CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- B.J. Coleman may have held a clipboard on Sunday during his first season in the NFL, but the rest of the week was far from a cakewalk for the Green Bay practice squad quarterback.
The former McCallie and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga star took his lumps while adjusting to a new offense and a new level of play, but that was part of the Packers' plan.
"Some teams ease their guys in to see if they can handle it, but at Green Bay it's hit the ground running," Coleman said after a recent round of golf at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay. "You're either going to sink or swim, and you kind of earn your stripes that way."
After earning his degree from UTC in December of 2011, Coleman soon realized his education was far from finished.
Being selected by Green Bay in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft made Coleman the latest enrollee in head coach Mike McCarthy's unique "Quarterback School," which can be likened to a graduate program that strips QB's down for a complete rebuild.
"They take you back to the basics in everything, and a lot of it is stuff you never even knew," Coleman said. "They teach you how to jump rope and spin balls between your legs for hand-eye coordination. It starts with workouts then moves to footwork, throwing motion and three or five or seven-step drops.
"Several times I surprised myself and said, 'Wow, I do that well,' but there's other times when it's more, 'Oh, I thought I did that well, but I really don't.' I think it all balances itself out, though."
Finding balance on the field wasn't the only important lesson as Coleman adjusted to life as a pro.
Developing healthy workout and nutrition routines proved major steps in Coleman's maturation.
"You have to make sure you keep your body right," Coleman said. "It's a huge challenge because you're picking up and moving to a new place, basically starting from scratch, but it's not like college when you're out late or what not.
"You learn a lot about yourself because it's a challenge, but I embraced that part. You just have to make sure you stay on a proper routine to stay in the best shape possible to perform."
And Coleman's performance in Green Bay's organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp this offseason was certainly impressive.
The second year pro turned heads while splitting reps with No. 2 quarterback Graham Harrell, using a more patient and practical approach stemming from his quarterback school experience.
His two months of workouts were highlighted by a long touchdown pass during a rare chance to run a two-minute drill with the No. 2 offense.
"I really focused on my game and making the mistakes, then making sure when I went back out there that they were corrected," he said.
Coleman won't have that luxury later this month. His education ends when training camp begins on July 24.
McCarthy has stated the former Moc will get a fair shot to earn a roster spot and unseat Harrell as Aaron Rodgers' primary backup, which means Coleman's mindset will be vastly different.
"The main thing is OTA's was a time for learning, as opposed to training camp when it's the time for competing for a job," Coleman said. "That's something a quarterback who is constantly in pressure situations has got to thrive off of, and I'm excited about it.
"I'm looking forward to that chance to go out and show from year one to year two, how far I've come and where I am now."
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