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Clements: Harrell must mimic Flynn

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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With news that the Packers signed Arena Football League quarterback Nick Hill, it is apparent that the franchise is preparing for life without Matt Flynn, who is an unrestricted free agent. Flynn is expected to receive an opportunity to start for another club. Third string QB Graham Harrell was promoted to the 53-man roster on Dec. 7, which also seemed like a move to begin his preparation of the successor to Flynn as the backup to Aaron Rodgers. He has yet to play a single snap in an NFL regular season game after signing with the Packers May 20, 2010. Harrell spent the first 13 games of 2010 on the practice squad after being released at final cuts. Harrell came out of Texas Tech with NCAA career records in passing touchdowns (134) and second in passing yards (15,793). But he went undrafted, tried out with the Brown in 2009 and 2010 and spent the 2009 CFL season on the Saskatchewan Roughriders injured list. Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements was asked what Harrell needs to do to become as trusted a backup as Flynn developed into? “He has to go through the same process as Matt did,” Clements said. “And that was a lot of learning in the offseason. A lot of hard work in the offseason. And when he gets his opportunities, he has to show that he’s learned his lessons well and be successful. “I’ve never had him for an offseason. He’s gotten better in the two years that he’s been here. But he has a lot of talent and is going to work on it.” Harrell has yet to go through one of coach Mike McCarthy’s vaunted quarterback schools that receives much credit for the ascension of Rodgers and Flynn. McCarthy admitted this week that Harrell will be hurt by the new CBA rules that cuts offseason workouts from the previous number of 14 weeks to 9. The Packers used to begin those sessions in mid-March. Now they’ll start mid-April. “The time allotment with your football team and the opportunity to have individuals spend one-on-one time with the coaches, a lot of that has been depleted,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “I don’t have an exact parameter for you. Unfortunately for (backup) Graham (Harrell), it won’t be like it has been in the past.”

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