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Packers QB play has led the way

Wayne Larrivee

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Packers QB play has led the way

Wayne Larrivee
CREATED Jul. 24, 2013
GREEN BAY - The Packers have been blessed with elite-level quarterback play over the last two decades.  That more than any single reason is why Green Bay has experienced only two losing seasons and two 8-8 campaigns since Brett Favre took over the offense at the most in 1992.
After all this is a passing league, and the Packers have had a top notch passer for some two decades.
Aaron Rodgers in his five years at the helm has put some impressive numbers on the board.  
In 85 games overall, 78 starts, Rodgers has passed for:
- 21,661 yards
- 171 touchdowns
- just 46 interceptions
- a turnover rate of 2.58 percent, the lowest in NFL history! 
The Packers have gone 53-27 during the regular season with Rodgers at the helm.  The former Super Bowl and league MVP’s command of the offense is unquestioned!
From a passing offense standpoint, the Packers are hoping a reshuffled offensive line will help in pass protection.
Rodgers has been sacked 202 times in the last 5 years including 51 last season, most in the NFL.
An improved running game would open up a passing game that slipped from an average of 9.35 yards per pass attempt in 2011 to 7.78 yards last year.  
That statistic reflects the propensity of two-deep zone defenses the Packers faced last year because teams were able to defend the big play passing game without worry of a running attack hurting them.
The other factor that should be considered: Rodgers is absolutely lethal when the defense blitzes.  
No quarterback has been better against the blitz than ARod over the past four years.  
Teams are more and more are willing to give up the blitz to cover, and this has made big plays harder to come by for the Green Bay offense.
With Rodgers' leadership role in the offense unquestioned, the backup quarterback competition in camp will provide much of the intrigue at this position.
Graham Harrell earned the number two job with a strong finish to the preseason a year ago.  This season he must take command of the position right from the start because second-year pro B.J. Coleman, a 7th round draft pick in 2012, appears ready to challenge.
Harrell has the experience and intangibles (leadership, command of the offense). Coleman the physical tools at 6’-3” (231) with a strong arm that can make all the throws.
B.J. showed much better accuracy in the OTA's and minicamp. Harrell appears to be stronger physically this season.  This competition should be fun to watch, especially once we get to the preseason games.