Levi Brown returns, and I can practically hear the grumbling.
Not from everyone – I know that – but I’ve heard from plenty throughout the process that couldn’t and never will understand why the Cardinals wanted to hang on to Brown. I get that. I really do. But the reality is that Brown a) played much better down the stretch and may have turned a corner and b) was one of the better tackles available to bring in compared to the rest of the free agents. He knows the system, he knows Russ Grimm and he knows what is expected. Sometimes, continuity matters. More reality: If his contract hadn’t been structured like it was, he would have been back no questions asked. It’s only because of that last loopy year of his rookie deal that we are even talking about this.
(UPDATE: Profootballfocus.com’s Nate Jahnke tweeted that Brown gave up a QB pressure every 8.6 pass plays in Weeks 1-10 last season and improved to one every 27.8 pass plays the final seven games. If someone is looking for tangible proof of his finish, there it is. Take it for what you deem it’s worth.)
Like Adam Snyder, Brown’s role isn’t exactly clear yet, although I feel safe in saying he will be a starting tackle. It might be the right tackle, it might be the left. That will depend on who else shows up in free agency and the draft.
It’s probably safe to say Brown isn’t going to become Jake Long or Joe Thomas. Fair enough. But for anyone wondering if there were ulterior motives for the Cards to keep Brown in the lineup because of where he was drafted, well, this was the perfect chance to move on. Yet they didn’t, instead bringing him back, and that means their faith in him wasn’t just talk.
Tags: Levi Brown
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