Jeff Brohm got what he wanted from Purdue and Louisville

Now that the Jeff Brohm dalliance has finally fizzled, the University of Louisville can consider some serious candidates. Brohm was never coming home, using UofL as a bargaining chip to further solidify his position at Purdue University.

No good vibes during the entire process, not from a family or from the University in which each party had invested so much. Little to no public communications from any of the Brohms, just enough winks and nods with selective media contacts to advance Jeff’s interests, keep playing his game.

While some around him indicated that he had considerable interest in Louisville, there was no indication from Brohm himself. Just the usual mumbo-jumbo coachspeak about being where he wanted to be. Taking his time, keeping everybody waiting, keeping his players, keeping Louisville fans guessing. 

No indications from friends and family members in Louisville that he was excited about being considered, possibly returning to his alma mater. No happy memories  about program where he, his dad and a brother had quarterbacked, another brother had been a wide receiver. 

Just silence. The kind of silence with an ominous feel to it all along.  Nothingness. Hurry up and wait. For what?

Brohm pretty much walked by the pond, saw us drowning, and took a seat at the picnic table ...

No one having a clue about Brohm was going to do. Not inspiring confidence, just enough to keep Louisville fans waiting and hoping, allowing the suspense to build to a fever pitch. Brohm has matured, gone on to other interests, and is no longer tuned into Louisville his hometown, or UofL 

No expressions of disappointment from Brohm about what had happened to Louisville football over the last year under Bobby Petrino’s direction. No obvious interest in rescuing the UofL program, or concern about what the University had been through over the past three years. The hometown boy had a set of priorities, but it’s clear now did not match up with Louisville’s.

As a poster on Louisville message board noted, “This program is at one of the lowest points we’ve seen and people viewed Brohm as the guy to take us to the next level, it was storybook. Instead Brohm pretty much walked by the pond, saw us drowning, and took a seat at the picnic table to watch.”

Brohm was focused of taking full advantage of the uncertainty in West Lafayette to nail down further concessions from Purdue. A big paycheck got much, much bigger with PU matching Louisville dollar for dollar. In the end, he is said to have improved his salary from a reported $3.8 million to an estimated $6 million annually.

Athletic Director Vince Tyra indicated Thursday morning that he never felt during the give and take (mostly give) with Brohm that the former Louisville quarterback was excited as Tyra was about the UofL job. Tyra saying it was clear that Brohm’s heart and mind were consumed with fulfilling his commitment to Purdue.

Tyra had no choice but to go after Brohm, make the best possible offer, let Brohm know he was badly needed, and wait for Brohm to quit stalling. Now Tyra is free to pursue someone who wants to be at UofL, “someone with the same energy and excitement going to work every day as myself, Chris Mack, Dan McDonnell and other UofL coaches.” Good for Vince, let our people go.

Brohm has made his choice, and Louisville respects that choice and wishes him well. Some have suggested that the timing was not right, and that UofL and Brohm could still get together some day. Don’t count on it, not when Jeff Brohm turned a cold shoulder to UofL football during a time of its greatest need.  Thanks but no thanks to football coaches who have little regard for UofL’s interests, now and in the future.

Ties that bound Petrino and Brohms at loose ends now

No stepping on the brakes, it’s a freight train now, the season opener only six days away for the University of Louisville football team. Against Purdue University, the Brohm brothers and company.

Bobby Petrino wishes Jeff Brohm lots of luck, just not next Saturday (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Jeff, Brian and Greg Brohm all former UofL players, good ones, ambitious people, wanting to prove themselves on the sidelines, eager to make names for themselves, starting at the expense of their alma mater, possibly even envisioning a return to UofL some day.

Current UofL Coach Bobby Petrino noting in his press conference on Monday that all three of them, including Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, were guests at the wedding of his daughter Katie over the summer. Along with Poppa and Momma Brohm. Strong between the Petrinos and the Brohms, almost two decades now.

Jeff Brohm is a Purude Boilermaker for now.

Jeff, of course, was an assistant to Petrino at at Western Kentucky before becoming head coach at WKU. Making his mark there, earning a Big 10 opportunity. He knows the Petrino system as well as anyone, having lived it at least 20 hours a day, 12 months a year.

“I’m excited for Jeff … but now he’s the enemy,” said Petrino smiling. adding that Brohm went through a rigorous process of contemplating a coaching career after his NFL career was over, the long days, all the travel, the ups and downs of recruiting, and all the other responsibilities. “He called me when I went to Western Kentucky and said he had decided he wanted to be a head coach,” he said. “I know he put a lot of thought into it, and I believe he will be successful.”

