|Graham Harrell will have competition as the Packers' backup quarterback. (US Presswire)|
With arguably two of the top quarterbacks in modern NFL history in Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers commanding the Packers' offense over the last 20 seasons, backup quarterbacks in Green Bay have rarely entered the huddle besides mop-up duty.
Either Favre or Rodgers has started for the Packers in 318 of their last 320 regular-season games. It's still a vital position, however, if Rodgers unexpectedly suffers a catastrophic injury. In 2013, a battle could be looming for the backup quarterback position between Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman.
After the departure of Matt Flynn last offseason, the spot was occupied by Harrell in 2012. The former Texas Tech quarterback shined in a preseason win over the Chiefs, as he completed 13 of 15 attempts for 223 yards, two touchdowns and finished with a 158.3 quarterback rating.
Harrell provided Packers' fans cause for concern in Week 4 vs. the Saints when Rodgers missed one play in the third quarter after being poked in the eye by Saints cornerback Malcolm Jenkins. On the ensuing play, Harrell tripped over center Jeff Saturday and fumbled the ball on a failed handoff at the goal line.
Harrell's grasp of the Packers' offense has increased steadily, while Coleman excelled in the 2012 preseason in two-minute situations, according to Packers.com. In 2013, Harrell receives a slight bump in his salary from $540,000 to $630,000. Coleman spent the 2012 season on the practice squad.
If the Packers pursue a backup quarterback in the late rounds of the NFL Draft, Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel, Baylor quarterback Nick Florence or even Rodgers' younger brother Jordan could be available. More importantly, Green Bay may look to solidify its offensive line in the early stages of the draft. Rodgers was sacked a league-high 51 times in 2012.
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