Talking Quarterbacks With Tom Clements

Looking for real football? Once again, we're the one and only place to turn. Green Bay's quarterbacks coach, Tom Clements, talked about Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell during a brief break at the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic.

Tom Clements quarterbacked two Canadian teams to Grey Cup championships. Now, he has a Super Bowl ring as the Green Bay Packers' quarterbacks coach.

"It feels great," Clements said during a brief interview between the ninth green and 10th tee at Monday's Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls. "We'd like to try to do it again."

With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, doing it again isn't farfetched.

Rodgers was the Packers' first-round pick in 2005 and Clements was hired to be Mike McCarthy's quarterbacks coach in 2006. Under the supervision of those coaches, Rodgers is one of the three or four best quarterbacks in the league.

If not the best.

Rodgers, with his impeccable combination of arm strength, athletic ability and smarts, is the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history with a career mark of 98.4. His career interception percentage of 1.99 also is the best in NFL history. He's coming off of back-to-back regular seasons of passer ratings of 103.2 and 101.2, with a combined 58 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

His play hit its pinnacle during the Packers' run to their fourth Super Bowl crown. In four playoff games against defenses that ranked 11th, 14th, third and second in opponent in passer rating, Rodgers' rating was a sizzling 109.8 with nine touchdowns and two interceptions.

Scary thing is, Clements said Rodgers can be even better.

"He played at a pretty high level last year," Clements said. "I just think if he continues doing what he has done in the previous years, he'll just get better because of his experience. Just keep on working on his fundamentals, making good decisions and he's always going to be accurate when he throws it."

Rodgers was accurate when it mattered most last season. With Green Bay facing a third-and-10 from its 25-yard line and nursing a 28-25 lead with the Super Bowl potentially hanging in the balance, Rodgers fired one of the game's all-time great passes to Greg Jennings, a perfect ball that zipped just over the outstretched fingers of ace cornerback Ike Taylor and got to Jennings just before the safeties arrived.

"That's one of the better throws I've seen anywhere at any time," Clements said. "To do it on third-and-10 in the Super Bowl when we need a drive, that's a great throw."

With Rodgers and Matt Flynn, the Packers have the best quarterback duo in the league. Flynn, however, figures to depart as a free agent after this season, leaving the Packers' long-term backup plans in the hands of Graham Harrell. The record-setting quarterback from Texas Tech, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2008, wasn't even deemed good enough to earn a contract after participating in the Browns' rookie camps on a tryout basis in 2009 and 2010.

Signed by Green Bay on May 20, 2010, Harrell spent most of last season on the practice squad until a late-season call-up after Rodgers' concussion. During the preseason, he completed 16-of-31 passes (51.6 percent) for 166 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, and a passer rating of 67.4.

The Packers did not draft a quarterback, though it's possible they'll add one when teams are allowed to sign undrafted free agents. That's especially likely if rosters are expanded to 90 players instead of the usual 80.

"We're excited about Graham," Clements said. "It's unfortunate we haven't been able to work with him during this offseason because we think he could have made a lot of strides. Unfortunately because of the lockout, we weren't able to do it but we like Graham. We think he has good ability. He has a knack in the passing game. We look forward to working with him in training camp."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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