Reggie Brown embraces change of scenery with Bucs
If he can recapture the play-making ability he had early in his career in Philadelphia, the trade that brought former Eagles receiver Reggie Brown to Tampa Bay will go down as one of the team's savvier moves.
The Bucs acquired Brown for a 2011 sixth-round pick with hopes he can again become a player who as recently as 2007 caught 61 passes for the Eagles.
But first, Brown has to prove that the Eagles were wrong in reducing his role to an insignificant one and closing the book on his career in Philadelphia. That process begins this week, with offseason conditioning here in Tampa. And Brown is here, ready to go for the voluntary sessions, determined to jumpstart his career.
"I’ve never doubted my skills," Brown said today. "There was a time in Philly where I wasn’t given the opportunity to go out and play and help the team win. But that never deterred me as far as what kind of player I am and the ability that I have. I know I can go out there and make plays week in and week out."
The frustration was considerable as Brown was reduced to catching nine passes in 2009.
"You work hard in the offseason and you set goals for yourself, and when you’re not given a chance to meet those goals you feel like all the hard work you’ve done . . . all goes down the drain," Brown said. "It can be hard on you. But I just tried to stay focused and stay positive. I knew I was going to get another opportunity to show what I can do on the field."
That chance comes now. And Brown thinks his chances improve with Josh Freeman at quarterback. That's not to say Freeman is a more elite quarterback than the Eagles' Donovan McNabb. But perhaps there's some credence to the rumors that Brown and McNabb lacked the chemistry that is so critical between a quarterback and receiver.
Of Freeman, Brown said, "He’s a big guy. I’m pretty sure he has a big arm. It’s good to work with a young quarterback. You can get on the same page. It’s easier. When you have a vet, he has certain things he likes to do. With a young guy, you can come in and just communicate to him and show him how you like to run routes and things of that nature. I think it’s going to be a good relationship."
Of his first impressions of the Buccaneers franchise, Brown said, "It’s nice to be down here. Everyone is pretty excited to get the season going. It seems like the staff here is trying to unite the team. Everyone is working out together and you just sense the enthusiasm with the staff and the team around here. I just think it’s going to be a pretty good year."
I'll have a more thorough version of this, with much more from Brown, in the Wednesday newspaper. Keep an eye out for that.