Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
During a preseason game against the New York Jets on August 24th, 2013, Stevie Brown tore his ACL doing what Stevie Brown does — pick off passes. Despite missing all of 2013, it’s safe to say the New York Giants are impressed with Stevie Brown.
There aren’t too many NFL players who respect organizational culture or winning tradition enough to be re-signed for less than premium market value. Stevie Brown is certainly one of those rare guys, he lives to be a New York Giant.
Hours after the opening of NFL Free Agency, at 1:59 PM EST on March 11th, Brown announced via twitter that he would remain with the Giants. And once again, that’s coming off a torn ACL . However, even with the injury, Brown still signed a healthy one-year $2.775 million contract. Who knows what he would have received on the open market…
Giants Nation, the news of Will Hill’s third drug suspension didn’t break until late April. Brown had to anticipate that Hill would be firmly entrenched on the first-team depth chart and that his own snap count would be limited. “I knew this was where I wanted to be, and wherever I fell on the depth chart is where I fell,” Brown said. Apparently Karma rewards upstanding behavior.
As it stands today, Stevie Brown will be the starting free safety for the 2014 New York Giants – health permitting (Thanks Will Hill.)
Unlike Hill who was a technique tackler and rangy athlete, Stevie Brown is a flat-out phenomenal playmaker. Let’s emphasize the word IS, because playmaking is an instinct. Brown might lose a step breaking on routes returning from a serious left knee injury, but game changers remarkably find ways to make impact plays in spite of their shortcomings, consistently each year. Remember, even before the injury, Stevie Brown had limitations. So don’t necessarily expect an All-Pro super star free safety out there.
Credit: NFL Game Rewind (Week 14, 2012)
Keep in mind, Stevie Brown was selected in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL Draft for one big reason:
1) He lacks eye catching physical tools.
Just don’t tell him that. Brown intercepted eight passes in 2012, many of the critical variety, for 307 total return yards. He was on the field for SIX snaps during the opening three weeks (not including special teams), making his immense productivity even more impressive. He finished tied for the 2nd in the league with those eight picks, sharing a slot on the leader board with the media revered, Richard Sherman.
Stevie Brown doesn’t take always optimal angles in coverage and he’s rarely going to win a foot race, but he possesses the “it” factor, the common bond among all great defensive backs.