FanPost

Ode to a Pterodactyl (The amazing Brandon Browner)


Whos actually Brandon Browner?

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via a.espncdn.com

On his prep days, Browner played both WR (1726 yards and 4 TD) and CB (16 int.) positions.

He decides entering Oregon State, and after being red shirted as a freshman on 2002, he then gets a starring role at CB one year later. Amassing on 2003 a total of 6 passes defended and 6 interceptions.

At 2004, entering his sophomore year he gets full time job at right corner. While facing enemy top WR, he s able to record 9 passes defended, no interceptions.

He leaves college after 3 years and declares himself for 2005 NFL draft.

College stats at OSU.

Year

Tackles

Sacks-Yards

TFL-Yards

Br. Up

Int.

2003

43

0-0

3-9

6

6

2004

44

1-2

2-7

9

0

Total

87

1-2

5-16

15

6

more..

Prior to 2005 NFL draft, some scouting reports were truly high on him, even to the point of rating Brandon as high as late 2nd to 3rd rounder as well. Sports Illustrated.com apparently did so grading him 3.65 out of 6:


BIO: Two-year starter and second team All-Conference choice as a sophomore last season after 44 tackles and 9 pass breakups. PAC-10 Freshman of the Year in 2003 after posting 43/6/6.

POSITIVES: Well-sized, shut-down cornerback with good upside for the next level. Solid backpedaling in reverse, flips his hips in transition and displays a burst of closing speed. Effective in man-to-man coverage and has opposing quarterbacks looking away from him. Reads the receivers. eyes, gets his head back around, and makes plays on the ball. Quickly plants, then breaks on the throw. Gets vertical and adjusts to knock away the pass. Effectively uses his large frame to box out opponents. Explosive run defender who flashes on the scene and looks to deliver the knockout throw. Defeats blocks on his way to the ballcarrier.

NEGATIVES: More of a long strider with built-up speed rather than a quick, sudden defender. Gets turned, not the most instinctive player, and at times does a lot of chasing. Marginally effective backed off the line of scrimmage. Often flagged for pass interference. Times poorly at the combine.

ANALYSIS: A defensive back with outstanding size and strength, Browner is perfectly suited to play press coverage at the next level and also has possibilities at safety. Possesses a lot of upside potential and has the skills to be a shut-down cornerback in the NFL, but far from the finished product -- needs time to develop his overall game and will only be effective in certain systems.

PROJECTION: Mid Third Round

Graded 3.65: a good athlete that must learn to be a football player or someone who is an "overachiever". Quality prospect with long term potential.

Some red flags among other things, made Brandon to slip down to the point that he went undrafted at the 2005 NFL draft. He was taken by Denver Broncos as a undrafted free agent, with the intention of switching him over to safety.

By the time, Brandon had been drawing flattering comparisons with former Broncos CB Lenny Walls:

Andrew Mason, of DenverBroncos.com:

"The exciting thing about Brandon is that for all the things we like about Lenny (Walls), if you stand them side-by-side, they look like bookends," said general manager Ted Sundquist. "Yet Brandon carries a lot more weight than Lenny does in his upper body, which allows him to be a little more physical, which is why we feel he would be such a good fit at the safety spot." Browner feels the safety position fits him better.

He didnt make the team due to breaking his forearm on a preseason game. He was IR ed that year, and then waived by Broncos the next year.

On 2006 he signs with the Calgary Stampeders. Team on which he played 4 years and gained reputation of being a physical and violent defensive back.

He wins the 2008 Grey cup with Calgary, and is named CFL all star All Pro.

The next year (2009) he s also selected for the CFL all star All Pro team.

CFL stats:

Year

Tackles

Sacks

Interceptions

2007

55

1

1

2008

61

1

3

2009

39

0

3

2010

51

0

5

Total

206

2

12

more..

After a four years tenure with the Stampeders, he signs finally with a NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Carroll s personal like for taller and physical CB, just to be part of a switching and aggressive cover3 /cover1 scheme, meant for Browner the entrance door to the NFL.

Browner s first year with Seattle was an up and down year, technique mistakes and a lot of penalty calls, casted up the doubt on Carroll s latest gambling.

Eventually, Browners intensity and the freedom given by Carroll in order to play without restrictions, made Browner to become a real playmaker.

Playing unvariably as right CB, and supported by the omnipresence of Earl Thomas, Browner faced caliber WR in the likes of Fritzgerald, Crabtree and Dez Bryant, just to name a few. And while its true that Carroll s confidence on him was in part based by both scheme and Earl Thomas long range playing (to watch his back). Browner didnt let them down.

