As a rookie in 2014, John Brown was a bit of a surprise for the Arizona Cardinals.
The third-round pick out of Pittsburg State caught 48 passes for 696 yards and five touchdowns, and in the process provided the Cardinals with the speedy deep threat Bruce Arians’ offense needs.
What Brown did last season, however — 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns — was not a surprise. No, big things were expected of him then, just as they are now that he’s preparing for his third NFL season.
A guest of Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday, the 26-year-old Brown said he feels really good about where he’s at.
“My confidence level is real high and I can play different positions now because the things that go around, I learn from Larry (Fitzgerald),” he said.
Brown said he spent his offseason staying in shape and refining his game, looking to improve on the small things he said stopped him from reaching all of his goals.
Asked what those were, he pointed to not being physical enough and failing to run his routes the precise way they were meant to be run.
“So working on those things,” he said. “During OTAs I’ve been doing exactly what I’m supposed to do and it feels good.”
Pretty much what Brown is going through is the process all young players undergo in the NFL. His learning curve may have been a bit different given that he did not play at a Power 5 school, but like any young player there are things he did well upon entering the league and others that he needed to improve upon.
But while Brown’s progression is right on track, he does recognize how fast time has flown by. After all, it was not long ago he was a rookie just trying to find his way.
“I’m adjusted to everything now and I can just go out and be me,” he said.
So far, the “me” Brown has been able to be has been pretty good. In 2016 he will be asked to reprise his role in the team’s deep receiver group, which also includes Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown. His position is not the only one that is pretty well stacked, and because of that many see the Cardinals as a Super Bowl favorite.
Brown is aware of the hype, and like Cardinals fans, he is excited to get this season going.
“I try to take it one day at a time and try not to get too excited,” he said, “but I know we have great things.”
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