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Harrell's demise, curiosity at kicker

by Mark Daniels

Graham Harrell was officially released today by the Green Bay Packers, in favor of veteran Vince Young who was brought on board by the Pack on August 5.   Harrell joined the Packers in 2010 and spent the first couple of seasons on the practice squad before earning the primary backup job to Aaron Rodgers last year.   After a slow start to camp, the Packers brought in Young, the former number one pick of the Tennessee Titans, a former AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year.  Young saw limited duty in the first couple of pre-season games but engineered a touchdown drive against Seattle last Friday night, showing off his athleticisim by scrambling twice for an additional 39 yards.  Harrell meanwhile, completed 23 of 42 passes for 169 yards and an interception during his game appearances, finishing with a passer rating of 54.6.    B.J. Coleman remains the number 3 quarterback but is a candidate for the practice squad for the second straight season.

General Manager Ted Thompson also announced the release of wide receivers, Alex Gillett, Omarius Hines and Justin Wilson.  Running Back Angelo Pease and defensive tackle Gilbert Pena were also let go in the first round of cuts.   The team has a few more to make before Tuesday's deadline of 75 rostered players.

Thompson also added a player today, rookie free agent kicker Zach Ramirez of Portland State.  He was with the Seahawks during a rookie mini-camp tryout in May but was released.  As a junior, he was the All Big Sky Conference kicker but a knee injury allowed him to six games as a senior last year.  The signing raises eyebrows about the future of veteran Mason Crosby, already competing with free agent Giorgio Tavecchio.   Crosby made his only field goal attempt last Friday night but has been up and down at practice, most notably on Family Night when he made only two of six attempts and last Wednesday at practice when he missed three straight kicks.  Tavecchio has been OK but his kickoffs aren't nearly as long as Crosby's.   The Packers now have one week to settle the issue among three kickers.