Stats were marginal but McCarthy saw improvement in Harrell

The numbers certainly were not very pretty but Mike McCarthy thinks he saw improvement from backup quarterback Graham Harrell.

The heir apparent to Matt Flynn’s job as the No. 2 behind Aaron Rodgers played the entire second half against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium. The upside? Well, he didn’t give away the 11-point lead he inherited.

Harrell completed 5 of 12 passes for 26 yards and he ran twice for 12 yards. There was one botched handoff to fullback John Kuhn and not a lot else to talk about. He was sacked three times when the offensive line was overrun.

Through three games, Harrell has completed 32 of 63 passes for 261 yards and one touchdown. He has been picked off twice. Not horrendous but also not what you would expect in the high-octane offense.

The tape will tell the true story," McCarthy said, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "But I thought Graham definitely improved tonight.

McCarthy said a lack of healthy, experienced tight ends influenced the performance and led the offense to use plays it had not practiced during the week. He said that would factor into the evaluation.

“It's a great experience for Graham Harrell tonight,” McCarthy said.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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