Friday, August 28, 2009

As Brohm's Critics Rise, So Do His Defenders...

About a week ago, I wrote an article concerning Brian Brohm's progress, which was met with a bit of criticism for those telling me that I was pulling some sort of "Chicken Little" routine with a third-string quarterback.

Then, another poor showing in a preseason game (and continued poor efforts in practice) combined with an injury to #2 QB Matt Flynn suddenly put more folks into a concerned mode with Brohm.

As criticism of Brohm mounts, so do those folks that rationalize and defend him. Bruce Smith at PackerChatters (who I think could mount an intriguing defense for T.J. Rubely if he wanted) pens a short piece telling us that the hysterics need to chill out.

Fast forward a year and Brian still hasn’t proved his NFL worth yet, in fact he has struggle like a young QB adapting to the shift to the NFL. I am sure everyone remembers Aaron Rodgers struggles.

Brian Brohm may or may not ever make it as an NFL QB, but one thing is for sure he needs more time.

Nothing is worse for a young QB’s development than becoming sports writers and fans favorite whipping boy.

Mike Vandermause, speaking of whipping boys, also writes a piece today telling us that the Brohm experiment is far from over.

That’s why the hysterical notion that Brohm’s NFL career in Green Bay is on the line based on the way he plays in the remaining preseason games, starting tonight at Arizona, might be over the top.

Brohm hasn’t proved his NFL worth yet, and if he can’t flourish in the quarterback-friendly environment fostered by McCarthy, maybe he’ll never get it.

But despite his struggles, six preseason games isn’t much to go on. Brohm needs more time, and it would be premature for the Packers to pull the plug.

Did you happen to notice the common theme in both articles? "Hysteria"? If you are critical of Brohm, you must be hysterical. I find this somewhat amusing, particularly in Vandermause's case, because he spends over half his article essentially agreeing with the criticisms, yet still manages to belittle the others who express them.

Look, no one has to be "hysterical" over Brohm in order to have concern or to be critical of his performance. I have often stated that there is no one immune for criticism: not players, coaches, GMs, or those that write about them. Playing the "hysterical" card is simply a way to try and trivialize an opinion you don't agree with by belittling them.

Why do it? The facts are on the table. Brohm is struggling and doesn't appear ready. Period.

Is having a project as your third quarterback a bad thing? Not if you can afford it. But, we've been spoiled by having our starting quarterback not miss a start since 1992 (Favre, then Rodgers). This is not the way it normally goes for most NFL teams.

And that's not a cut on or a comparison for Aaron Rodgers. It just stands to reason that we can't expect him to make every start for the next 10+ years. He has suffered a serious injury in every NFL season he's played, and that is why it is so important to have a serviceable backup.

But Matt Flynn was hurt last week and he hasn't thrown all week, forcing Brohm into the role of our only backup in tonight's game. This is a preseason game, but it isn't impossible that this could be the scenario in a regular season game.

As long as the two guys in front of him stay healthy, Brohm is safe continuing to develop. But if Flynn's injury extends into the regular season, or if Rodgers suffers an injury to his shoulder, similar to the one he had last year...well, speaking of T.J. you want Brohm as your #2?

Steve Wyche reported at that the Packers may be interested in trading for one of the Buccaneers' mediocre quarterbacks:

"The Bucs will deal Leftwich, McCown or Johnson — all their quarterbacks except first-round draft pick Josh Freeman — for the proper compensation, several sources said. A late-round draft pick and/or a player might be all they’re offered.

Tampa Bay doesn’t want to carry four quarterbacks on its final 53-man roster, so teams could wait until final cuts to see if the Bucs release one of the three. However, several teams — the Bears, Bills, Saints, Patriots and Jaguars — could be in the market for backup quarterback help. The Packers already are."

Would I be interested in seeing one of these guys brought in to compete with Brohm? Absolutely.

Why? Is it because I went off my meds this week, screaming aimlessly and incoherently while trying desperately to avoid the chunks of sky falling pell-mell around me?

No. It is because Mike McCarthy told us three years ago that they believe wholeheartedly in competition, and that competition makes the talent work harder and the best rise to the top.

“I want to see our guys grab the rope. And if they don't, there'll be someone else lined up right behind them.”

I'd love to see a kid like Josh Johnson come in and battle Brohm to see who would be the more promising project QB to keep as our #3, but who can also come in and not hurt the team if he was needed in a pinch. I think its pretty clear to Brohm that he's out of the #2 battle, but what else does he have to fight for when you only have three QB's on the roster? He's guaranteed a spot, isn't he?

Brohm, according to every scouting report from his draft year in 2008 was a can't-miss prospect with first-round potential. He was perhaps the most NFL-ready quarterback that year.

But it's not 2008 anymore, and all those pre-draft hype statements are quickly erased by whatever you do on the field as a pro. The question isn't whether or not Brohm deserves more time or has the potential to develop. The question is whether the Packers can afford to have him as a third quarterback on the regular season roster again, especially with Flynn ailing.

1 comment:

PackersRS said...

It's not hysterical to criticize Brohm. It's hysterical to want him cut. It just won't happen. And IF Flynn indeed goes down, guess what? We'll place him on the IR, and get another QB. And Brohm? He'll still be our #3... We have a very talented QB coach, and MM is one of the best QB coaches in the league. And Brohm has the potential. And he isn't expensive. He'll stay at least for one more year, to say the least. Those reports about the Packers wanting to get another qb are misleading. They're allways looking at other rosters, it's what TT does best. And doing that they're prepared if Flynn goes down. TB has 4 qbs and will only keep 3. We don't need to trade for one, just have to wait until they cut one.