Packers QB BJ Coleman and Operation Conceal Coleman
The Green Bay Packers have been enamored with BJ Coleman since before the NFL Draft. I was told this by an NFL Scout in the business for many years. He showed me his report on BJ Coleman, and here is just a short except:
SUPER SLEEPER-B.J. COLEMAN, Tennessee-Chattanooga
To me, he’s a poor man’s Philip Rivers, in that he has that moxie to compensate for a few mechanical flaws. Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco went the same route early in his
college career, stepping down from the University of Pittsburgh to turn a stellar career at Delaware into a 2008 first round draft selection. Despite being slowed by a shoulder injury that limited him to just seven games as a senior, Coleman is still projected by many draft analysts as an “under-the-radar” prospect who is an outstanding field general with a great work ethic. Coleman has the athleticism and size that teams covet in a pocket passer. He has the functional mobility to consistently escape pressure. With his raw power, he has done an excellent job of standing tall in the pocket, along the leg drive to carry defenders when he runs between tackles, evident by his seven short area scoring runs for the Mocs. Compares To-MATT FLYNN-Seattle-Coleman is not going to hear his name heard until the draft’s third day, but there is first-day material in this kid waiting for a patient coach to develop. With the Packers history for turning around low draft picks into NFL starters, could this be a match made in heaven?
This, of course prompted me to do some research and watch some tape of Coleman. I saw what he saw, with one difference: I think he’ll be a better QB in a few years than Flynn will ever be. (I’ve never thought Flynn was any more than a career backup, and looks like Russel Wilson has proven that).
In any case, BJ Coleman provides a real dilemma for the Packers – how do they hold on to this kid with a strong arm, who needs a year of schooling RE: mechanics and footwork? The Packers are just not keeping 3 quarterbacks on their roster. Their M.O. is to keep their two best and always have a third on the practice squad in case of injuries.
Usually the practice squad guy is someone they wouldn’t cry about if they were to lose him. With Coleman, the Packers would be pretty upset if he were claimed by another team. he’s the type of player you can develop and trade for a high draft pick in a few years. So what do they do?
Operation Conceal Coleman:
During the preseason, the Packers gave Coleman only token playing time – always at the very end of games.
Against the Chargers, Coleman came on with 1:49 left and against the Browns, with only 51 seconds left.
When it came to the third preseason game, whose film opposing scouts will evaluate the most to assess possible waiver pickups, Coleman took only ten snaps at the end of the game, and handed off eight times. He was on the field for four minutes and was not given the chance to show anything.
In the fourth preseason game, when opposing teams won’t have time to see the film before practice squads get set, Coleman was given the most playing time, coming in with 10:57 left in the game and was allowed to pass 7 out of 10 plays.
On roster cut day, news started leaking out on players cuts in the morning and continued all day. Nothing was heard about Coleman until the Packers official announcement Friday night. Coincidence, or a deliberate attempt to give opposing GMs as little advance notice of Coleman’s availability as possible?
Of course, there’s no guarantee this operation will be successful. Some other team could still pluck Coleman off of waivers today. But the Packers had to try, although for his part, Ted Thompson recently claimed they have never attempted to hide a player in preseason.
But it all smells fishy to me. What do you think?
Oh, and I thought I spotted Ted Thompson lurking on the grassy knoll during the Chiefs game…
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.