Any true fan of the Baltimore Ravens should have heard the name Omar Brown by now. The undrafted rookie safety out of Marshall was a no-name guy the first couple of weeks in training camp but has really stood out in the team's first two preseason games, now looking to solidify a spot on this veteran-laden roster.
All Brown has done in his limited playing time is pick off a pass, recover three fumbles and an on-sides kick. Going into tonight's third preseason game, he knows he has no chance to break into the Ravens starting lineup with stars Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard firmly entrenched. However, with the off-season losses of safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura, the chances of making the team have increased greatly off of his recent performances.
We wrote about him last week in a story titled, Omar Brown Has A Nose For Ball. The other day, I had a chance to speak one-on-one with Omar about just that, as well as his thoughts on where's he's come from and his chances of making the final roster.
Baltimore Beatdown (BB): At Marshall, you lead the team in tackles, you're All-Conference first-team, yet you don't get drafted. What was going through your head as you saw the end of the draft happening?
Omar Brown: I really wasn't expecting to get drafted. All I was hoping for was a shot and I got that. So that's what I'm thankful for.
(More on my Q&A with Ravens rookie safety Omar Brown after the 'Jump')
BB: Where were you when the Ravens called and what was your reaction?
Brown: I actually just left the house from watching the draft because it was about a couple more picks left, and then me and my roommate was about to go to the store to get something to eat and they called me. I was at the grocery store, pretty much. I really didn't even tell my friend, I called my mom, talked to her and let her know.
BB: What's it like to not get drafted and then find out I'm going to Baltimore to play behind Ray Lewis, behind Ed Reed, what's that mean to you?
Brown: Oh it means a lot. You know, I really don't look at it like I got drafted or I didn't get drafted. I'm just glad to have this opportunity here, because not many people get this chance and this is not a usual opportunity to get.
BB: Do you see your style more towards an Ed Reed free safety position or more like a strong safety like BP (Bernard Pollard)?
Brown: More of an Ed Reed-position but you know what, I feel versatile, where I can play deep and in the box, which I showed in college, which I know is a different level. But I still feel, staying in the weight room, I can play both positions.
BB: Some skills can be taught and some skills you just have. You always seem to be around the ball. The stats have started to add up in preseason but I saw them in your stat line at Marshall as well. Why do you seem to always be around the ball, whether it's tipped in the air or bouncing on the ground?
Brown: Well, as a safety, your eyes are always on the ball. Looking at the quarterback, the guys who control the ball, so you're usually the first guy to see when it's going to go up and where it's going to end at. I usually try my best and run and hustle. Some of them are hustle plays and some are play-makers so I just go to the ball.
BB: With those guys ahead of you on the depth chart, you have to make this team with your other skills. How do you make this team?
Brown: Keep impressing the coaches and be consistent. Minimize my mistakes and keep a smile on my face.
BB: What's your comfort on Special Teams?
Brown: Kickoff and playing vice down there on the gunner.
BB: Alright, good luck.