B.J. Coleman has shown so much improvement in the year he has spent in Green Bay that the Packers are giving him every opportunity to win the backup quarterback job. With a better handle on the playbook and a rededication to his nutrition Coleman is in a really good position to show the coaches what he can do and possibly take the job that belonged to Graham Harrell last season. The time is now. Preseason is when backup quarterbacks get their most work in practice and Coleman needs the experience. On Wednesday Coleman was second in line behind Rodgers in practice a notable indication of how closely the Packers are evaluating him. Overall he got a couple of more throws during the practice than Harrell. Before Wednesday Coleman had done a good job taking care of the football and avoiding turnovers. But on the fifth day of training camp he threw two interceptions. Early in practice during the "team" period linebacker A.J. Hawk intercepted Coleman on a slant throw. Later in practice also during the team period Coleman had four receivers and tight end Jermichael Finley. When the pressure came he ran out of the pocket to the right and then threw inside. This time safety Morgan Burnett picked him off. Packers coach Mike McCarthy chalked a lot of that up to inexperience. "The one interception (with the) three-man rush and in a spread formation he did exactly what you're supposed to do" McCarthy said. "When he did slide to his right it was just a poor decision. A good play on Morgan Burnett's (part). From his standpoint that was a bad decision. "The other one he just got fooled a little bit. I would throw those mistakes in the area of experience recognition and something that all quarterbacks need and he can't get enough of it because this is where he is." Coleman has prepared for this moment. Eager to the Nth degree he tweaked his diet in the off-season and dropped under 230 pounds. He was 236 last year. "I liked the fact that I was a little lighter a little more mobile" said Coleman. "I can move a little better on my feet." He also said he feels a lot more comfortable with the playbook where he admits he was lost at times last year in his first training camp. "It's a very meticulous very detailed book — and the quarterback is in the center of all of it" said Coleman. "And as the decision maker you have to be careful not to do too much at once. That's very hard to do at that position. Sometimes I've caught myself several times trying to do too much. "It's like that old saying: If you try to chase two rabbits you catch none." Receiver Jordy Nelson said that's what the young Green Bay quarterback needs first: mastery of the offense. "They've got to know the playbook" said Nelson. "But it is going to take time to develop. It's hard for a quarterback to sub straight in — especially one that doesn't get as many reps." That's changed. The Packers are splitting the backup repetitions in practice pretty equally between Coleman and Harrell who has been a pro since 2009 with the Packers for three years two of them on the practice squad. That means equal opportunities between the two men and more chances for Coleman than last year when he was on the practice squad behind Harrell. "Last year I might get a rep or two at the end of each period" said Coleman. "This year I'm getting five a period but also really getting the chance to feel comfortable in there and get a little bit of a rhythm." With Coleman getting more snaps Harrell has had to step up his game and he did so Wednesday. Veteran receiver James Jones ran a double move on rookie cornerback Micah Hyde on the right side. Harrell launched a beautiful pass that was 50 yards in the air. Jones snagged the long touchdown for one of the best throws in camp so far. But it seems the Packers are giving Coleman in his second year every chance to win the backup job and he sees it that way as well.
B.J. Coleman vies to be Packers' top backup at quarterback
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Aug 1