Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So, what do we do with Brohm?

Yes, it's early. Yes, there's a lot of time that will pass between now and the final cuts. And, it's not like there are 4-5 quarterbacks on the roster right now.

But, the Packers can rest a little more easily that Matt Flynn is show a lot of progression in his game, and has essentially nailed down the #2 spot on the depth chart. That's a relief to me, who fretted over Rodgers' injury history and lack of veteran depth all last season.

Give Flynn credit. He's scrappy, has good legs, and makes the safe passes well. If Rodgers has to go out for a series, or the rest of the game, I feel like Flynn can come in and give the team a chance to win. Maybe more importantly, he is less likely to make a fatal mistake.

In fact, if A-Rodge has to miss a game, I think Flynn could command the team with a scaled-back gameplan. However, am I convinced he could take over from Week 4 on and the Packers wouldn't miss a beat? Not yet.

However, that puts us in the same spot as well over half the teams in the NFL. Not everyone has a starter as a backup.

Now, the problem comes with Brohm, a second-round pick last year that most assumed was the clear-cut #2, with a weak-armed Flynn as a project player. A year later, those roles are painfully reversed, at least for Brohm.

Brohm played the entire second half against the Browns, and finished with a 0.0 quarterback rating, though that was attributed to the two interceptions he threw, one off a tipped pass, and one off his arm getting hit on the throw. That stated, I've seen several quarterbacks throw two interceptions and still get their rating out of single digits.

You might also make the argument that he was playing with third-stringers. That's true, but he was also playing against third-stringers...of one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

I have nothing against Brohm, but I am growing concerned that the Packers are again heading into the season set with their three quarterbacks, regardless of how they are performing.

If the Packers are interested in anyone else, the window is closing soon. On September 1, the Turk will cut down the roster to 75 players, and on the 6th, it will go to 53. With a load of offensive linemen, linebackers, receivers, and running backs that the Packers will want to continue to look at, it is unlikely that the Pack would be able to afford a spot for a fourth quarterback after August 31.

And, it's not likely that there are too many veterans out there for the Packers to snag. J.P. Losman and Brooks Bollinger, two vets with starting experience (that I would consider signing to compete with Brohm) have signed contracts with the UFL. That leaves guys like Jamie Martin, Drew Henson, Ken Dorsey, and Marques Tuiasosopo who might be available. Yuck.

You might be able to convince 39 year old Trent Green to come out of retirement, but after watching how the Vikings handled that situation the past few days, I have a strong feeling the Packers won't be following suit.

So, it puts the Packers in somewhat of a quandary. Essentially, you are putting faith in Aaron Rodgers to stay healthy for another season. Now, I'm sure if we go down the list of #3 quarterbacks in the NFL, there's aren't a whole lot of solid vets occupying that spot, so perhaps the panic button isn't worth pressing yet.

And maybe developing slowly is what Brohm needs to do. In watching him against Cleveland, I thought he looked titchy in the pocket and went through his reads laboriously slow. However, those were the same criticisms I had of a second-year quarterback during his second training camp in 2006. His name? Aaron Rodgers. He ended up doing alright after a while, didn't he?

But, Rodgers, even then, still seemed to have more instinct and certainly more mobility. Flynn is mimicking those traits far more than Brohm is at this point.

I do find it interesting that he continues to wear a glove on his throwing hand. Back during my flag football days in the 1990's, if I was QBing my team I would also wear a glove on my throwing hand. Why? I have a large enough hand, but most of it is in my palm. Big palm, average sized fingers. So, the receiving glove allowed me to have just a bit more tack on the ball and kept my spirals tighter. Brohm has stated his reason is similar...he has sweat on his hand that makes it hard to grip the ball.

The difference between Brohm and me? One if us is getting paid to be an NFL quarterback, and small, sweaty hands don't bode well for longevity. Just ask Daunte Culpepper.

There are those out there that are ready to stick a fork in Brohm right away, but it's unlikely that Ted Thompson will cut a second-rounder in his second year, especially when he has two guys set ahead of him. But the observations that he doesn't appear to have improved much at all over his forgettable rookie training camp has to be at least a slight concern.

My guess is that Brohm will likely get another half of play against Buffalo, but isn't going to get any time with the #2's. It's pretty clear that Flynn has earned that second-string spot, and it's hard to argue that he should have to play after Brohm. Brohm is going to have to make a statement with JaRon Harris and Brett Swain running his routes instead of Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Such is the life of a #3 trying to claw his way up the food chain.

Hopefully, Brohm will get the time he needs to develop and slow the game down for him. But, his road seems to be getting harder to tread each week, and another goose-egg in the quarterback rating might put the Packers front office into a heightened alert status.

1 comment:

PackersRS said...

Like I discussed with you last night, I couldn't agree more, specially with the statement about Flynn being ready to take over a game, or even start one, but still not having credit to be able to sustain a whole season. But then again, you could only name a few Qbs that can. Kitna is one. Leinart isn't. And he is a 1st round pick, for a team that just made the SB...