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Position Breakdown: Quarterbacks

The Packers have one of the NFL’s brightest young stars at quarterback but a lot of question marks behind him. Here is a look at the Packers quarterback situation heading into training camp.

Starter
Aaron Rodgers
– Rodgers has started 33 consecutive games, despite taking a pounding behind a suspect offensive line. In his first two years since taking over for Brett Favre, Rodgers has thrown for 8,472 yards and 58 touchdowns. Other than missing a wide open Greg Jennings in overtime of the Wild Card playoff game against Arizona last year, Rodgers has shown he is one of the NFL’s elite signal callers.

Backup
Matt Flynn
– The Green Bay coaching staff loves Flynn and if you go by his performances in training camp and preseason, they have a reason to be excited. However, because Rodgers has been a rock under center, Flynn hasn’t had to play in a meaningful game yet in his NFL career. Flynn has good mobility in the pocket and a strong understanding of Green Bay’s offense but until we see him in real game action, he remains an unknown.

In the Mix
Graham Harrell
– I was really happy when the Packers signed Harrell. I know anyone can put up big numbers playing for Texas Tech but I was always impressed with Harrell’s arm strength, accuracy and ability to read defenses. He will most likely never be a starter in the NFL but with the right coaching Harrell has a shot to become a decent backup. I think Harrell will end up on the Packers practice squad this year.

Noah Shepard– Shepard is an undrafted free agent out of South Dakota. If Harrell falters there is a slight chance Shepard could wind up on the practice squad but more than likely he will get cut some time during training camp.

Overall: Rodgers is staking his claim as one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks. One more strong year and he should be talked about with the likes of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, etc. However, for that to happen Rodgers needs to prove he is more than just a fantasy football quarterback and lead the Pack to a playoff win. Although, to be fair to Rodgers, Green Bay’s offense did all it could against Arizona. It was the Packers defense that let them down and you can’t blame Rodgers for that.

After Rodgers things get dicey. The coaches rave about Flynn and if given the chance he may step in and do a good job. However, the uncertainty surrounding Flynn is sure to have Green Bay fans nervous should Rodgers go down for any period of time. My gut feeling is that Flynn is a capable backup and he will do a solid job with all the weapons surrounding him if he has to hold down the fort for a few weeks.

Harrell has a chance to either be the third quarterback or land on the practice squad. If Harrell struggles in the preseason, look for the Packers to carry just two quarterbacks heading into the year.

The bottom line is the Packers are a legitimate Super Bowl contenders as long as Rodgers stays healthy. If he goes down, no one knows for sure where the team stands.


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