Graham Harrell left no doubt last night as to who the Packers' backup quarterback is. PA chronicled his impressive performance (PERFECT QB RATING, YOU GUYS!) earlier, so I won't get into that. What Ted Thompson and company now need to figure out is whether B.J. Coleman will end up on the active roster or will be cut with the hopes of making it unclaimed and onto the practice squad.
Coleman's arm is impressive; that much is certain. He showed more zip on the ball than Harrell all through camp, and he has good size at 6'3" and 235 pounds. Through several preseason games it became clear that Harrell was the only option at #2, with Coleman getting few reps. Now the all-important decision time has arrived, and I don't think that Coleman will make the team.
In a way, Coleman's lackluster performance in the fourth quarter last night against the Chiefs may help the Packers. If he had lit up the Chiefs' secondary, it very well may have drawn attention to him, decreasing the likelihood that he would make it through waivers unclaimed. Instead, Coleman had an ugly day stats-wise, going only 2 for 7 for 33 yards. He overthrew a few passes, showing the lack of accuracy that has been a bit of an issue all through camp. Ultimately, he's not ready to compete with an established NFL backup for a #2 job, and he's probably no better than most #3 quarterbacks around the league.
Ultimately, I see no reason that Coleman should be kept on the active roster, especially since I see him drawing little to no interest from other teams. I would be shocked if he is not a member of the Packers' practice squad after this weekend for any reason. Coleman still needs a year or two to absorb the Packers' offense and go through Mike McCarthy's quarterback school to iron out his accuracy issues before he can be thought of as an important contributor on this or any other NFL team.
With that said, I think that QB school would be a huge help for Coleman. If McCarthy can help tweak his mechanics to improve his accuracy, he has the potential to be a very solid backup. His arm strength makes him capable of any throw he'll need to make at the pro level, and his ceiling is certainly higher than Harrell's. He just has a long way to go to get there.
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