In the waning moments of the final preseason game of 2015, the commentators for the Ravens broadcast were talking about the battles for backup slots on the team. They quipped about not knowing who some of the guys were that currently wore Ravens white on the field.
Number 83, Daniel Brown, was one of those men that they joked about.
He then showed them that he is no joke.
Oh, he was just getting started.
He singlehandedly brought the team back in that game.
Fast Forward to December in the 2015 season, and the same types of conversations were happening in the broadcast booth, only this time because of injury and no job slots. Again, the jokes about #83 not even being on the team a short while ago.
It's a true shame that the refs erroneously took this 52-yard TD away from the Ravens, because it would have meant so much for that game and so much for the man making the play. I, for one, will not forget.
Sure, there are many avenues to cast doubt on him: Atlanta was just a preseason game, he would never do this in the real season, he was going against subpar competition. Miami didn't count and the defense "stopped pursuing." I would say that one has to be able to see beyond those kinds of doubts, into the heart of who a player seems to be.
This guy is a winner.
He went to the overlooked-but-legit-perennial-FCS-contender James Madison, where he excelled in a passing offense. That scholastic background, alone, casts him in the underdog role and gains sentimental votes. But look at the stats about the man: 6'5", 225. A 4.60 40, which isn't blazing, but is far from slow, too. Used to winning. 3-Time State Champ in High School. Smart. Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner’s Academic Award. Mega-Athletic. All-State In Football. All-State in Basketball. All-State in Baseball. Just an all-around winner and achiever.
One has to ask oneself: did people think Steve Largent was a prototype receiver? What about Wes Welker? Ed McCaffrey?
There are men who have risen in ranks, men who are simply valiant warriors, who will not take "No" for an answer.
I think Daniel Brown is one of those men.
His catching motion is pure and all hands. He has a great wingspan and has shown great focus.
He has proven that he can play special teams.
All he needs is a chance.
The Ravens have a lot of decisions to make at WR, and the situation is far better than people realize. It is a crowded room that needs clearing. At the end, Daniel Brown deserves a seat at the table. I have a feeling that if we don't give it to him, some one else will, and they will see the blueprint of a champion in this man.
Hopefully we won't be left wondering what could have been.