GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There was no sugarcoating quarterback Graham Harrell's performance in the Green Bay Packers' 17-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week.
It wasn't good and the onus is on Harrell to show he's better than that.
Coach Mike McCarthy wouldn't say how much Harrell will play Saturday against St. Louis but did say he hoped to get all four quarterbacks into the game. One of his priorities seems to be getting recently signed veteran Vince Young as much work as possible in order to get a proper evaluation of him.
Where that leaves Harrell and B.J. Coleman isn't clear.
What is known is that Harrell's showing against the Cardinals wasn't good enough and he needs to use whatever time he gets against the Rams to make amends.
"Graham came out and he had some glaring errors the other night," quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo said. "That doesn't flush with all the work he's done here for the last four years. We just need to eliminate those glaring errors.
"He needs to come out, let it rip, play fast, play aggressive, keep us in good plays like he was doing and eliminate those bad plays."
The worst was an interception to end his first series of the game.
On second and 7 at the Arizona 41, Harrell tried to force a pass to covered receiver Jeremy Ross and was picked off by cornerback Patrick Peterson. Harrell's biggest mistake was not recognizing that Ross wasn't in the right place because another receiver had run into him.
Harrell knew he could trust Ross to run the right route but in this case he just wasn't open.
"It's always good to have a guy you trust out there in your back pocket," McAdoo said. "At the same point in time that's part of listening to your feet. You take your footwork and if you don't like what's going on, you move to the next guy in the progression. Move to No. 2, don't hang onto No. 1 too long."
McAdoo said Harrell knew he had made a mistake as soon as he threw the ball. Fumbling after taking a sack from a rusher in his face was another error Harrell could have avoided.
Since returning to the practice field, Harrell has been better. But he still has some ground to make up in games, where the evaluation of quarterbacks is critical.
"He'll bounce back," McAdoo said. "He already has. He had a fine day today."
Lighter is better: The Packers have cut back on the number of times nine-year veteran Aaron Rodgers is throwing in camp and the results already have been positive.
Rodgers said that in 2012 he might have played 60 to 70 snaps per practice.
"And that's tough for anybody, whether you're in year one or year eight," said Rodgers.
The coaching staff has reduced that number this year.
"My arm's been able to stay very fresh," Rodgers said. "My legs have felt really good. I came in in really good shape, probably the best shape I've been in since I had to be under 218 (pounds) a few years back, maybe five years ago. So that feels good. It takes some load off my legs."
Asked what that might mean for the season, Rodgers talked about the possibility of throwing fewer passes this year.
"One word we've talked about is sacrifice, sacrificing for the good of the team and putting the needs of the team in front of the needs of the self," Rodgers said. "You look at the guys we've got in the backfield this year, it's probably the best running group we've had in my nine years as a whole.
"That could mean the (passing) numbers might go down a little bit. If we can have a balanced attack this year I think that means sustained, consistent play, and that's what we're looking for."
Stand-up guy: Right when defensive end Mike Neal was starting to justify his second-round selection -- after so much frustration and so many injuries -- the coaches told him to take a shot at outside linebacker.
That was in May and Neal wasn't sure what to expect.
On Wednesday, Neal resembled the large, explosive pass-rushing threat at outside linebacker the Packers envisioned. Down to 275 pounds, Neal is about 25 pounds lighter than he was last year and it is helping him adjust to a different position.
It was only one practice, but Neal had a good day rushing against the running backs and then followed that with several strong rushes in the one-on-one drills with the offensive linemen. He got a few snaps in team drills at defensive tackle, but the Packers definitely are trying to see whether he can add some spark as a stand-up pass rusher.
"I think really today was probably the first time we saw what we were hoping he's about," McCarthy said. "His ability to be a difference-maker as far as ability to put him in one-on-one situations and for him to win, and to win consistently. I think Mike had his best practice today of training camp."
Consistency matters: Less than a week ago, Ross was standing out as a receiver, making the most of an increased number of snaps with a host of players at the position sitting out with injuries.
This week, Ross is fading.
Whether it's because he also serves as a returner and cover man on special teams and is starting to wear down is something that must be considered. But to make the team he's going to have to show he can be a reliable pass catcher.
"As far as playing the receiver position, he needs to be more consistent and he knows that," McCarthy said. "He's had unbelievable days, but then he'll have these one or two plays that don't belong as part of his performance. That's the step I'm looking for Jeremy to take.
"We gave him some big-time opportunities for a young, new player here last year and he did some really good things. He has to get to that point where you're going to count on him every single down."
Rookie Tyrone Walker is the one who has taken advantage of Ross' slide most. McCarthy said he really liked the way he was progressing.
Purposeful matchup: It's not a coincidence that rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari lines up against outside linebacker Clay Matthews in one-on-one pass drills.
If he can handle Matthews -- and he has quite often -- he should be able to deal with most NFL pass rushers.
"It's something when we do the drills, it's by design," McCarthy said. "There's a reason why those guys line up against one another. It's trying to get them ready to play each and every week. He's going to have a great challenge this week in St. Louis, especially down there on the turf.
"Their defensive line, we were impressed with them last year and definitely we're looking for them to be better than they were, so this will be a big test for the offensive line."
Tyler Dunne and Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.
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