John Brown: ‘I was fed up’ in final season with Cardinals
Oct 25, 2018, 8:36 AM | Updated: 11:18 am
(AP Photo/Don Wright)
Former Cardinals wide receiver John Brown offered an explanation for his rough final season and departure from Arizona.
Brown told Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei that although he was physically healthy at the start of training camp in 2017 following recovery from a cyst in the offseason, he was checked out mentally.
Brown caught a career-low 21 passes for 299 yards and played in just 10 games in 2017.
“By that time, my mind was out of Arizona,” Brown said. “I didn’t want to be there no more. I wasn’t happy. I knew I needed a fresh start. I wanted to find a new home.”
Brown, in his first season with the Baltimore Ravens, is on pace to set career highs in receiving yards and touchdowns.
The Ravens receiver said former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians’ old-school style also wasn’t complementary to his ongoing health concerns, which flared up again during the 2017 season.
Brown has suffered from a sickle cell trait since he was a child, a body recovery issue he believed became worse in the Arizona heat.
Brown said Arians and the coaching staff didn’t follow the plan the training staff laid out to preserve his health.
“It was supposed to be: If he runs one deep ball, take him out,” Brown said. “Next week, he can run two. Then take him out.
“They followed that the first two days of camp. Then I ran three deep balls in a row and tore my quad. At that point, I was fed up.”
Former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said in the Bleacher Report story Brown was a scapegoat at times in Arizona.
Brown was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2015 — his second season in the NFL — but saw his production drop each of his final two seasons in Arizona.
“(Brown) would run deep post after deep post after deep post. Finally one would go to him, and he’s not feeling right, so he drops it,” Palmer said. “Then he gets ripped up and down by the coach.
“He was easy for the coaches to pick on, the punching bag. It was a lot.”
Brown told Bleacher Report he considered retirement after the 2017 season, but ultimately signed a one-year $5 million deal with the Ravens.
He’s compiled 558 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season and could make his first Pro Bowl if his production continues.
“I could just say I’m happy,” Brown said. “I’m loving this situation, the team, the coaches. That’s all I want.”