Last season as a rookie, former Pittsburg State wide receiver John Brown made a name for himself with the Arizona Cardinals and their fans.
Coming into his sophomore season in the NFL, Brown has a chance to become a household name among fans across the country. With performances like the one Brown had on Sunday during the Cardinals’ 31-19 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, he is on the right track.
Brown couldn’t have started off his season any better as he scored the first touchdown of the year for the Cardinals on their opening possession. It came when Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer, who took the shotgun snap with the ball marked on the Saints’ 10-yard line, dropped back and scanned the field to find nothing open. He rolled out to his right, buying time with a pump fake to the left, before hitting Brown for a touchdown with 9:42 on the clock as he headed for the right sideline four yards deep in the end zone.
It capped off a drive where Brown hauled in three receptions for 32 yards. He finished the day with four receptions for 46 yards, averaging 11.5 yards per catch.
Palmer had a solid day in the Cardinals’ season opener. He passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns, completing 19 of his 32 passes.
Last season, Brown was one of the top rookie pass catchers in the league. He caught 48 passes for 696 yards and finished with five touchdowns.
Brown is expected to have a big season in year number two. Among those who think the wide receiver will build upon last season is his quarterback.
“I expect huge things from him this year,” Palmer told NBC Sports.
Brown has made a change to his body this season as he added 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason to help avoid what he said was his body getting weak near the end of his rookie season.
“It was kinda tough because like, at the end of the season, my body started going down and I started losing weight," Brown said to ESPN in the offseason. “So, this year I'm trying to focus on being able to keep all this weight on as the season goes on.”
Much of Brown’s success this season will depend on the play and the health of Palmer.
Last year, Palmer fell in love with Brown’s quickness and high football IQ, getting the rookie involved early and often for the Cardinals.
Brown’s production slowed down when Palmer went down in Week 6 with an ACL tear.
If Palmer can stay healthy this season for the Cardinals, Brown’s production figures to go up along with the offensive output in general.