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    Brown Hopes to be the Right Choice at Tackle

    Brown Hopes to be the Right Choice at Tackle
    Friday, April 15, 2005
    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Jammal Brown always knew that one day he would be lining up in the trenches in the NFL. According to Brown, it was predestined that one day he would be going head to head with someone about his size on Sundays.

    Of course, Brown always thought he would be doing his business on the defensive side of the ball. Coming out of McArthur High in Lawton, Okla., Brown was one of the top defensive tackles in the nation. After committing to the home-state Sooners, Brown arrived ready to put pressure on the quarterback.

    When Oklahoma asked him to protect the signal-caller instead, Brown thought about transferring. All he ever wanted was to play defense and nearly moved to Miami to become a Hurricane.

    Four years later, here Brown sits as one of the top offensive tackles awaiting his fate in the April 23 NFL Draft. Standing 6-feet-6 and 313 pounds, Brown possesses excellent quickness and burst off the ball. But it is his mean, nasty streak that sets him apart from other tackles.

    In his final two years at Oklahoma, Brown allowed just one sack, a testament to his spiteful disposition on the football field.

    “I just know that I was always taught to not let anybody get near your quarterback, so that’s what I did,” Brown said. “It’s a personal thing because you don’t want those guys just to beat you and all of the fingers will be pointing at you. So, I just make sure that no one comes close to him.”

    Brown’s quarterback, Jason White, was so well protected that he won the Heisman Trophy two seasons ago and finished in the top five last year. In fact, Brown and the rest of the offensive line were so dominant this past season that running back Adrian Peterson was also a Heisman finalist. Brown earned the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman for his efforts in 2004.

    Things haven’t been easy for Brown throughout his college career, though. He suffered a serious knee sprain in fall camp before the 2000 season. He missed the entire year. Then, in his final college game, against USC in the Orange Bowl, Brown suffered a left shoulder strain. The injury wasn’t serious, but also came in the middle of a shellacking by the Trojans adding insult to injury.

    Since that final game, Brown has done nothing to hurt his draft stock. He is clearly one of the three best tackles in the draft after having an impressive pro day at Oklahoma and running a solid 5.01 in the 40-yard dash at the combine.

    One thing Brown has going for him is the fact that he is pretty much built to play right tackle because of his run blocking ability. He will probably be the second offensive tackle off the board after Florida State’s Alex Barron. One team that could have its eyes on Brown is St. Louis.

    In need of a right tackle since the back injury to Kyle Turley, Brown would be a perfect fit for a Rams’ line that is looking to get tougher and more athletic, qualities Brown says he can provide in spades.

    “My biggest strength is I have good feet and I play to the whistle,” Brown said. “I am very aggressive and nasty when it comes to playing football, so that’s what I have got going for me.

    “On that football field, pretty much everything that you do is a one-on-one battle. Either he wins or I win and I am going to win most of those battles. You have to have an attitude. Every play you knock somebody in the mouth.”
    Brown visited the Rams on Wednesday and seems to be excited about the possibility of playing for their high-powered offense and learning from Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace.

    “I actually visited the Rams yesterday, I liked it a lot, I think I'd fit in very well in St. Louis,” Brown said in a chat session ESPN.com on Thursday. “I'd get to learn from the best, that is Orlando and I also really like their front office and all that they are willing to do for the team.”

    Brown seems to be engaged in competition with Washington’s Khalif Barnes for the title of second tackle taken on April 23, but that competition is a friendly one. Barnes and Brown trained together in Arizona in the weeks leading up to February’s scouting combine.

    Although there are probably millions of dollars at stake in their friendly rivalry, both players are rooting for each other to do well. For his part, Barnes says he believes Brown will turn into one of the best tackles in the league.

    “I train with Jamal down in Tempe,” Barnes said. “We've been out there a couple months. He's turned into a real good friend of mine. He's a good guy off the field, great personality, (the kind of) guy I like to be around. He has a nasty attitude toward (his opponents). I think he can be a great tackle in the NFL.”

    With Brown’s combination of size, athleticism and mean streak, he should have no problem living up to those expectations, even if he is doing it on the offensive line.

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    Re: Brown Hopes to be the Right Choice at Tackle

    Barnes and Brown trained together in Arizona in the weeks leading up to February’s scouting combine.
    Excellent, we have an Arizona connection for Barnes and Brown.

    I am betting that we will see one of these guys sign with the Rams this year.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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