GREEN BAY, Wis. When quarterback B.J. Coleman was drafted in the seventh round by the Green Bay Packers, the former Tennessee-Chattanooga star was hoping to stay in touch with his mentor, Brett Favre.
Two weeks later, with Coleman now in Green Bay for rookie minicamp, he has still not received a message of any kind from Favre.
"I'd like to have a great relationship with him," Coleman said on the night he was drafted by Green Bay, the team and city Favre has had a messy divorce with. "We'll see. With Bus (Cook) being both of our agents, yeah, absolutely. I know there will be many questions and things I want to ask him."
But so far, Coleman has not been able to ask those questions to the 11-time Pro-Bowler who trained him in January and February prior to the draft.
"I have not heard from Brett," Coleman said Friday as he prepared for his first practice. "I haven't talked to Brett since I was down in Hattiesburg."
Coleman had traveled to Favre's hometown of Hattiesburg, Miss., and worked out with the former Packers quarterback on more than 10 occasions over a span of eight weeks at a local high school.
"You're talking about an awesome legend," Coleman said of Favre on draft night. "What an awesome experience for me to be a part of his legacy. Every second I was with him you can learn something new. He's one of the best. He'll go down as one of the greatest.
"To have the opportunity to speak with him and work with him was excellent."
Favre's relationship with Green Bay and the franchise that he helped bring a Super Bowl to in 1997 ended about as badly as could be imagined. When the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005, Favre was less than thrilled the team had selected his eventual successor instead of improving the roster for the upcoming season.
Three years later, with Favre again mulling retirement and the Packers ready to give Rodgers the starting job, general manager Ted Thompson wanted to move on. Though Favre initially retired in early 2008, by summertime he was telling the team he'd like to return to Green Bay as the starting quarterback for a 17th season. When Thompson stuck with Rodgers, Favre asked for -- and was denied -- an unconditional release from the Packers.
Later, Favre was traded to the New York Jets, though he strongly preferred to be dealt to the Minnesota Vikings, where he eventually signed and played for two seasons in 2009 and 2010.
With Favre now removed from the NFL for an entire season, his relationship with Coleman has not continued beyond their workouts in Mississippi.
"I'm sure in the offseasons I'll probably go back down and work out with Sam, who's my trainer down there, and I'm sure I'll be able to run into Brett down there," Coleman said Friday. "But I'm up here now with (quarterbacks) coach (Ben) McAdoo and learning the offense from him, Aaron and Graham (Harrell). I think that's the most important thing now.
"Brett is a great resource. He's a guy that's been there and done it. To have all the connections is an honor."
Coleman hasn't worked out with Rodgers yet, but briefly met the NFL MVP and shook his hand Friday in the locker room.
With former Rodgers backup Matt Flynn now competing for a starting spot with the Seattle Seahawks, the No. 2 spot on the Packers' quarterback depth chart is open. Harrell, a former undrafted player out of Texas Tech, spent much of last season on Green Bay's practice squad but was called up late in the year when the Buffalo Bills tried to sign him to their active roster.
Flynn, whom the Packers drafted in the seventh round in 2008, went from the 209th overall pick to becoming Green Bay's all-time single-game passing leader with a record-breaking Week 17 performance when Rodgers was resting for the playoffs. That led Flynn to receiving a three-year, 12 million deal with the Seahawks this offseason.
Flynn's departure could give Coleman, the 243rd overall pick in this year's draft, an opportunity to become Rodgers' top backup immediately from Week 1 on.
"No expectations," Coleman said. "I think the biggest thing is you go to work every day, put your hard hat on and try to do the very best you can. There's a lot in that playbook that I'm just tapping into today. It's going to take some time to get to work and get my nose down deep into it.
"But, as every player should be, you have to be confident in what you can do and put your best foot forward and the rest of it will sort itself out."
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