What happened to Brian Brohm?
He went from possible high first-round draft pick as a junior to a late second-round choice by the Packers last year.
He went from a prospect so polished that general manager Ted Thompson tried to trade up in the second round to obtain him, to a player who completed just 45.2 percent of his passes during a dismal preseason.
Brohm is the first to acknowledge that last year was a disappointment, and he's working hard to improve.
"The offseason's been going good," said Brohm, who was selected with the 56th overall selection, which was acquired from Cleveland in the Corey Williams trade. "I got to really get a good understanding of the offense through quarterback school and worked with Coach in there and with Aaron and Matt. I really feel like I got a lot better with my fundamentals, a lot better understanding of the offense. I look forward to using that right now."
Too often last year during training camp and the preseason, Brohm looked lost. He didn't make decisions quickly enough, and perhaps all of that thinking took a toll on his mechanics. At one moment, he'd throw a screen pass at the ankles of a running back. The next moment, he'd badly overthrow a simple 5-yard hitch. During the preseason, he threw one interception, lost two fumbles, was sacked four times and averaged 3.7 yards per pass attempt. He led the offense to three points in four games — on a scoring drive of merely 2 yards.
Because of those struggles, Brohm stunningly wound up behind Flynn on the depth chart and was a gameday inactive for all 16 games. Outside of a four- or five-week stretch in which he got more reps with the offense with Rodgers recovering from a shoulder injury, Brohm spent the season running the scout team. Still, the season wasn't a lost cause. Brohm says he benefitted from facing the starting defense and facing the Packers' ballhawking, aggressive secondary.
"Running the scout team, you gain the fact that you have to play fast," Brohm said. "Going against the No. 1 defense, you've got to react quicker, you've got to get the ball to your man quicker. It really helps you when you get back to the regular offense to play even faster when you know the plays very well and you know where you want to go with the ball and you're able to get back and get the ball out."
Fast forward to June. At Wednesday's open practice, Brohm looked much smoother mentally and physically. He had his bad moments — a poorly thrown swing pass to Kregg Lumpkin was bobbled and almost intercepted and a red-zone pass was picked off by Aaron Rouse. But he also looked much more comfortable and confident. The reads were made quicker and his accuracy was improved.
"You can clearly see how much faster both young guys are playing," coach Mike McCarthy said of Brohm and Flynn. "That's a product of going through the quarterback school, learning the offense inside and out and having a complete understanding. ‘OK, now I understand why we're doing it that way instead of just trying to memorize what I have to do on this particular play so I can run the play.' ... I think Brian is now comfortable with what we're asking him to do. I think he's doing a better job in the movement part of it, and he looks like he's definitely playing faster so far."
Brohm, who remains behind Flynn on the depth chart, agreed.
"It's so much easier mentally out there," he said. "Just knowing the defensive looks you're going to get. Really being able to say the play in the huddle fluidly without having to think about what everyone's doing and being able to concentrate on what the defense is doing and being able to make the appropriate changes at the line of scrimmage that you need to make. Just really getting that one season in and going through quarterback school, I feel much more comfortable."
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.