Matt Brown (left) and Nate Palmer will report to Green Bay Packers mini camp this week. (Photo by Laura Ewan/WJBC)
By Eric Stock
Matt Brown will feel right at home in the green and gold in Green Bay.
The Marion, Ill. native who signed a rookie free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers last month grew up as a Packers' fan.
"Even since I watched Brett Favre, it was one of those things where I just fell in love with how he played the game," Brown said.
Brown joins former Illinois State teammates Nate Palmer (linebacker) and Ben Erickson (safety) as invitees to the Packers' mini-camp which begins on Thursday.
Palmer was drafted in the sixth round as the 78th overall pick. Palmer said he even though he knew he could be drafted, he will still in shock when he got the call.
"I was expecting a day three call. My chances of really going were probably going to be PFA, which is preferred free agent. Fortunately, with the grace of God, the Packers saw something in me," Palmer said.
Brown had hoped for a call before the draft ended, but said not getting drafted could be a blessing for him.
"You could end up in a bad situation if you get drafted by a team that doesn't really fit your needs, or fit your style. I ended up just choosing the Packers because I thought that gave me the best opportunity to be able to compete for a job," Brown said.
The Green Bay Packers list three quarterbacks on their roster, including former NFL Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers. Brown could compete for a backup position with second-year man Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman who has been with the team for one season.
Palmer said he grew up a Chicago Bears' fan, idolizing Brian Urlacher who played the position he hopes to play for the Bears' biggest rival.
Palmer added the advice he's received from friends who have made it to the NFL is the game is much faster.
"(Coaches) aren't going to take any crap," Palmer said he was told.
Palmer was the first Redbird drafted to the NFL since Laurent Robinson was chosen by the Atlanta Falcons in 2007.
Two other former Redbirds were picked up shortly after the draft, the Houston Texans signed up linebacker Evan Frierson and the Jacksonville Jaguars added linebacker Mike Zimmer.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.