QB Brohm Falls Into Packers' Lap


Three years ago, Aaron Rodgers was projected to go much higher in the first round of the NFL Draft than he did, and the Green Bay Packers were thrilled he fell all the way to No. 24 so they could grab their eventual successor to quarterback Brett Favre.

So it seems only fitting that the Packers would get Rodgers' potential backup the same way. Louisville's Brian Brohm was projected by many as a first- or early second-round pick, but he stayed available until late in the second round when the Packers nabbed him at No. 56 overall on Saturday evening.

"We felt very fortunate that he was there," Thompson said. "We feel he adds value to our team. He's a good solid guy to have behind Aaron, and we'll train him up. Just like I talked to him on the phone, we'll get him ready to play, but Aaron is our guy."

As he was before the draft, Thompson was asked repeatedly whether selecting a quarterback this high would put undue pressure on Rodgers, who's already trying to follow a Hall of Famer.

But Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy both insisted they don't see Brohm's presence as any problem for Rodgers, who is unequivocally the team's starting quarterback.

"Aaron is a pro, and he'll be fine," Thompson said. "He knows this is his gig now. This is professional football, and I know he hasn't played a lot, but he carries himself very well. He'll be fine. He knows this is his job."

Added McCarthy: "The focus for Aaron Rodgers is in front, the task at hand, the task of leading our offense. He is our quarterback, and that is our focus. Aaron is fine. He knows how we feel about him. He knows what his role is on our football team, and he will be given every opportunity here to be successful as the Green Bay Packers' quarterback."

That didn't stop the Packers from trying to make the quarterback position as strong as possible, though. Thompson even said when Brohm was available early in the second round that he was trying to find a trading partner to move up and get Brohm, whose decorated career at the University of Louisville included more than 10,000 yards and 71 touchdown passes.

He finished his career as the Big East Conference's all-time leader in passing yardage, and second in school history in completions (780), attempts (1,185) and yards (10,775).

"The thing that impressed me about Brian is the consistency," McCarthy said. "You always look for what a player offers you, how he fits into your system, or do you need to adjust your system to fit the quarterback or any other player, and I think he gives us a quarterback that has played a lot of football in college. He's very polished."

Brohm started 33 games in his college career and was considered a strong first-round prospect after his junior season, when he completed 64 percent of his passes (199-of-313) for 3,049 yards with 16 touchdowns against just five interceptions, leading the Cardinals to one of their best seasons ever with a 12-1 record.

{sportsad300}But Brohm decided to return to Louisville, where his father and two brothers both played and where his brother Jeff has been his quarterback coach, for his senior season. It didn't go as well in the won-loss column (6-6, giving him a 24-9 mark overall as a starter) as Brohm had hoped, but he still threw for 4,024 yards and a school-record 30 TDs, completing 65 percent of his throws (308-of-473).

"I don't regret it," said Brohm, who played his final season with a different head coach as Bobby Petrino left to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. "It was a decision I made with my heart, that I wanted to stay in Louisville for another year and pursue some team goals that we obviously didn't accomplish, but I felt like I got better as a player, matured as a player.

"I'm a better quarterback now than a year ago. I feel more ready to take this step to next level. It's been a big learning process for me."

Thompson and McCarthy both like the fact that Brohm was essentially raised with the game of football in his blood, and that he responded very well to the pressures of being a legacy at Louisville.

As for whether he'll be the Packers' No. 2 quarterback as a rookie, or be the No. 3 with another quarterback acquisition perhaps coming before training camp, only time will tell.

But Brohm will simply take the same approach to mini-camps and OTAs that he took to his senior season in college, which was to have no regrets and let the chips fall.

"I'm going to keep going about my business and work as hard as I can and let the coaches make those decisions," Brohm said. "I want to go in and learn the playbook and do the best job I can do, and show the coaches what I have."

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