published Friday, May 11th, 2012

Former UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman begins Green Bay Packers rookie camp

Former UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman practices with wide receivers in Finley Stadium in preparation for the Mocs' pro day on April 2.  Coleman is in Green Bay today for his first practice with the team after being picked in the seventh round of the NFL draft.
Former UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman practices with wide receivers in Finley Stadium in preparation for the Mocs' pro day on April 2. Coleman is in Green Bay today for his first practice with the team after being picked in the seventh round of the NFL draft.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

After nearly two weeks of working out and "laying low" following the NFL draft, B.J. Coleman begins his professional football career today with the start of the Green Bay Packers' rookie camp.

The former McCallie and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback was drafted in the seventh round by the Packers. Coleman traveled to Wisconsin on Thursday for the team's welcoming dinner and will practice with the rest of the Packers' draft picks and free agents today, Saturday and Sunday.

"I'm ready to go," Coleman said in a phone interview during a layover in Chicago. "This is what I've been working for. I'm sure my head will be spinning pretty quickly as soon as we get everything going, but I think the biggest is to get in there and get my nose in the playbook and learn as much as possible."

Following the rookie camp are several weeks of conditioning and organized team activities. Coleman said he expected to be in Green Bay for the next 45-50 days before teams take a league-mandated break prior to the start of training camp in late July.

The Packers have perhaps the league's best quarterback in Aaron Rodgers -- last season's MVP -- but aren't as well set at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots. The other two quarterbacks on the roster are Graham Harrell and Nick Hill, and neither has extensive NFL experience.

Harrell has been on an NFL roster for a total of seven games the past two seasons, while Hill is a former Arena Football League player whom the Packers signed in January after losing backup Matt Flynn to the Seattle Seahawks.

Despite what looks like an opportunity to challenge for the No. 2 job if he has very good offseason and preseason workouts, Coleman said he's focused on only one thing.

"I just want to make the team," he said. "After that everything will take care of itself."

Former Eastern Kentucky defensive back Jeremy Caldwell from Chattanooga signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent and begins the Rams' rookie camp this weekend as well. His former Red Bank High School teammate, wide receiver Tim Benford of Tennessee Tech, signed with the Dallas Cowboys and participated in their rookie camp.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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