It was not a great season for John “Smokey” Brown.
He got a concussion in training camp, basically wiping out his preseason. He never quite looked like himself once the season started, but it wasn’t about the concussion but issues related to his having the sickle cell trait, which caused leg problems and robbed him of his quickness and speed. He ended up having his worst year as a pro (39 catches, 517 yards, two scores) as coach Bruce Arians said going into the offseason Brown and the team would continue to look for ways to manage Brown’s status and get him back to where he was in 2015 when he was a 1,000-yard receiver.
Clearly, Smoke feels he can get back there. He posted on Instagram “They counted me out after 1 down season,” which certainly is a message of irritation if not anger. These are the kinds of things a player says and does when he is motivated to prove others wrong. The Cardinals need Brown. They needed him this past season, but they definitely need him next year, with no Michael Floyd (and, at this point, with Larry Fitzgerald’s status TBD.) It certainly sounds like he feels like he can maneuver his way through his sickle cell issues and be the player he has already proven he can be on an NFL level. Which would be great for everyone involved.
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