Andrew Quarless poised for a breakout 2013 season?

Andrew Quarless is primed for a breakout season.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The Green Bay Packers have been anxiously waiting the return of Andrew Quarless from a horrid knee injury suffered in 2011 and it appears the third-year tight end is nearing 100 percent.

After missing all of 2012 and some of 2011, Quarless has enter the 2013 OTAs in great shape and has already caught the attention of his head coach Mike McCarthy.

“He’s clearly in the best shape he’s been in since he’s been a Green Bay Packer,” McCarthy said. “I would like to think he is fully past his injury. Sometimes it takes a full year and half to do that. He looks really good.”

Take what McCarthy said, who always airs on the side of caution before giving the media any headline comments like the one he stated above about Quarless and you have to think that Quarless is right on track to be a factor in 2013.

Quarless’s early performances in the OTAs have also caught the attention of the Packers’ beat writers.

Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noticed a much larger Quarless is in the lower body.

“Big change for Quarless this off-season was working more on lower body with recovered knee. Admitted he was ‘pumping the arms a lot’ last yr.”

A healthy Quarless would give the Packers another offensive weapon that presents defenses with matchup nightmares. Quarless isn’t as good of a receiving tight end as Jermichael Finley, but is very athletic and has the ability to split out like Finley often does. Quarless is listed at 6-4, 252 pounds, which is way too large for a defensive back to cover in “post up” situations. Unlike Finley, Quarless is a very good blocker, both run blocking and pass blocking. In fact, in the 2011 season, Quarless was by far the Packers best blocking tight end on the roster before he suffered a knee injury.

There is no reason to believe that Quarless won’t be 100 percent for the start of training camp. To prove he is 100 percent, Quarless caught a screen pass from Aaron Rodgers at practice the other day — he took a hard cut upfield and blew past the secondary on the way to the end zone. A great sign for Rodgers and the Packers’ offense.

Many have classified Quarless as an under-performer who has not lived up to his potential.

I disagree.

Quarless is in the best shape of his career and this will be his breakout season.

Just when you thought the Packers couldn’t get more dangerous on the offense side of the ball they quietly reload through the draft and get key players healthy.

I’ll leave you with something to ponder: Week 1 in San Francisco the Packers first play on offense comes out of this formation: Rodgers out of the shotgun, Eddie Lacy to his left, looks to his right to Jordy Nelson, then to his left at James Jones, Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless lined up on the line ready to run dual seam routes.

Sounds like some points are about to be scored.

If you pay attention to one Green Bay Packer this season, make sure it is Andrew Quarless, I promise you won’t regret it.

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Tags: Aaron Rdogers Andrew Quarless Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers James Jones Jermichael Finley Jordy Nelson Mike McCarthy

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