Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

With the lockout on course to end, we kick off our training camp position previews with the quarterbacks. This story is just one of four on the position as Packer Report continues to provide real football talk during the lockout.

Aaron Rodgers arguably is the best quarterback in the NFL. Matt Flynn arguably is the best backup quarterback in the NFL. What's inarguable is the Green Bay Packers clearly have the best quarterback platoon in the NFL.

With back-to-back season passer ratings topping 100, Rodgers is the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history with a career mark of 98.4. His career interception percentage of 1.99 percent also is the best in NFL history. If not for a concussion, he'd be the only quarterback with three 4,000-yard seasons in three seasons as a starter.


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Rodgers boasts the most complete skill-set of any quarterback in the NFL. He can make every throw, as evidenced by his brilliant completion to Greg Jennings between three defenders in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. He can escape pressure and make things happen, as evidenced by the clinic he put on against Atlanta in the divisional round of the playoffs. He comes through in the clutch, as evidenced by his brilliant six-game run to the championship and a third-down passer rating of 94.0. And he's smart, as evidenced by his interception rate and a passer rating against the blitz of 104.5.

"He played at a pretty high level last year," quarterbacks coach Tom Clements told Packer Report at the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic. "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."

Really, Rodgers' only weakness is his apparent susceptibility to concussions. He's missed just one start during his career, the New England game in December following a concussion suffered the previous Sunday at Detroit. He also sustained one against Washington in October, though he was back under center the next week against Miami.

That makes Flynn an important piece to the puzzle. On a lesser team, Flynn — who figures to be an unrestricted free agent following the season — might make good trade fodder. Instead, he could be the player needed to keep the Packers' repeat chances afloat if he's thrust into action for a game or more.

He was mostly brilliant in his start against New England, shredding Bill Belichick's defense for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 64.9 percent accuracy. Flynn showed the calm and poise you'd expect from a player who won a national championship in college by completing passes to 10 different targets and helping the offense convert 11-of-19 third-down opportunities.

Graham Harrell, who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting as a senior in 2008 and left Texas Tech as the NCAA career leader in touchdown passes and second in passing yards, is the third and final quarterback on the roster. Harrell was signed following last year's draft, spent most of the season on the practice squad and was activated to the 53-man roster following Rodgers' concussion but did not play. Clements likes Harrell's "knack in the passing game," which was evident at times during training camp. He should be better just with a deep knowledge of the offense.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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