Johnson Learns From Former Packers Coaches

Draft prospect and Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson is a pupil of three former Green Bay Packers coaches.

Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson will enter the Draft in April having been prepared for the NFL by a group of former Green Bay Packers coaches.

He spent the past three years of his college career under the tutelage of Mike Sherman who became the head coach of the Aggies after previously having been the head coach of the Packers from 2000 to 2005.

While many college teams are running the spread option as a primary part of their offense, Johnson has benefited from Sherman's experience in the NFL and what he's brought to Texas A&M.

"Coach Sherman is very particular, very detail oriented," said Johnson. "For me, it’s helped me out tremendously right now running a pro style offense. I learned so much football.

"We would go into a game with 200 plays on a play sheet, and all very similar to the NFL. He didn’t change the offense much. I’m sure thankful for that opportunity, because it’s definitely going to help me out in the long run."

Sherman had a difficult decision to make on Johnson in 2010.

After a junior season in which he set several school passing records and was a consensus second-team All-Big XII selection behind current Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, Johnson had a surprisingly difficult senior season.

Johnson closed out the month of September with back-to-back four interception games against Florida International and Oklahoma State and followed that up by completing only 15 of 40 passes against Arkansas in the Aggies' first game in the month of October.

Shortly thereafter, Sherman turned the reins over Ryan Tannehill and Texas A&M closed out the regular season with six consecutive wins all in conference play.

Johnson didn't attempt a single pass the rest of the season, and despite the change, the quarterback says he's still close with Sherman.

"I’ve had a great relationship with him," said Johnson. "We’ll be close from here on out, through my playing career, my coaching career, and I’m definitely glad I got to play for him."

Johnson also learned under quarterbacks coach Tom Rossley who was Sherman's offensive coordinator in Green Bay.

Now Johnson turns his attention toward preparing for the NFL and honing his mechanics. Towards that end he's been training in Nashville with former Packers assistant coach Zeke Bratkowski.

Bratkowski spent two different stints in Green Bay as an assistant from 1969–70 and again from 1975–81. He also played for the Packers from 1963–71 primarily as a backup to Bart Starr and a spot starter.

He was a member of the Packers' first two Super Bowl teams and a member of the Packers Hall of Fame.

Now he's working with Johnson and his throwing motion after the pro prospect suffered some arm fatigue this past season, which he thinks affected his performance.

"I got to him and expected him to say something about my motion," said Johnson, "but he’s like 'Look, just looking at your film, you got away with throwing a lot of balls without using your body and your feet and just left it up to your brute arm strength. Now, with what happened to your shoulder, you’re not going to be able to do that. So you really have to put a precedence on using your feet.'

"Getting my feet underneath me to make throws makes your arm strength better, because your body is in better position to deliver the ball. I’ve been working on my foot work and I guess you can say it’s helped my motion."

Johnson fully acknowledges that his stock as a professional quarterbacks took a dive this past year, though he remains confident.

He isn't one of the top quarterbacks; he might not even be in the top 15 or 20. But the season he had in 2009 has observers thinking he still might have what it takes.

"I think a lot of the scouts still have a lot of faith in me," said Johnson. "They’re just kind of worried about kind of what happened this year. A lot of teams, they seem like they’re still interested: 'Just show us that you can do what you did your junior year. If you show us that player, you’ll be OK.'"

Johnson said he's met with the current Packers coaching staff while at the NFL Combine, but couldn't gauge any possible interest because he's met with almost every team.

From here on out, all he can do is work on his mechanics and wait.

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