SCOUTING REPORT: Brandon Browner
Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner has created a buzz during training camp this week with his tough physical play, reminiscent of when Rodney Harrison first came to Foxboro more than a decade ago.
During his first training camp in 2003, Harrison hit pro bowl receiver Troy Brown and poked him in the eye. It caused the normally mild-mannered Brown to lose his temper and throw the ball at Harrison. The Patriots used their new edgy attitude to help them win two straight Super Bowls.
Now Browner is attempting to bring that same tough edge to the Patriots defense that has been missing since Harrison’s retirement in 2008. Browner had a minor tussle with wide out Kenbrell Thompkins similar to the Harrison-Brown “disagreement” 11 years ago.
Will Browner’s edgy play translate into a newfound edge to what has been a vanilla Pats defense? Let's examine what Browner brings to the table.
With the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks last season, the 6-foot-4, 221 pound Browner had a reputation of being a tough defender on the right side of the defense. He was scouted as being very physical with receivers coming off the line. The Patriots may press receivers more at the line rather than play 10 to 15 yards off receivers in zone coverage as they’ve done the last five years. He’s also known for being a solid tackler and has good ball-catching skills.
Browner was never asked to cover speedier slot receivers. He is slow moving laterally and if he is unable to impede receivers off the line, Browner’s lack of agility can be exposed by opposing team’s offense.
Time will tell if Browner’s toughness leads to a championship, but it has lead to an new attitude throughout the defense.
“That’s part of intimidation,” Patriots linebacker Don’t’a Hightower told the media when asked about the Thompkins-Browner clash in practice. “He’s had that when he was in Seattle … You strike fear into them. That’s definitely a trait he’s had and he’s using it.”
Kevin Saleeba is the senior editor and columnist for Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinSaleeba or like him on Facebook.
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