“On the second day of camp, he came out of the locker room and was walking down the hallway (with) his tablet watching practice. There are (only) so many plays that are even downloaded at that time, but…he loves the game.”
Even before seeing his impromptu study session, Head Coach Mike McCoy knew Jatavis Brown lives and breathes football. The former Akron Zip and 2016 fifth-round draft pick of the Chargers has made a solid first impression in training camp.
“I love the game and I give this game all I have,” Brown said. “Right now, I’m a rookie trying to learn everything as much as I can. That involves studying as much as I can so I can be comfortable out here on the field like I once was in college.”
Like any rookie, Brown said he’s been focused more than anything on learning the playbook. One of his teammates equates him to a “sponge” saying his work ethic is second to none.
“He takes all the information in and does a great job transferring it to the field,” mentioned Manti Te’o. “Every check that I was giving him, he could process it and he was responding very well and (I’m) very pleased with what he’s been doing so far.”
But while studying is key, reps are invaluable. Brown has been seeing action with the first team for portions of the opening week of camp, and has shown flashes of why he was the 2015 MAC Defensive Player of the Year.
“(He) loves to play the game of football,” McCoy added. “He’s going to have a big role on this team whether it’s on the kicking team (or) on defense. He’s just going to get better every day. He’s going to make some mistakes, but when he makes them, he’s going full speed. I love his work ethic and his attitude and the way he approaches the game.”
Like any rookie, Brown is using camp as a way to learn from his peers. He’s soaking in everything he can from Te’o and his other linebackers knowing that the knowledge he can gain will make his transition to pro football smoother.
“Having those guys who have been here a couple years has been great. (Them) knowing the system and knowing it better than me (helps). Anything I can learn from those guys, I’ll be willing to learn. If I can have that information in the back of my head whenever I need it is amazing.”
Brown has been making an impression on “those guys”. Part of why his teammates respect his game is because of his confidence. Coming from a small school like Akron doesn’t matter to Brown because he knows that “if you’re here, they feel like you can play”. What does matter is having the assurance to step out onto the field and perform at his best from training camp through the regular season and he’s looking to continue being diligent throughout the rest of the offseason.
“My whole focus has been learning this whole system and knowing it like the back of my hand. (I’ll keep) studying and trusting myself. Knowing the plays and being comfortable with the plays while playing ball (because) football is (everything) to me. I enjoy playing this game.”