With his first full NFL season under his belt, Graham Harrell is heading home to Ennis, Texas, a changed player in his mind.
After spending his first two NFL seasons primarily on the team’s practice squad, the 27-year-old Harrell beat out rookie B.J. Coleman for the understudy role to Aaron Rodgers this season.
With that came an increased workload, both in practice and on the field where he completed 2-of-4 passes for 20 yards during four limited appearances this season.
The in-game appearances were few, but Harrell still feels he learned a lot and has no plans of letting up after adding about 15 pounds of muscle to his frame last summer.
“Pretty quick, I’m going to start working out, especially a guy in my spot, I didn’t take a lot of hits,” Harrell said. “I’m ready to start over again. It’s not like I need too much time to recover from a long beat-up season. My bodies not too beat up or anything, so I’ll be more prepared.”
Harrell's most memorable moment this year came on his first NFL snap, which he fumbled near the goal line when Rodgers exited after getting poked in the eye Week 4 against New Orleans.
Before that, Harrell fought to prove himself playing behind a mostly second- and third-team offensive line in the preseason.
He struggled through the first three games, completing only 32-of-63 passes (50.8 percent) with one touchdown and two interceptions before breaking out against Kansas City in the preseason finale.
In that 24-3 win over the Chiefs, Harrell completed 13-of-15 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns to solidify his spot on the roster.
Now, Harrell hopes to build upon what he's accomplished while defending his spot as the second quarterback in command in Green Bay.
“I think a lot better, mainly with the reps and experience,” said Harrell, who plans to take a week off before resuming his offseason training. “The longer you’re in an offense, the better you know it and the more comfortable you’ll get and the better player you’ll be. This was great for me and huge for me and a huge amount of development, so hopefully I’ll have another great year next year.”
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