Learning from the Legends

Only 14 quarterbacks in the history of the NFL — including Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers — have won both a Super Bowl and an MVP award. B.J. Coleman has worked with both of them in 2012 and should be a good fit with Rodgers.

First, it was Brett Favre.

More recently, it has been Aaron Rodgers.

Rookie B.J. Coleman could not have asked for more than to work with two of the best ever at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

"Any time you can get around guys who have been there and been successful, it's always going to be good," the newest Packers quarterback said.

Coleman, a native Tennessean, worked out with Favre in Hattiesburg, Miss., in preparation for the NFL Draft, thanks to the connection of sharing the same agent (Bus Cook) as the former Packers quarterback.

And with the conclusion of the Packers' mandatory minicamp on Thursday, the seventh-round pick has several practices and quarterback meetings under his belt with Rodgers, the league's current top player.

"Coming in here and being able to see a guy like Aaron and how he prepares, I think his preparation and how he goes through his routines every day is something I can really benefit from," said Coleman. "Paying attention to him, I mean, he's got an unbelievable talent level, but I think the biggest thing is he loves to work hard. I think that right there speaks volumes about a guy who's got a Super Bowl, an MVP, and still works hard, so to be able to be a part of this and kind of learn from what he's been able to learn from is special."

Rodgers has not shied away from helping his understudies. He and free agent departure Matt Flynn (Seattle Seahawks) and current No. 2 Packers quarterback Graham Harrell have had a good working relationship. Coleman, an inquisitive guy, should be a good fit with Rodgers.

"He has a lot of questions. He's always talking," coach Mike McCarthy said of Coleman. "A lot of energy. A talented young man. He's got a lot to learn, and they (Coleman and Harrell) have an excellent mentor in Aaron Rodgers."

That mentorship has shown up this offseason.

Aaron Rodgers, B.J. Coleman and Graham Harrell work with the backs.
Mary Langenfeld/US Presswire
"If I had a question, he'd answer it," Coleman said of Rodgers. "We'd sit right there in film and he'll ask me a question, you know, ‘What do you think about this?' or ‘What about your feet right there? You need to kind of focus on letting your feet work there.' You know, all the little odds and ends, he's really kind of been there to help me get better. He's a guy that's going to get better every day, and if I can pay attention to what he's doing and learn from him along the way, that's only going to make me better in the end."

While Favre was more a lead-by-example kind of mentor to Rodgers instead of a vocal one when the two played together from 2005 through 2007, Rodgers is more of a combination of the two qualities, which is not lost on Coleman.

"Yeah, he's proactive," said Coleman. "We can be on the field, doing a drill, and maybe my footwork's a little bit off and he'll come up to me and say, ‘Hey, try this. It will get you to throw faster this way.' He's a mentor, he's a great leader."

Coleman, admittedly, has a ways to go in becoming an NFL quarterback. While his size (6-foot-3, 231 pounds) and arm strength make him an intriguing prospect, a roster spot is no guarantee. The Packers under McCarthy have often kept just two quarterbacks on the active roster, and though Harrell is anything but a lock for the No. 2 job, he is ahead of Coleman based on experience in the system alone.

Still, the Packers have no other quarterbacks on the depth chart headed into training camp. That will give Coleman ample opportunity to show his stuff and more time to learn from Rodgers.

"The biggest thing for me is to continue to learn and get better and let the chips fall where they may," said Coleman. "It's been great (so far). I've had an opportunity now to see the whole offense and am starting to process it better now, and I'm learning from these old guys and kind of learning from the mistakes I'm making and keep on moving down the road."

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Matt Tevsh has covered the Packers since 1996. E-mail him at matttevsh@hotmail.com

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