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Is Graham Harrell a good Green Bay Packers backup?

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In a perfect world, backup quarterback Graham Harrell figures to be a largely anonymous figure for the Green Bay Packers this season. The general idea is that Aaron Rodgers goes wire to wire -- throwing for roughly 45 touchdowns and 5,000 yards -- as the Packers roll into playoff land.

Everybody's happy, right?

Too simple. Trouble lies ahead for every team in the league, and that's the problem coach Mike McCarthy must wrestle with. The former backup, Matt Flynn, looked almost as good as Rodgers in two career starts. This year's No. 2, Harrell, has struggled mightily.

Harrell completed just half his passes last week against the Cleveland Browns and tossed a pair of interceptions, but that doesn't paint an accurate picture. He didn't appear remotely comfortable.

Playing the entire second half of Thursday night's 27-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Harrell connected on five of his 12 passes for a mere 26 yards. He also lost a fumble, and possibly the confidence of the fan base, but McCarthy sees something different than rest of us.

"He's in command of the offense, whether you're aware of that or not," McCarthy told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It's part of preseason football. We're not putting a Band-Aid on it. He's trying to play above it."

Sporting a 53.7 passer rating through two games, Harrell is a ripe target, whether or not he's fair game.

The Packers have been talked about as a potential trade partner for Cleveland's Colt McCoy. An added crop of veteran passers will become available as teams make their cuts. We'll find out soon enough how confident McCarthy and the Packers are about what rests behind Rodgers. We don't expect this team to sit still.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.
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