Seattle Seahawks stats:

Year

Total Tackles

Sacks

FF-FR

Int-Yards

Br. Up

2011

51

0

0-0

6-220

23

2012

35

0

3-1

3-39

6

2013

18

0

0-0

1-49

10

Total

104

0

3-1

10-308

39

more...

Among the most common complaints on his CB performance during his short tenure with Seahawks its easy to find:

  • Lack of initial speed for keeping himself stuck with his man (be cause of his size)
  • He doesnt turn his head back towards the ball
  • A lot of big gambling on his playing
  • Tends to commit a lot of penaltys.

On the other hand, among his strenghts, one may find:

  • Browner does actually play way better when playing on a 5 yards cushion away from his man (he just need space to build up his speed, hes a big guy, isnt he?). From here (with his hips perpendicularly to his man), Brandon shows his downhill speed to fiercely attack either frontly or laterally.
  • However is at the LOS where Brandon imposes his law. He s great on the jam, slowing up the receiver and affecting his timming significantly to cause disruption on the QB-WR connection. Great for reading and defending flats and curls, as well as medium to intermediate routes.
  • The fact that he has played on a versatyle scheme such as Seahawks cover3/cover1, makes Browner an interesting "new toy" for Bill Belichick s also versatyle schemes. Being able to play either zone or man.
  • Has had succes matching against big and tall WR (not so much against smaller speed burners as DeSean Jackson).

more: The progression of Brandon Browner, via Fieldgulls.com

What Browner can bring to the table??? (All graphic material a courtesy of 12thManUnitedTV)

I. A physical presence right outside the numbers:

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Other angle:

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via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 1. Not an easy task to counter Fitzgerald´s speed and size, specially if youre a 6 4", 220 pounder CB. With a nice move, Fitzgerald is able to get an outside release over Browner at the LOS. Yet, he somehow is able to keep Fitzgerald´s pace, and although he doesnt have the time to locate the ball while on the air, Browner delivers a nice hit at the right time in order to defend the pass.

Moreover, he would be the tallest and heaviest CB on the current roster. A very valid reason for keeping him playing at CB.

______

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Other angle:

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via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 2. Coming right off a stick route the WR didnt expect such an accurate punch. Browner insane height and that pterodactyle wingspan (check this out) allow him to bat down passes with relative ease.

_______

II. A physical presence right on the middle of the field as well:

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other angle:

R0sho3_medium

via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 3. Browner motions to his left s side in order to keep track on his man. Not giving significant space after contact, Browner physique imposes over Gaffney s smaller size. And while reading the QB eyes, he s able to anticipate his man so to bring down the pass, just in front of Gaffney s eyes. Very good anticipation, body control, and smoothness for a 6 4", 220 pounds CB.

______

III. An abomination for almost any receiver at the line of scrimmage:

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Other angle:

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via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 4. Here is where Browner weights even more. Although this play deserved a penalty flag, its clearly an epitome of his physical disruption at the LOS.

______

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Another angle:

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via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 5. That s a fast diagnosis, and a no less fast reaction. Superb closing speed for a 3 yards loss. Punishment included.

______

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via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 6. Again, his closing speed such a remarkable thing. And again bullying on the running back.

______

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via 12thManUnitedTV

Fig 7. Just in time, like a preamble for a possible SS transition.

Physicality and punishment delivering, two fabulous virtues specially when you are a safety.

______

Browner s violence and imposing presence, supported by a top 5 free safety in Mc Courty, and by a future HOF such as Revis, are definitely the ingredients to build up an elite shutdown secondary, no doubt about it. Imagine Browner matching against the megatrons, marshalls/jeffreys, Cordarelles, etc. Thats something New England was truly lacking last year, a physical big corner to counter those unholy beasts of WR.

However, Browner s weaknesses and strenghts as a whole, could well spell a full transition to SS, on a similar role to Kam Chancellor s. Brandons physicality and closing speed (coming directly at you), could end up being determinant factors on a potential Belichick s final decision for making him play full time SS, rather than playing CB. Its also a very enticing idea to put him as enforcer at the middle of the field.

By now, the coin is in the air, Brandon is used to play both man and zone, Pats do not currently have an enforcer on the middle of the field (yet, neither a physical corner), and Belichick is still at charge, so for now even the potential and bold idea of him playing as a TE killer SS wouldnt sound that weird! One thing seems granted by now, regardless of the position he ll end up playing, Belichick just got a critical piece for this defense.

References:

http://www.fieldgulls.com/2011/12/9/2624150/seahawks-2011-brandon-browner

http://www.cfl.ca/roster/show/id/2197

http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/9250/brandon-browner

http://www.osubeavers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30800&ATCLID=208333051

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2005/draft/players/64290.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjR7UhbTZkE (12thManUnitedTV, youtube channel)

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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