Like any hardcore sports fan, Da'Ron Brown enjoys debating with his friends.
Which is the greatest team of all time?
Who's better – MJ or LeBron?
Who should be named MVP?
The Chargers wide receiver has always been willing to listen to others' opinions, except when it comes to naming the league's best quarterback. For years, he's passionately argued his case, refusing to give in.
"If you ask any of my friends, they'll tell you how I've always said Philip Rivers is my favorite quarterback," he said as his eyes lit up. "I've (grown up) watching him for a long time. I'm really impressed by his game and the plays he's able to make. The passes he's able to make sometimes are crazy. You watch him and you think he's close to getting sacked, and then, BOOM, out of nowhere he makes that play and you're like, 'Wow!' There are not many quarterbacks able to do what he can do. He's the best. His playmaking skills are (crazy). Those tight throws; it's impressive."
Since joining the Bolts in January, Brown has had the chance to catch passes from his idol. Yet he doesn't think about that in the moment. Instead of focusing on being on the receiving end of the quarterback he's watched for over a decade, the wide receiver is instead concentrating on earning his place in a loaded wide receiver corps.
"Out there, I'm just focused on making a play. I'm grateful for this opportunity no matter how long it lasts. I'll use every chance to prove myself. Everything is about opportunity to hone your craft and show your ability. I love this game. I love this sport. I want to play. This is what I've been dreaming for my whole life."
Brown was the 233rd overall pick selected in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs after an impressive career at Northern Illinois. A second team ALL-MAC selection in 2014, he led the team in catches (68), receiving yards (1,065) and touchdown catches (six) as a senior. Overall, he caught 155 passes for 2,295 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 14.8 yards per reception.
The 6-0, 199-pound wideout spent all of 2015 on the Chiefs' practice squad, but was one of the team's final cuts prior to the 2016 campaign. The next few months were hectic, as he was a member of three teams' practice squads (New England Patriots, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins) before signing a reserve-future contract with Los Angeles earlier this year.
While his career didn't begin how he would have liked, Brown wouldn't change a thing as it led him to the Bolts.
"It's a business. All you can really do is control what you can control, and the decisions that are made are out of your hands. Once you're out of it, it's tough. Bouncing from team to team is not a good thing, but now I'm at a place I want to be. I'm excited to go out there, compete and perform. I've been waiting for an opportunity, and I think this is a good one. I'm a competitor. I believe I'm dependable when the quarterback needs me. I'm reliable. This team gave me the opportunity at the right time."