Packers Interview Former SEC Quarterback

Green Bay is doing its homework on the quarterbacks as it must takes steps to replace Matt Flynn. The Packers have interviewed at least one of them at the Scouting Combine, a three-year starter with 52 touchdown passes.

INDIANAPOLIS – Lost in the debate on whether the Green Bay Packers will or will not use the franchise tag on Matt Flynn, the end result will be the same. Flynn will be some other team's quarterback in 2012 and the Packers will have a large hole on their roster.

To that end, quarterback is on the Packers' radar at the Scouting Combine, and Packer Report has learned they had a formal interview with Tennessee-Chattanooga's B.J. Coleman.

Coleman played three seasons at Chattanooga, leaving Tennessee after coach Philip Fulmer was fired and offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe took the head job at Ole Miss. He started 29 games, completing 57. 4 percent of his passes for 6,892 yards, with 52 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.

After deciding to transfer, Coleman knew he didn't want to sit out a season by transferring to another BCS school. So, he went home to Chattanooga, where he was a four-star recruit out of McCallie School.

"I've got to get on the football field," Coleman said on Friday. "I've got to get on the gridiron, get a shot to get myself on film and the rest would take care of itself. If I can play, they'll find me. That is exactly what was in my gut.

Chattanooga provided a good fit, and not because he was closer to some home-cooking. The Mocs run a pro-style offense, so while scouts would wind up wondering about the level of competition, at least they can see him doing the kinds of things he'd be asked to do on Sundays.

"Chattanooga was excellent," Coleman said. "Had an opportunity to get under center, take the three-step, the five-step, the seven-step drops. That stuff is extremely important. The ability for me to read coverages, understand zones, throw a man open as opposed to throwing toward a zone, that's all stuff that I was able to pick up at Chattanooga. There's always room for improvement but to get a jump-start is big."

Coleman will not be throwing during Sunday's quarterbacks workout. While practicing a week ago, he slipped on wet grass and fell on the pinkie on his throwing hand. Fortunately, it's a clean break and he'll be fully healed in a couple more weeks. For now, though, the cast will ruin a chance to capitalize on a strong week at the East-West Shrine Game by performing well under the close scrutiny of scouts and coaches.

"I haven't done anything yet," Coleman said. "It's great to have an opportunity to be around these guys, compete, show my stuff. You've got to come and show what you've got, show what you're made of. Meet these general managers, shake their hands, talk X's and O's with these coaches and offensive coordinators, and show them what you know."

The road between Knoxville and Chattanooga is about 110 miles, but it might as well by 1,100 on the scouting trail. But here's Coleman, at the Combine, and on his way to the NFL as a midround prospect.

"I've always seen myself trying to get to the big stage," he said. "I love this game of football. I've admired watching guys like John Elway and Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, guys who I try to model my game after. I didn't necessarily know the path was to go back down and then have a shot to go back up again, but that's all in the Good Lord's plan."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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