GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers was feeling Graham Harrell’s pain.
Having spent his first three NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers as a backup behind Brett Favre, the reigning NFL MVP was all too familiar with the feeling Harrell was experiencing during Thursday night’s 35-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field.
Playing with a rag-tag bunch of second- and third-stringers against a Browns defense that kept its starting crew in through halftime, Harrell did not look good Thursday night. He completed only 12 of 24 passes for 100 yards with two interceptions for a passer rating of just 26.4.
When Rodgers was backing up Favre, he faced the same challenge going against the Tennessee Titans in the preseason finale each year when the Titans would play their starters into the second half.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Graham. We’re not worried about him,” Rodgers said. “They kept their first-team defense in for the majority of the first half, I think the whole first half, and I know what that’s like at times.
“The fourth preseason game my first three years as a backup, we played Tennessee, and Tennessee likes to play their starters the majority of the game. And that’s difficult, especially when you’re playing against Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch and Keith Bulluck and (Cortland) Finnegan and those guys. It’s difficult. The Browns stars on defense should be able to have a favorable matchup against 2s and 3s on our team, although we’d like to probably move the ball a little bit more effectively.
“I obviously care about Graham and want him to do well.”
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