The pursuit of happiness (for Smokey Brown)

Posted by Darren Urban on December 27, 2017 – 12:47 pm

Here’s the thing about John Brown. He is well-liked. You could see it in the reaction after he scored his touchdown Sunday against the Giants — Drew Stanton ran into the end zone dancing, Larry Fitzgerald delivered a patented Fitz-tackle, and then Fitz and Jermaine Gresham picked Smoke up and carried him a bit in celebration. And then you heard it after the game:

“It’s great to see John come back and get that touchdown,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s still not full speed, but it meant a lot to him to get out there and play. It meant a lot to me to see him play.”

“It’s a lot of fun when you see good things happen to those guys,” Fitzgerald said. “Smoke needed that, we needed that, and hopefully, we can get a little bit more done next week.”

That’s another reason why Brown’s status is so interesting heading into the offseason. No, the fact his teammates and his coach want him to do well isn’t why, unto itself, you bring a guy back. Brown’s market — such that it will be, after two years of injury-impacted struggles, including a disappointing 21-299-3 line this season — doesn’t figure to be intense or expensive. He is light years from his first two seasons, in which he had a 1,000 yards in 2015 and multiple huge plays as a rookie in 2014. Will the Cardinals bring him back as a potential piece, a wild card bonus if he can stay healthy? Given his health history, the Cards can’t pencil him in (if he came back) high on the depth chart. But the guy, when he has been right, has proven he can make plays.

And that makes everyone happy.

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21 Responses to “The pursuit of happiness (for Smokey Brown)”

  1. By Rugbymuffin on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    You cannot re-sign John Brown.

    That is just a poor move. He cannot be relied upon.

    I am a HUGE John Brown fan, and it makes me sick to my stomach when I think of what happened to the poor young man, no fault of his own.

    But, this is a business.

    He wants to sign a 1 year, prove it deal, to try and make the roster ? Sure.

    I have a feeling some other team will sign him, in hopes he becomes healthy again.

    Its been two years, and I do not see Brown ever recovering to full form, much like the Badger on defense.

  2. By Dr. G. on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    Re: John Brown

    Personally. He seems to be a really pleasant guy…none of the me, me, me stuff…unfortunate health issues.

    On the business side, isn’t the mantra ~ “”What have ya done lately?””

    You decide SK…If it was your $$$ you’re spending, what to do?

  3. By JTDG on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    I think all speculation begins with BA.

    Is he coming back? I think it makes sense that BA would take a chance on a guy who has had success for him in the past.

    Another coach, may look at a decimated receiving corps and think he needs to rebuild.

    I think, with most of the speculation, rest on BA’s return.

  4. By erik on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    Absolutely I think he deserves another shot. It certainly shouldn’t cost the team too much, salary-wise. Just make sure to go get some other WRs too, because it would be foolish to continue counting on him as a starter.

  5. By Judy Beatty on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    I really hope they can work something out so he can stay. He shouldn’t cost too much, and is well liked by the locker room, and fans.

  6. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    Would bet he’s back and JJ not. Only one spot for an iffy guy. Especially with Logan and Foster in the wings as gadget guys. So, Fitz, Jaron, John Brown, Chad Williams, and a draft pick or FA?

    David Johnson and Seals Jones will get their share of catches, so 5 might be enuff WR?

    Very sad to see Bethea out…love this guy, ball hawk.

  7. By joe holst on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    To keep or not to keep? I love all the pass interferences he forces with his jets, keep plz.

  8. By Richard S on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    ESPN has the Cards opponents listed for next season. Cold games in Green Bay, Minnesota and KC.

  9. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    Richard S —

    RE: Opponents

    Yes, ESPN listed it after they saw I posted this morning.

  10. By Scott H on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    I love the kid and he is the kind of player you want to root for. But it all comes down to the key words of IF HE CAN STAY HEALTHY. And the fact is we don’t know if he can. For the past two seasons, we know that he hasn’t.

    I love the kid but I think it is time to move on. Seemed like we were going into 2016 with too many question marks, one of them being John Brown. We can’t keep going into seasons with so many question marks.

    I hope he gets well and can stay well. I said before, maybe John Brown just doesn’t have a body that is built for a career in the NFL. Sad, if that is true, but if this is a situation where he is doing himself more harm than good to try to make in the NFL….maybe he should do what is best for him and retire.

    Nothing would make me happier than to see him come back healthy and truly up to being the Smoky we knew in 2014-2015, but….after two seasons of what we saw in 2016-2017, that seems a lot to hope for. And too risky to count on. Again.

    Again, IF HE CAN STAY HEALTHY. It hurts the team when we count on what we know he can do IF HE CAN STAY HEALTHY, but he can’t deliver it.

  11. By D on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    This game Sunday could get ugly for AZ.

  12. By clssylssy on Dec 27, 2017 | Reply

    The fact is, he has a chronic illness that has caused him to be unable to miss games. This is not his choice, and when he can play he is often one of our more dependable wide receivers. Other players have injuries that have taken them out of the game for long periods but I don’t hear the same negativity about them and their production. In most work places one can’t be discriminated against for having a chronic illness and since we don’t have a stable of dependable receivers not named Fitzgerald, having Smokey on the roster making occasional plays is probably better than having nobody. Realistically, this roster has too many holes to be able to bring in an entire new receiver room and he’s not exactly being paid like a rock star. John Brown is a good locker room guy and works hard when he;s able to play, In all likelihood he would be grabbed up in free agency and seen as a catch (no pun intended). We are use to measuring our receivers by the Larry Fitzgerald standard, which is going to be a hard act to follow by anyone. Smokey knows the system, is a good guy and his upside is a lot bigger than his downside.
    We have other players with obscene contracts in comparison, so I don’t see what the problem is.
    He should be offered a short-term extension with incentives at a respectable amount (not low balled) that gives him the option to decide if this climate is doable or if he needs to go some place that is cooler and not as dry.

  13. By Jon W on Dec 28, 2017 | Reply

    John is a winner! If everyone played with the intensity of Smoky and Fitz, the team would not have the weak record we now have!

    Seems every one is totally blaming Smoky when our QB’s and offensive line are equally to blame.

  14. By JTDG on Dec 28, 2017 | Reply

    Jon W,

    “Seems every one is totally blaming Smoky when our QB’s and offensive line are equally to blame”

    Yes, everyone is equally to blame. Coaches, Line, QBs and Receivers. It was a total team disaster.

    I will tell you this, watching games live in person, you really get to see the field and those receivers struggled to get open. I am one who believes the line was horrible, but there were times when the QB had time to throw and no one was open. In fact it happened often.

  15. By Hammy on Dec 28, 2017 | Reply

    Smoke was once called the next Marvin Harrison! Oh how that comparison is so far removed. I like Smoke but bottom line if you cant be healthy enough to play then what other options do we have? The entire receiving corp minus Fitz needs an overhaul. This is one of the biggest weaknesses for our ball club and one of the main reasons we have lost so many games this year. Our entire offense needs to be rebuilt. Smoke had his good moments in the little bit of time he has been here but come on its time to just move on and spend that money on a better wide out. You dont get paid for being a good person.

  16. By RBledsoe on Dec 28, 2017 | Reply

    John Brown has the same trait that T.O. had and he’s currently the #2 all time leading receiver.

    Ryan Clark played with the trait.

    If managed properly the fatigue problems and leg pain go away.

  17. By JohnnyBluenose on Dec 28, 2017 | Reply

    Richard S….re cold games. You do know that the Vikings play in an indoor stadium and weather is no longer a factor. That is why the Super Bowl will be played there this year. But I agree with you about KC and especially Green Bay. I do not want us playing there in December next year….which means we probably will.

  18. By CARDS62 on Dec 28, 2017 | Reply

    Too many years of too many questions with our WRs. It is not just the money, but also you can only carry so many receivers.

