published Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

B.J. Coleman's NFL future uncertain after release from Green Bay Packers

Quarterback B.J. Coleman from Chattanooga drops back to pass during the fourth quarter of a preseason game on Aug. 17 against the St. Louis Rams. He survived the cuts to 53 players but then was released Sunday night.
Quarterback B.J. Coleman from Chattanooga drops back to pass during the fourth quarter of a preseason game on Aug. 17 against the St. Louis Rams. He survived the cuts to 53 players but then was released Sunday night.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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B.J. Coleman said he got the word late Sunday night: His time with the Green Bay Packers was finished.

By the time word began to spread Monday morning that the Packers' seventh-round draft pick in 2012 had been cut, Coleman had gone for a cup of coffee and was reading the local newspaper.

The former McCallie and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback sounded calm and comfortable during a phone interview Monday morning, shortly after the Green Bay media began posting the news on Twitter.

"I'm actually at peace with it. I really am," said Coleman, who was on the Packers' practice squad last season and survived the cuts when the Packers trimmed their roster to 53 men Saturday.

Green Bay has signed veteran backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, who will wear Coleman's No. 9, to be Aaron Rodgers' backup. The Packers signed to their practice squad former Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, who spent the past two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

The signing of Tolzien indicated that Coleman's time at Lambeau Field was finished.

"It's like I've said many times, it's business, and it's been a great experience," Coleman said. "I don't think most people realize how high the highs can be and how low the lows can be, and that's part of it. You've got to maintain that neutral mindset no matter what happens. That's part of the business."

Coleman was sharp in the Packers' second preseason game, going 8-for-13 for 86 yards and a 9-yard touchdown. Overall, he finished four preseason appearances 14-for-34 for 128 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

During his news conference Sunday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn't give a ringing endorsement for Coleman as the No. 2. With numerous more experienced quarterbacks coming on the market over the weekend, the chances Coleman would be the backup appeared slim.

"Coleman has continued to grow and get better," Thompson said, according to PackersNews.com. "We're all trying to get better. Playing quarterback is an interesting thing. You don't really know until you know. You have to be put in a fire and see how everything works and timing and reaction."

The timing for Coleman isn't great because a lot of teams have made their plans after cut-down day and filled out their practice squads. So what's next?

"You know, I'm not sure, for the first time, to be honest with you -- and that's OK," he said. "I think when that happened last night I said, 'Wow, what an experience.' I slept on it and tried to take the things I've learned. This business is so different, and things can turn around tomorrow or today."

Depending on what happens, he said, Coleman could be back in Chattanooga within a few days or he could be packing in a hurry for another NFL destination.

Trio on practice squads

One day after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Tim Benford was signed to the team's practice squad Sunday, where the former Red Bank High School and Tennessee Tech standout spent the 2012 season. Former UTC defensive back Chris Lewis-Harris was assigned to the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad for the second time as well.

Former Calhoun (Ga.) High School wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers was signed by the Indianapolis Colts to their practice squad Monday. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound former five-star recruit who had good seasons at Tennessee and Tennessee Tech signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent and was cut last week. In three preseason games with the Bills, Rogers had a total of two catches for 12 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown against the Colts.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.

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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