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Backup QBs get extra work with Rodgers out

Aug. 20, 2013
 

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With Aaron Rodgers excused from practice Tuesday because of a head cold, backup quarterbacks Graham Harrell, Vince Young and B.J. Coleman got more work than usual. / H. Marc Larson

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With Aaron Rodgers excused from practice because of a head cold, backup quarterbacks Graham Harrell and Vince Young received extra snaps with the No. 1 offense, and B.J. Coleman had more plays than usual also.

Coach Mike McCarthy said he expects Rodgers back for practice Wednesday.

“I think we’re all aware that there’s some stuff going around at this particular time,” McCarthy said of Rodgers’ illness, “and Aaron is one of the many thousands of people that has a head cold. I think he’s going to be fine.”

Harrell and Young split the snaps with the No. 1 offense in team periods today, though Harrell appeared to get a majority of them and handled both possessions in a no-huddle period that ended practice. Young especially could benefit from the extra work because he’s in only his third week with the team, but McCarthy would have preferred to have Rodgers at practice.

“Based on the number of reps the(practice) layout is more suitable to three quarterbacks,” McCarthy said. “We’re not on the field for three hours, and there’s only so many days and so many team reps. Definitely we’ve talked about that here before. But I don’t like when No. 12 is not out there on the field, that’s the No. 1 priority.”

Neither Harrell nor Young had the obviously better performance working with the starters. Harrell threw the lone interception in the offensive portion of team drills – the Packers were game planning for Seattle, so one side of the ball was running the Seahawks’ scheme on all plays – on a check-down pass that inside linebacker Terrell Manning picked off inside the 10.

Harrell’s first no-huddle series was a three-and-out, and his second needed a fourth-and-one conversion from his own 49 to stay alive. That drive ended on an Eddie Lacy run on third-and-two that might have been stuffed for no gain.

“There were some rough plays there,” McCarthy said, “but that’s why we watch the tape.”

The allocation of snaps in practice suggested that Harrell might play a little more than Young this week, though the Packers are hoping Young has learned enough of the offense to play more naturally than he did in the first two games.

“I just want to see him play,” McCarthy said. “He needs to throw the ball a little better than he did last week (at St. Louis), but I think it was obvious from Week 1 to week 2 that he was more comfortable getting in and out of the huddle and is a little more composed where he can go out and play.

“I’m just trying to think through the game, he still moves very well, but no, the timing is not exactly where you’d expect because he hasn’t had a lot of time and reps with the perimeter group. But we’ve made a lot of progress.”

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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