    I think you go with either John Brown or JJ Nelson but not both, and I have not made up my mind on which one yet. Doctors reports of course is critical.

    If you guys remember, BA made some negative comments about John Brown earlier in the season and John Brown made very little impact from that point on. Do not know why but my little voice is telling me that if BA comes back that John Brown will not want to come back. I agree with Dr G. that it is a shame because Smoke always seemed like a good guy and never a me guy. His first two seasons he had us all excited.

    I hope Steve K. sticks to his word about major changes this off season even if we win in Seattle. Seattle beat Dallas but only because of turnovers. Dallas definitely outplayed Seattle. Dallas even did a great job of pressuring and tackling Russell Wilson.

    As I stated earlier I am ready to move on from BA and most of our other coaches, and I am even okay if Michael Bidwill fires Steve Keim, but I do not see that happening. Just hope we hire a talent consultant to assist him.

    Has anyone changed their opinion of our defensive coordinator? Our defense has been playing well over several games, and I agree Giants are very poor, but I do believe Giants put up 4 touchdowns on the Eagles the week before.

    Interested in everyone thoughts, and I still hate the Seahawks more than any of our other western opponents so Go Cardinals best those Seahawks!

  19. By JTDG on Dec 29, 2017 | Reply



    There is a reason teams run a 3-4 or a 4-3. Some play Tampa 2, others like a version of the bears 46, while others prefer to man up and blitz.

    So, for me, it is more about preference. Although Betchler has had success, if Wade Phillps came in, he would switch it. Because the defense should reflect the DC.

    With that being said, I like and identify more with the Todd Bolwes approach than the Betcher zones.

    Personally, finding a Pat P is rare and if you could find his partner on the other side, that guy who can drop into the slot and a safety large enough to match up with TEs, then you can go after the QB and blitz and put pressure on an offense. That is my preference.

    Currently, the cards like to mix things up and run a lot of zones. With Chandler Jones able to wreck havoc, they don’t need to blitz and have guys who tackle and drop into zones.

    It seems to work according to stats except one major thing.

    Look at 4th quarters;
    -Lions score 21 points in the 4th quarter to win
    -Colts scored 3 – which lead to overtime
    -Cowboys scored 14 to win game
    -The lowly niners, in a battle of field goals, scored 6 points in the 2nd half for overtime and then kicks a FG in overtime which could have won the game if not for a Fitz TD
    – The Eagles just blew us out all game
    – Tampa was down 31 nothing in the 3rd quarter and scored 4 TDs in the 4th quarter alone, as the offense needed more points to win.
    – The rams blew us out 33 nothing.

    You get the point. Looking back at those games, did this feel like a top 5 defense?
    I think if you go back through the games, the Titans were the only great defensive game besides the really bad Giants.

    So the stats say top 5, but go through the games and see what your eyes say. I am just not a fan of the zones or Betcher

  20. By hawkkiller on Dec 31, 2017 | Reply

    I think WR John Brown might be back but it will be on a 1yr team friendly cheapish deal, which could end up benefitting the team greatly now that his sickle cell is seeming to start getting behind him, As talented as he is , a 1yt/800k is more than worth it. At WR I think Arizona will have plenty of talent behind Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, JJ Nelson, John Brown, TE Ricky Seals-Jones and RB/WR David Johnson as well as RB/WR TJ Logan. Whomever they sign is going to have a LOADED offense with one of the NFL’s best D’s on the other side. Arizona most definitely will look to add talent in free agency as well as they will have well over $65M+ in cap space once a few very expensive guys are let got like Iupati/Veldheer/A. peterson to name a few allowing them to sign a couple OGs and a couple WR’s like an Allen Robinson/Marquise less. Palmer I think comes back, if he doesn’t or the team decided not to bring him back, then I think they use his cap space savings to go heavy after a Kurk Cousins, Alex Smith or mid tier guy like Sam Bradford, Eli Manning or Case Keenum while developing a young 1st round pick behind a veteran starter, hopefully, Baker Mayfield.

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