As a teenager Eric Wood's Elder high school football team in Cincinnati had a big time problem beating Trinity high school in neighboring Kentucky. The problem was Trinity had Brian Brohm as their quarterback. All Brohm did in high school was lead Trinity to three consecutive state titles before being named USA Today's Offensive Player of the Year.
Wood decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
"Brian's a hardcore competitor and that's one of my favorite things about him," said Wood. "I played him in high school and he kicked our butts. When I heard he was going to Louisville I said I'm following that guy because he's going to win a lot of ballgames. He's a really talented quarterback and can throw the ball anywhere, makes all the throws. Just an instinctive, tough, competitive guy."
During their three seasons together Wood and Brohm won 27 games with a couple of bowl appearances including an Orange Bowl win in 2007.
On Thursday however, the shoe was on the other foot. With his career stuck in neutral on Green Bay's practice squad, the Bills, looking to add some new blood to their quarterback ranks, offered him a contract. The Packers soon made an offer of their own and Brohm had a decision to make. He called Wood.
"He told me to get here," said Brohm of their phone conversation. "He told me I need to get up here when the whole thing was going down between both teams."
"I knew he wanted a fresh start somewhere and this will be good for him," said Wood.
The quarterback chose Buffalo.
"It's just a new start, a fresh start to get here with a new group of guys, a new offense, kind of start over and make a new first impression and hopefully make a good one," Brohm said.
Brohm's career got off to a rough beginning in Green Bay. He did not perform well in his first preseason in 2008 and was inactive for all 16 games of his rookie season as the third quarterback. He performed better this past preseason, which included a game against the Bills, but with the Packers choosing to keep just two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster Brohm was cut and then signed to their practice squad.
Despite the detractors in Green Bay, Brohm feels the difference in his play between 2008 and 2009 has been significant.
"I got off to bad start," he said. "There were some issues kind of in my head, a little confidence-wise maybe, where I got off to bad start and really never got things rolling. I kind of put a bad first impression out there but that's not me. I think I played better this preseason. This season I've gotten better the entire time. I feel very confident in my abilities right now."
Wood doesn't believe the difficult start to Brohm's career will have any long lasting effect on him.
"I saw him really working hard last summer," said Wood. "I'm confident. He's willing to put in the time and he's talented enough to make it happen so hopefully it works out for him and he's going to get full support from the players we've got here and our staff. So he's got a situation where he can come in and get a fresh start."
As for Buffalo's coaching staff they're not sure Brohm can help them this season, but the organization obviously has ideas in mind for him down the line.
"A lot of guys had a lot of high grades on him here in our college evaluation of him," said offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. "Obviously this organization is moving forward in a lot of different areas and that was one of the areas that they felt we could get better in the future with. Down the road he'll be a young guy with talent and ability to develop."
Van Pelt said he too had high grades on Brohm coming out of Louisville and believes he has the arm strength and accuracy to make all the throws and liked his confidence and movement in the pocket.
To this point it hasn't translated to the pro game, but Brohm is undeterred.
"I didn't perform the way that I know that I can," he said of his time in Green Bay. "I've been through one and a half seasons. I learned a lot behind Aaron Rogers. I feel like I've grown as a player and really developed. I feel very very comfortable with my abilities up at this level. I know I can play here, I feel very good about it."