No NFL player likes to be handed anything. They'd prefer to earn an opportunity rather than fill a void. With the release of Trent Edwards Monday, Brian Brohm now ascends to the backup quarterback role behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. Some might see it as a promotion by default, but the way Chan Gailey explains it, Brohm's progress in the practice setting convinced the organization to develop him more.
"We want to work with Brian Brohm," said Gailey. "Actually when we went into last week I felt like we wanted to see how things went. After the way that Fitz played (Sunday) I feel very confident the direction we're going and I think we want to look at Brian as our next option and that was the change."
For Brohm it's another rung up on the quarterback depth chart, something he welcomes despite the circumstances.
"After spending time with a guy and being in the room with him you never want to see a teammate or a friend get cut, but at the same time it's a step up for me and an opportunity for me," said Brohm. "I've just got to keep preparing and stay ready if I'm called upon to go in the game."
From the conclusion of the preseason Brohm has been serving as the scout team quarterback in the practice setting, a common requirement of the third quarterback on an NFL roster. Now he'll be getting snaps with Buffalo's offense here and there during the practice week, knowing Fitzpatrick, the starter, will still get the majority of the work.
"The way it's been going there has been probably four sets of 12 plays at practice and the number two would get anywhere from three to four snaps of each of those sets of 12," he said. "As the number three I was taking all of the look squad reps going against the defense. Depending on if we bring somebody else in I'm sure I'll be getting those number two reps. We'll have to see what happens if they bring anyone else in for the look squad."
Head coach Chan Gailey said Monday afternoon that they are still considering whether or not to add a third quarterback to the roster. Ten teams in the NFL currently have just two signal callers on their 53-man rosters.
Brohm had a steady, if not spectacular preseason, leading the team to a few field goal drives. He completed just over 58 percent of his passes (21-36) for 203 yards and an interception for a passer rating of 62.6.
Gailey knows Brohm is largely unproven at the NFL level, but he and his staff believe they have something in the Louisville product that they can successfully develop.
"Brohm hasn't proven that he is (a good NFL backup), but we've seen enough in Brian that we feel like he has a chance," said Gailey. "I don't know whether he is or not, but I feel like he has a chance. It's a guy that you'd like to give an opportunity to do something. He made the most of his last opportunity when he played in preseason. That's not regular season, but we feel like that was the direction that we wanted to go."
"It's just one step closer to being on the field," Brohm said of his new role. "I've been preparing each and every week as if I was going to be in there playing. Preparation won't change a whole lot, just the mental mindset that I'm the next guy in. If something happens to Fitz I'm going to have to get ready to play."