dude, you know what would be funny as hell? What if we sign that Harrell kid from Texas Tech? It would really give all the haters a reminder of when we drafted Justin. Who knows, maybe we'll even get another 12 year old braindead spazz in his mom's basement to release his anti-semetic overreaction about it on youtube. It'll be classic.''

MM: ''Now that's just F'ing brilliant! I'll giggle for a week if you have the balls to actually do it.

TT: ''Oh, no. I'll do it for sure...but only if you promise to keep finding a way to mention pad level in every presser. That get's me every time. I can't believe you're still running with that joke.''

MM: ''Man and to think some people still buy this whole ''no personality'' shtick. Pass me another cold one home skillet!''

PackersRS's picture

This belongs in the Packer Ranter!

What a post!

FITZCORE1252's picture

"pad level" Is to MM


"Meow" Is to Super Troopers...

Inside job

MadJam's picture

Bart Starr didn't have a big arm either. How did he turn out?

CSS's picture

Bart Starr didn't play against DB's that run a 4.4 40 and can cut on a dime. Any comparisons you have in the last 5 decades that apply?

IPBprez's picture

Hold on CSS ... hold on a minute

QB's of today enjoy much better protection in the RULES - whereas Bart Starr had to worry about Defenders in the mold of Ray Nitzchke. A very different situation altogether. What's more, Starr didn't start out as Lombardi's 1st choice, either. Have you forgotten your history?

Right now, we know nothing on this guy and we got to learn nothing about Pizotti. This could be another "nothing", or it could be the new #3 behind Matt Flynn. Course, it's fun to watch the progression.

joelkleinium's picture

I think Gram is the best Harrell we have and he didn't even do anything yet

ScottSask's picture

Technically Harrell was released from the Saskatchewan Roughriders but the team had high hopes for him in the CFL and loved his abilities. The problem was he asked the team for his release. I'm assuming he wanted to explore NFL opportunities and the Riders granted that request. Us fans and the Riders wanted him to stay but accomodated his wishes. Just clarifying that he wasn't released from the CFL because he wasn't good enough. He definately would have made the roster again this year as the backup to our starter and develop into hopefully a future starter but he chose to give the NFL another shot.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Good insight. Thanks, Scott.

packeraaron's picture

Thanks for the info Scott.

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