Chiefs' Brown Positive


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Jan 22, 2006
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Chiefs’ Brown positive
Running back believes in himself and says he doesn’t worry about the competition for his job.
The Kansas City Star

RIVER FALLS, Wis. | - The conversation was short, man to man, and the thing Dee Brown likes about his new coach is that he delivers everything raw and uncut. The Chiefs had just signed Michael Bennett, their new apparent No. 2 running back, the first week into camp. It was supposed to be Brown’s job.
What happened next is sketchy, because Brown won’t say what Herm Edwards told him. That’s between them.

“You know what to expect from him at all times,” Brown said. “There’s no second-guessing or questioning.

“It left me neither discouraged or encouraged. I’m a man, he’s a man, we had a man-to-man talk, and I appreciated that.”

Man, did Dee Brown make a push for the roster on Saturday night in Houston. He came in early in the second quarter for Larry Johnson — prying Johnson out of a game is a big enough accomplishment in itself — and ran 7 yards on his first two carries. Then he burst through the middle for a 12-yard touchdown, virtually untouched, before the second-string offensive line took the field.

On a night when the Chiefs learned they have much work to do in the preseason, Edwards could take at least three positives from the offense. Their patchwork line, the first unit, looked solid with Kyle Turley. Johnson and quarterback Trent Green made it safely to the sidelines without getting hurt. And Brown is ready for whatever work the Chiefs throw at him.

“He played really well,” Green said. “The touchdown run, the hole opened up and he just hit it. He’s playing very aggressively and has a lot of confidence.”

Bennett has quickly emerged as a fan favorite without even practicing. He’s been out because of a sore hamstring but is expected back this week. If it means Brown sees fewer carries in camp and on Thursday night in New York, he isn’t stressing about it. The journeyman back is 28 years old and has already worn five NFL uniforms. This one might stick because it’s obvious Edwards has an affection for Brown’s persistence.

Two weekends ago in Mankato, during a dress-and-dash practice with the Vikings, Edwards, without prompting, said Brown impressed him with his toughness. Brown still isn’t sure what he did. Maybe it’s the speed he’s brought to the special-teams unit. Maybe it’s the way he responded that night three days after the Bennett acquisition.

“My whole life, I’ve had confidence in myself,” Brown said. “My father taught me to always believe in yourself. You can’t hide talent as long as you do what you know how to do, make plays.

“I wasn’t discouraged. This is a business, no matter how you look at it. They bring in Michael Bennett, they bring back Barry Sanders, it doesn’t matter who they bring back. You still have to perform and you still have a job to do.”

Edwards looked at four running backs Saturday night at Reliant Stadium. Only one of them has secured a job. Johnson took his allotted seven carries and paced the sidelines with a baseball cap for the rest of the game. Then came Brown, then practice-squad player McKenzi Smith and Quentin Griffin.

The Chiefs will probably keep three running backs, and Brown, Smith and Griffin each have their own tough-luck stories. Smith has been in River Falls three summers in a row but still hasn’t captured a roster spot. Griffin started for the Broncos two years ago but never regained his form after an ACL tear at Cincinnati in 2004.

Football is in Brown’s bloodlines. His uncle, Glen Edwards, was an NFL defensive back for 11 seasons. He won two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers. Brown said he’s lasted this long because he’s an athlete, a former college quarterback who’s played many positions.

Including self-motivator. At least twice Saturday night, as he stood near his locker, Brown said he isn’t thinking about Bennett or what Edwards might ultimately decide. You can’t hide talent, he said. Even in a crowded room.

“Do I feel I can help this team?” Brown said. “I feel like I’m one of the top three backs on any team. I refuse to believe that I’m not. But that’s all up to the coaches. This is one game. It’s nothing to get overexcited about.”

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