Philly Brown May Be Starting, But He’s On Short Leash

Carolina announced Philly “formerly known as Corey” Brown and Ted Ginn, Jr. as the starting wideouts for the opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Brown, who struggled throughout the preseason, has held onto a starting role, not because of his play, but because of what he offers to a team that has very little talent and depth at wideout.  The loss of star receiver Kelvin Benjamin inflated Brown’s value to the team, despite his struggles this preseason.

Hauling in only two receptions for 14 yards, Brown’s lack of production wasn’t from a lack of opportunity.  Carolina went to Brown early and often.  In four preseason games, Carolina targeted Brown 12 times. Two or three of these passes should be classified as errant passes.  According to ProFootBallFocus, Brown dropped 3 balls out of the 12 targets.  Subtracting the 3 errant passes, Brown dropped 30% of the passes thrown his way.  Watching the games it seemed more. Brown didn’t attack the ball, but let it come to him, often looking like a clapping seal in the process.

Brown showed flashes late last season.  He seemed to be a bright spot in a an offense that resembled a dimly lit room. Statistically, his season wasn’t all that impressive. At just 26 receptions, 296 yards, and 2 touchdowns, Brown didn’t play a prolific role in Carolina’s offense.  Unlike his 2015 preseason performances, Brown did capitalize on the opportunities given late in 2014 as he became more highly featured in the passing attack. 

This Sunday against Jacksonville, Philly Brown will get another opportunity.  His leash is short, however.  His job is hardly secure, and his role going forward is still to be determined. Philly may be fast, he may get separation and run solid routes, but if he doesn’t catch, he won’t play.  It will be interesting if Mike Shula tries to establish Philly Brown early or if he decides to let the gameplay come more naturally to the struggling receiver.  

One thing’s for sure, if the ball gets thrown Philly’s way and it winds up on the ground, we’ll all be down on Brown.

By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
Follow me on Twitter @Cat_Chronicles