Focus on Brown

For the better part of the past decade Tim Brown has torn through the Raiders' record books putting up big numbers each year only to see his team fail to match that effort in the standings. While Brown was busily compiling an impressive Hall of Fame-caliber resume that included eight straight 1,000-yard seasons, the Raiders made it to the playoffs just twice in that same stretch.

How ironic, then, that as Brown watched his numbers dip to some of their lowest in recent memory last year he and his Oakland pals would enjoy their finest season since 1990, capped by a trip to the AFC title game.

The drop in stats might bother some players but for Brown - who has been to the playoffs just four times in his 13 previous NFL seasons - there is a bigger goal at hand. He doesn't mind the lower numbers so long as they result in higher results in the long run.

‘'Obviously I feel like the last three years I've played some of the best football of my career,'' said Brown. ‘'I feel great this year coming into camp so hopefully I can do better than what I did the last couple of years. It's been a long time since I anticipated a training camp but after the season we had and all the offseason acquisitions, I'm really looking forward to it.''

Brown will be a big factor in determining the Raiders' fate this season. Paired with future Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice, Brown remains the focal point of Oakland's passing game and the primary receiver.

Though he caught just 76 passes a year ago - his lowest total since 1992 - Brown nevertheless finished with 1,128 yards and a career-best 11 touchdowns.

His ability to weave his way through traffic across the middle and become an open target is what sets Brown apart from his peers, and at 35 years old, he doesn't appear to be slowing down one bit.

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