A popular takeaway from last night's preseason game was just how much better Vince Young played than Graham Harrell. Well, it's not just you who feels this way. It's being reported that Green Bay has decided to release Harrell less than 24 hours after the game against Seattle.
Looks as if Vince Young has won Packers backup QB job. Packers are releasing QB Graham Harrell.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2013
On some level, this news isn't too surprising. This was to be Harrell's third year in the system, and with that much time invested the Packers surely expected greater effectiveness than what he's shown this preseason.
Compounding the problem for Harrell is how much better his top competitor performed. While Harrell was 6-of-13 for 49 yards, Young completed 6-of-7 for a touchdown while also rushing for a team high 39 yards on three carries. To be fair, Young almost threw an interception early on the drive that included his two best scrambles. However, too many of Harrell's passes were thrown to the wrong space or directly into an outreached arm of a defensive lineman.
While Mike McCarthy may elect not to declare Young the winner of the backup quarterback battle, for all intents the job is his. Given that he hasn't been on the roster for a full three weeks yet, the fact that he was able to upstage a veteran with three years Green Bay's system says volumes about what he could be down the line.
Like the rest of the NFL, the Packers have to reduce their headcount to 75 by Tuesday. Harrell is merely the first head to roll.
UPDATE 3:29 pm CST: An independent source has confirmed Schefter's report:
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn