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Is Vincent Brown Flying Under the Radar?
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The Chargers’ wide receivers have been a topic of conversation most of the offseason. Entering 2014, everyone wants to talk about Malcom Floyd’s return, Keenan Allen’s rookie season and Eddie Royal’s career-year.
It may seem that Vincent Brown has gone under the radar, but that isn’t the case within the walls of Chargers Park. Cognizant of the wide receiver’s skills and tangible impact on the game, everyone knows he is a vital cog of the wide receiver corps. His teammates' respect for him was illustrated by being voted the recipient of the team’s Ed Block Courage Award after returning from a broken ankle that caused him to miss his entire sophomore campaign. General Manager Tom Telesco addressed Brown at the Scouting Combine, explaining how 2013 was his first true NFL season.
“I know he's been in the league for a couple years, but really, as far as heavy playing time, it was almost like a rookie year for him,” he said. “He ended up with (41) catches. (He’s) definitely good moving forward. He's shown some promise. He finishes some tough catches downfield, and he's a good route runner, so we'll see where it goes.”
Brown appeared in all 18 games last year, including the postseason, with two starts. He finished with 41 catches for 472 yards and one touchdown. While those numbers are respectable, they don’t tell the full story when it comes to Brown. He came up with a number of clutch third down catches, most notably outmuscling his opponent in a Monday night win against the Indianapolis Colts to set up a touchdown, and a sprawling 32-yard catch in a Thursday night win over the Denver Broncos with his team backed up to the goal-line. Brown is also an excellent blocker in the run game. One of the signature moments from 2013 was Ryan Mathews’ touchdown in that very same game in Denver. Watch closely and you’ll catch number 86 manhandling the safety deep in the end zone, paving the way for the back-breaking score.
Still, while 2013 was like a rookie year, Brown doesn’t make any excuses.
“I’ve just got to keep fighting,” he said. “The NFL is a level where it’s high competition all the time. So you’ve got to be able to get ready for each and every week, regardless of any past injury situation. You can’t make any excuses. When you’re on the field you’ve got to go play. Yeah, my situation was different with the injury and all, but going from last year I’m trying to build off of it, keep progressing and get back to where I was.”
Brown believes there are a number of talented weapons at wide receiver in the locker room, explaining how each of their skillsets mesh well together.
“We all have playmaking ability,” he explained. “Everyone has different things about their game that makes them great. We believe in each other and complement each other and we feed off of that. We have bigger receivers, smaller quick receivers and pretty much everything out there. So it’s a good group.”
So what does Brown hope to bring to the table?
“Being reliable and bringing big playmaking ability,” he said. “Whenever the ball is thrown it’s my job to catch it. So whenever I have the opportunity I want to make the most of it. Really I want to complement guys. If someone is getting doubled I want to be the option on the other side that they can rely on, and vice versa.” Read