Vince Young to move up QB depth chart following Graham Harrell’s release
However, Harrell can’t say he didn’t receive a fair opportunity to prove his talents. After spending 2010 and 2011 on the Packers’ practice squad, Harrell gained the familiarity with head coach Mike McCarthy’s system to land the backup job behind Aaron Rodgers in 2012. But despite the high hopes McCarthy had attached with him, due to his apparent toughness and instincts, Harrell still never developed as the Packers hoped over his three seasons in Green Bay.
McCarthy gave Harrell one last shot to prove his worth for a roster spot during Friday’s 17-10 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks. After entering the game in the early in the first half, Harrell failed to lead the Packers to a single scoring drive in five series, and finished by completing 6-of-13 passes for 49 yards. In fact, through 12 drives, this preseason Harrell has been unable to lead Green Bay to a touchdown.
“Graham, frankly, there is some video that we really need to look at…He had some tough breaks there with the penalties, but the rhythm of the offense and some of the things mechanically, I would have liked to have seen us be more sharp,” McCarthy said after this week’s loss. “We played primarily against an eight-man front, and we didn’t do a very good job handling that.”
On the other hand, Young led the Packers with an 80-yard scoring drive against the Seahawks. Young also completed 6-of-7 for 41 yards and ran for 39 yards on 3 carries. McCarthy’s postgame comments about Young heavily suggested that the Packers were ready to move on from Harrell.
“The dimension of running, that’s something we really wanted to see (from Young),” McCarthy said. “I think you’re just seeing Vince getting more and more comfortable with what we’re asking of him, particularly for as much as man-to-man (defense) as we were seeing tonight.”
“Very instinctive and made big plays and did very well on his first drive,” McCarthy continued. “It was unfortunate the high snap on second down on the second drive. I think Vince is one of the players that definitely took advantage of his opportunities tonight.”
The two a have been engaged in competition for the backup spot since the Packers initially signed Young to a one-year, $715,000 contract early in camp.
Young spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, who originally drafted him No. 3 overall out of Texas in 2006, and twice made the Pro Bowl with the team. He also served as a backup quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 season. Last May, Young signed with the Buffalo Bills, who then released him before the start of the regular season. He spent one season out of football before joining the Packers this August.