GREEN BAY, Wis. (WRCB) -- B.J. Coleman has always looked the part of an NFL quarterback, but his best attribute may be that he knows that doesn't necessarily make him one.
The former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga star can still sling a ball as hard as anyone, but he didn't earn many chances to do it in his first year in the pros.
"Physically, I've always had a lot of fun out there and just gone out and let that physical part take over, but playing quarterback is a lot more than just having a big arm," Coleman said last week during Green Bay's organized team activities (OTA's).
The Chattanooga native spent more time watching than he did playing as a member of the Packers' practice squad last season. Now he is getting a chance to show what he's learned during offseason workouts.
"B.J. has a ton of talent," head coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. "He just needs to play and we've got to get the game to slow down for him. But that's normal for a young quarterback with where he his in his development."
Coleman's coachability and retention has been on display for more than a month.
As a practice squad player, the McCallie grad was allowed to take part in the team's rookie camp following the April draft. He looked like a seasoned pro compared to the newcomers, showing a control of the huddle and offense as a leader in drills.
"It's night and day," Coleman said. "Coming in last year you're just trying to survive. You want to get the play called, get out there, get it run and make sure the other 21 guys are getting work.
"Now it's reaping the benefits of what you're doing, why you're doing it, and then making the corrections once you get back."
Coleman has stepped up his game even more in OTA's, consistently making the right reads and throws. He is constantly being quizzed by McCarthy, quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and more often than not he's provided the correct answers.
"I really like his development and improvement in his fundamentals the last six weeks," McCarthy said. "It's been fun to watch and be a part of, but it's just like anything. He needs to play.
"You just cannot get enough reps as a young quarterback."
It looks like that will be the next step.
Coleman got a chance to step in for quarterback Graham Harrell and lead the No. 2 offense in a two-minute during Tuesday's workout. The drive resulted in a touchdown.
His steady improvement is expected to result in increased reps in training camp and preseason starting in July, where he'll get a fair shot to unseat Harrell as Rodgers' primary backup.
"They teach you from the ground up in this organization and in this offense," Coleman said. "They really teach you a lot of basics that help you play faster and smarter and get the ball into the hands of the playmakers.
"That's something I'm constantly working on and these guys are pushing me in that direction."
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