Brian Brohm arrived in Green Bay 11 months ago with huge expectations.
With recently retired Brett Favre out of the picture (for the moment) and untested and injury-prone Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings, some NFL insiders thought Brohm would push and eventually win the starting job.
That the Packers could get a player like Brohm, who threw for 10,775 yards and 71 touchdowns for Louisville, was seen as a steal — and an affront to Rodgers, who had paid his dues.
Instead, Brohm suffered through a miserable preseason in which he completed just 45.2 percent of his passes. Both Brohm and rookie seventh-round pick Matt Flynn attempted 27 passes in the preseason. Brohm completed 19 for 155 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a 45.2 rating. Flynn completed 27 for 209 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a rating of 100.2.
Flynn beat out Brohm for the No. 2 job, and Brohm didn't throw a regular-season pass as the inactive third quarterback in all 16 games.
Recently, Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber caught up Brohm's college center, Eric Wood. Wood, who started 49 games for the Cardinals, is Scout.com's third-ranked center and figures to be a second- or third-round draft pick.
Don't give up on Brohm, Wood says.
Chris Steuber: What do you think went wrong for Brian Brohm during his rookie season with the Packers? Is he a legitimate starter in the NFL?
Eric Wood: Yeah, he'll get back. The reason he struggled early could have been anything. It was tough for him. He's my best friend, and I talk to him all the time. He just struggled through camp. He was a rookie, and it was unfortunate. He was put in a tough position to succeed in his first year, because he came in and when Aaron (Rodgers) played so well during training camp, he was their No. 1 guy. Brohm being their second-round draft pick, he's supposed to be the No. 2 quarterback — that's what he was supposed to do, and if he didn't, it was a failure. It was hard for him to succeed in Green Bay as a rookie. But he's taking a great attitude this offseason, and he's going to try and win that No. 2 spot and see if his career can climb the mountain; kind of like he did at Louisville. He came in and sat behind Stephan LeVor for a year, and then his career took off.
CS: Was he discouraged about what happened in Green Bay this past season?
Wood: He said it was tough, but at the same time, he told me that he felt like he was getting a lot better working against their No. 1 defensive line. Of course, you can be discouraged. It's not to often that Brian Brohm is taking a backup role to anybody, but in the long run, it may end up being beneficial to him.
CS: Were you surprised he stayed in school after your Orange Bowl victory?
Wood: No, because Louisville is the same kind of deal that it was for me as it is for him. He's from here; I'm not from here, but he loves this school just as I do. When it comes around to your fifth year, it's one of those deals where you can make the wrong choice and leave early. If you come back to school, you may fall in the draft, but you know that you will be a better player.
CS: Do you have a sense or does he have the sense that to be a starter, it may have to be somewhere else?
Wood: Yeah, but backup quarterbacks get a lot of opportunities in that league. With the defensive end position being what it is and the outside linebackers in a 3-4, no quarterback is safe. While you would never wish injury upon anybody, every backup quarterback in the league has to be ready. That's all he's going to do, just sit around and wait for his turn. Whether it's in Green Bay or not, he's going to be ready.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport