New Life?

Brian Brohm (Getty Images)

Brian Brohm (left) failed miserably in Green Bay. But this week, the Bills gave him a second chance. Amid a total recall of changes, Buffalo is giving the young quarterback a chance to resurrect his career. The team has nothing to lose...

Is one team's trash another team's treasure?

The Bills hope so. Buffalo is doing everything in its power to shake things up under center. One day after Ryan Fitzpatrick was named starting quarterback, the team signed embattled Brian Brohm off the Green Bay Packers' practice squad.

After getting drafted in the second round two years ago, Brohm flopped in a hurry. He was ousted by seventh-rounder Matt Flynn as a rookie and then didn't even make the 53-man roster the following year.

Red flag, red flag. NFL teams are loyal to a bloody fault with young quarterbacks. It's sacrilege to dump them into the wide open. But that's exactly what Green Bay did with Brohm.

Still, it's impossible to argue with Buffalo's decision. This is a smart, low-risk move on their part. Maybe Brohm has a renaissance here. In college he showed an acute, play-to-play awareness in an up-tempo offense. The Bills — slumping at 3-6 — have nothing to lose. Brohm could sneak into action by December and have a chance to tease starter potential.

Brohm admitted his confidence was shattered with the Packers. He got in a rut early and things snowballed. Mentally, he picked up on Mike McCarthy's offense (McCarthy frequently lauded Brohm's quick learning). But physically, he was in a major funk.

In Buffalo, Brohm has a chance to make a new first impression. He's a transfer student, ready to start over. Never underestimate a fresh start. For so many young quarterbacks, this is a healthy remedy.

"It's a new group of guys and a new offense," Brohm said. "It's a chance to start over and make a new first impression."

Added offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, "He was a very successful guy in college. A lot of guys here had high grades on him. Obviously this organization is moving forward in a lot of different areas."

Brohm blew up at Louisville. As a senior he had more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. He ripped apart solid Big East defenses with regularity, constantly bailing out a terrible defense.

Then again, Brohm was awful — to be kind — in Green Bay. In two preseasons, Brohm threw zero touchdowns with four interceptions and a string of three-and-outs. Packer Report publisher Bill Huber watched Brohm's demise first-hand every day at training camp in Green Bay.

Huber says Brohm plainly does not have the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.

"Simply put, Brohm doesn't throw the ball well enough to be successful at this level. He's smart and works hard, but he just doesn't have the ability to drive the ball into a tight spot on third-and-10, nor does he have the ability to stretch the defense vertically. Some quarterbacks can get away with that — think Chad Pennington. So far, though, Brohm hasn't shown that awareness and sixth sense that has made Pennington an above-average quarterback."

Probably, true. But in Buffalo, Brohm does have one more chance to justify the hype he generated two years ago. It's not like he'd be infecting anything on the Bills' offense. For the past decade, dysfunction has dominated the quarterback position.

Give Perry Fewell credit. He is plowing the team in a new, fresh direction. The signing hints that the Bills are prepared to rehaul the quarterback position after the season. Trent Edwards' days are numbered. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still an unknown.

And Brohm is a nifty prospect to keep warm in the bullpen.

thdunne@gmail.com

The Bills actually picked up Brohm over another quarterback. Get the scoop inside the BFR's premium forums.

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