Training Camp Countdown: 9 Days

B.J. Coleman, a strong-armed seventh-round pick, is worried about himself more than competing with Graham Harrell for the No. 2 job behind Aaron Rodgers.

There are nine days remaining until the Green Bay Packers kick off training camp.

Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll be giving you one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry.

Retooling Coleman

Based solely on physical tools, rookie B.J. Coleman is better than Graham Harrell.

Coleman, however, is a decided underdog in the race to be the No. 2 quarterback.

Harrell knows the playbook. He knows the speed of the NFL game. As he enters his third year in Green Bay, he knows how what to do an how to do it.

Coleman, on the other hand, faces the dual challenge of mastering a complex playbook while having his mechanics overhauled.

"There's not a lot that transfers over from what he did in college," quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo said. "He had some pro-style concepts in college but the footwork is definitely going to be a little different for him and the fundamentals overall are going to be different."

With so much being asked of Coleman mentally and physically during organized team activities and the minicamp, the seventh-round pick admittedly found himself thinking his way through the offseason practices.

"I'm starting to get more comfortable, I really am, but I've got a long way to go. I've got a long way to go," Coleman said. "I'm just tapping the surface there. There's a lot of things that Aaron (Rodgers) thinks about when he comes to the line that I'm not there yet. I'm trying to get to where he's at, and all it's going to take is being able to study, continuous repetition in practice and making sure I stay on top of things."

Coleman undeniably has an NFL-caliber arm. However, in three seasons at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Coleman completed just 57.4 percent of his passes with 52 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. Contrast that to Aaron Rodgers' MVP season of 68.3 percent with 45 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

"My biggest thing is I watch what (Rodgers) does and I try to mimic him with my footwork," Coleman said. "Your feet really take you to the throw a lot of the time. Especially in this offense, the timing is key. You can really help yourself out and put yourself in a great position by how your feet work."

Because Harrell's been in Green Bay since May 2010, he's practically light-years ahead of Coleman fundamentally. Coleman's a competitive guy and would love to be the No. 2 quarterback entering the regular season, but at this point, he's competing with himself.

"I think the biggest thing is learn the offense first," Coleman said. "Be able to do and control the things that you need to be able to control being the quarterback. You've got to be able to lead, you've got to able to understand the offense so that you can help the other 10 guys out around you, understand the defenses that are around you. That way, you understand what you're doing. For me, I'm not focused on anything but understanding this offense, being able to make the calls, get us in and out of the huddle in a 35-second play clock and making sure that we're out of a bad play and into a good play. The rest of that stuff is all for the people higher than me."

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

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