Jeff is one of four family members to be a football letterwinner at Louisville, along with his father, Oscar (quarterback 1966-69), and brothers, Greg (wide receiver 1989-92) and Brian (quarterback 2004-07).

Unfortunate, perhaps, that Brohm’s first game at Purdue has to come against Louisville. Or maybe not, since he knows Petrino’s system so well. Petrino is well aware of Brohm’s proclivity for unorthodox or trick plays, relying heavily on them for his success at Western Kentucky. Petrino expects more of the same Saturday at Indianapolis.

No more of this buddy, buddy stuff, however.

*   *   *

Lamar Jackson confidence grows with maturity and stronger offensive line (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Lamar Jackson is ready to put the off season behind him. He’s done with all the awards banquets, and the monotony of fall football camp . Ready for some football he is.  “I was ready after the first week of practice. I’m always ready to play football,” he said.

As for being left off pre-season Heisman Trophy candidate lists, “I don’t know. They don’t come to me and talk about it. I don’t really care. I just care about my teammates and winning games.”

As for his much maligned offensive line, “They’re eager to play. They were eager to play last year but I can see a difference now. They’re much more mature now, they’re stronger and can push defensive lines back.”

As for whether he himself is more mature, “Last year they would be bringing a blitz, I would try to use my arm and try to beat the blitz. Now I can change the play and go in a whole different direction.”

Honored numbers have a new home at Papa John’s

Artisans at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium put the finishing touches on Jeff Brohm’s honored number as work on the stadium expansion nears a conclusion. The honored numbers of former University of Louisville football standouts have been moved from the west side of the stadium to the new upper deck on the east side. (Click on photo to ENLARGE.)

Brian Brohm in the Buffalo hunt

Brian Brohm is apparently in the chase for the starting quarterback position with the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, hoever, he still has the challenge of shaking off a less than stellar NFL start during at Green Bay.

In a recent interview, Brian discussed the advantages of growing up in a football family, with two older brothers who both played at the University of Louisville.

Q: Your father was a QB at Louisville. Your oldest brother, Greg, played receiver at Louisville. Your older brother, Jeff, was 1988 Kentucky Mr. Football, starred at Louisville and played QB in the NFL. What was it like carrying on such a heavy family tradition?

A: I pretty much grew up with a football in my hand. My older brother Jeff played in the NFL for seven years. He’s the guy I always looked up to. I wanted to be just like him. He’s 15 years older than me. Greg is 16 years older. I think I was 8 years old when my brother went to the Super Bowl with the Chargers. I got to experience that. I just fell in love with the game and the position of quarterback. They were always helping out, coaching me, in every sport.

It wasn’t just football. Basketball, baseball, they’d get me in the backyard. I remember in eighth grade my brother Jeff had just gone through Bill Walsh’s QB school. He came back and had me doing all the 5-step, 7-step drops, all that stuff. I was very fortunate. I think it really helped me out when I was younger that I had that coaching and a lot of other guys didn’t.

You can read the entire interview with the Buffalo News here.

Post Chuckie Withdrawal

by Tom Stosberg

It’s going to be difficult the next few days for some of us as we recover from PCW syndrome (see above). We had high hopes that Tom Jurich was going to pull off the stunt of the century – hiring Jon “Chuckie” Gruden.

But now it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. And some of us are having a little letdown. So now our spouses and friends are patting us on the heads, consoling us, telling us that it will still be okay. We’ll still get a good coach.

I guess it’s going to be alright but when you have your hopes set on getting someone who would literally blow the lid off college football … a guy who would have ESPN and every blog in the stratosphere sizzling … a bigger-than-life personality who would instantly ignite the fan base, reinvigorate recruiting and send season ticket sales soaring, it’s difficult to come back to reality.

After all, there’s nothing to indicate that TJ would even consider the possibility of hiring that particular Gruden brother, much less waste any time trying. While TJ is a visionary, he’s not reckless.

So I guess it was just a pipe dream, having Chuckie here for a couple of years with brother Jay as offensive coordinator waiting in the wings. And when Jay became head coach, Jeff Brohm taking over as OC. We’d have genuine Cardinal blood running through the system. You know, the tradition and heritage thing like the mega programs have.

So my wife advised it’s time to give up the notion and not to be sad about it. “We’ll still get a good coach”, she said. “It’ll be okay.” So I guess I’m back down to earth now.

But do you think….?