When the Baltimore Ravens selected Arthur Brown in the 2013 NFL Draft, the organization felt confident that he would emerge as a quality young talent to replace Ray Lewis at inside linebacker.
After Brown endured a tough transition to the beginning of his pro career, the linebacker out of Kansas State will be battling with rookie C.J. Mosley for the second starting ILB spot.
But with a healthy offseason and having a year to learn the defensive schemes, Brown appears ready to show more glimpses of stardom during his second year on the roster.
Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees told reporters during his media availability this week that he's been impressed with Brown's development:
"Art Brown has improved light years from a year ago – light years. This guy has really had a great camp. He still has a moment like all of them do, but he is so improved from a year ago. I’m really, really excited about him."
Brown, speaking to Matt Zenitz of The Carroll County Times, also noted that he feels up to speed with the defense this time around after a sports hernia injury sidelined him for the majority of last year's offseason.
"I feel a lot further along. There was so much coming into this team from college that I did not know when it came to the defense. It was a whole new system that I had to learn, and I really had to take it all in.
"But after being here for one whole season, I can see how far I’ve come since the beginning."
The Ravens' defense finished strong in the ladder half of the regular season, but there were plenty of struggles due to the plethora of young talent that were given an opportunity in 2013. This includes Brown, who received very limited playing time last year.
Now, he represents one member of a three-man inside linebacker duo that gives the Ravens plenty of flexibility with their defensive looks this season. The question now remains whether Brown's improvement during the offseason can ultimately transfer onto the football field.