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Training Camp Report: Another Big Chance For Brohm

With the offensive starters expected to play a series, or two at most, and backup quarterback Matt Flynn’s shoulder still ailing, Thursday night’s preseason finale will provide a chance for third-string quarterback Brian Brohm to manage the offense over almost an entire game. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 1


With the offensive starters expected to play a series, or two at most, and backup quarterback Matt Flynn's shoulder still ailing, Thursday night's preseason finale will provide a chance for third-string quarterback Brian Brohm to manage the offense over almost an entire game.

Brohm, a second-round draft choice out of Louisville in 2008, has certainly improved over his forgettable preseason as a rookie, but he's still looking for both the consistency and point production the coaching staff wants to see as he continues to develop. Playing what is likely to be three-plus quarters in Tennessee will constitute his largest body of work and his best chance to put his improvement on film.

"I think it's the next chance," Brohm said. "That's the one you always concentrate on is your next opportunity. It will be a big opportunity to get a lot of playing time and to show them what I can do."

Brohm had his best preseason showing last Friday in Arizona after another shaky start in his first two outings this month.

In the preseason opener against Cleveland, he threw two interceptions, though neither was entirely his fault. Then against Buffalo, he was effectively running the two-minute drill for a potential score late in the first half when a throw sailed high on him and was picked off. But he came back to direct a touchdown drive late in the game, completing 3-of-5 throws on a 75-yard march capped by Tyrell Sutton's 3-yard TD run.

Last week, playing the entire second half with Flynn sidelined, he threw incomplete on third down and was sacked on another third down for two quick three-and-outs in the third quarter. But he recovered again, putting together his best drive yet by completing three straight passes to Ruvell Martin, Brett Swain and Evan Moore for a total of 40 yards to help the offense drive all the way to the Arizona 6-yard line midway through the fourth.

Unfortunately, two penalties and a third-down sack pushed the ball all the way back to the 30, where Mason Crosby missed a 48-yard field goal, leaving Brohm scoreless for the game. But unlike last year, when an interception on his first preseason pass admittedly shook his confidence, Brohm isn't letting the setbacks bother him this time.

"Like I've said all throughout this training camp from this point last year until now, the game has slowed down quite a bit and I feel much more comfortable," Brohm said. "Hopefully you can see that when I'm out on the field.

"I've been confident in my abilities throughout this entire camp, and I've felt comfortable out there every single game. Unfortunately I had a few bad breaks here and there, but I'll keep plugging away."

Flynn will be active for the game, but he hasn't taken any live snaps in practice for two weeks and isn't expected to play quarterback. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Flynn would hold for field goals and extra points again after sitting out that duty last week, but that would be the extent of his in-game work, leaving Brohm to take the most snaps he's had in a game since his senior season at Louisville in 2007.

"I think he's going to be excited about the opportunity of all the reps, no different than last week," McCarthy said. "He was able to get more playing time. You can't buy those live reps at any position, and especially quarterback. I know he's excited about the bulk of time he's going to get."

Tough decisions coming

Heading into Saturday's deadline to reduce the roster to 53 players, the Packers will have some difficult choices to make at various positions. But one area certain to generate a lot of discussion is the offensive backfield.

Not only does the team have a wealth of productive halfbacks, but there's a surplus of quality fullbacks as well.

To look at the halfbacks, it's unclear whether the team will keep two or three backups behind starter Ryan Grant. With No. 2 Brandon Jackson sitting out Thursday's game with an ankle injury, there will be a lot of carries to spread amongst DeShawn Wynn, Tyrell Sutton and Kregg Lumpkin, who are fighting for either one or two roster spots.

Sutton leads the group in rushing yards this preseason with 154, but his 30 carries are more than the total for Wynn (11 rushes, 38 yards) and Lumpkin (18-61) combined. There isn't room for everyone on the roster, but no one is sure exactly how much room is being set aside for the position either.

"That's not for us to think about," said Wynn, who along with Sutton will also get a look on kickoff returns Thursday night. "The people upstairs have the numbers in their head and know what they want to do with it. The best thing you can do is go out, perform, and do the best you can. They could keep three, they could keep two, you never know. So it's whatever they feel comfortable doing with the program, and hopefully you're one of them."

{sportsad300}It's a similar situation at fullback, where rookie fifth-round draft choice Quinn Johnson and veterans Korey Hall and John Kuhn are battling for probably two spots. All three have had their impressive moments in camp and have done their fair share of work on special teams to merit a roster spot.

"Our fullback situation is probably the best in the league, in my opinion," McCarthy said. "We have a young player that we're excited about that has a lot of development in front of him, and we've got two solid vets that are playing their best football since they have been here. That's definitely a position that has a lot of depth."

Farewell for now

Tuesday's workout at the new Ray Nitschke Field was the last public practice of the season, and the fans gave the players an ovation as they left the field.

McCarthy thanked the fans and praised the atmosphere they provided for the players this summer during training camp.

"From an environment standpoint, it's clearly our best training camp, with the new facility, the fan interaction, just creating a stadium-like atmosphere with the lights and so forth," McCarthy said. "I hope the fans enjoyed it. It's been a great environment to practice in."

Beginning Monday, the Packers will use Clarke Hinkle Field, on the opposite side of the Don Hutson Center, as their primary regular-season practice field.

Injury/participation update

In addition to Jackson, safeties Charlie Peprah (knee) and Aaron Rouse (hamstring), cornerback Will Blackmon (quad), wide receiver Greg Jennings (head) and defensive end Justin Harrell (back) have been ruled out for Thursday's game.

Cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson are healthy but also won't play.

Guard/tackle T.J. Lang (foot) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (toe) returned to practice on Tuesday and are expected to play.

The current 75-man roster must be reduced to 53 players by 5 p.m. CDT Saturday. Teams can establish up to an eight-player practice squad by 11 a.m. CDT Sunday.

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