Much has been made about the lack of offensive production from the San Diego Chargers a year ago. Quarterback Philip Rivers saw his stats hit an all-time low accounting for more turnovers (28) than touchdowns (26), and the team ranked 31st in the NFL in total offense averaging just 297.2 yards per game. While there are a number of factors that contributed to these issues from injuries to personnel shortcomings, one player surely played into the inefficiency: Vincent Brown.
The Chargers had high hopes for their wideout coming into his second campaign last year. Most believed he was primed for a breakout season with him and Rivers sharing quite a rapport in training camp moving into the preseason. That all came to a screeching halt in the team’s second preseason contest against the Dallas Cowboys when a horrific looking broken ankle removed Brown from the 2012 equation for good before things even got started.
Expectations are sure to return in the buildup for this upcoming season, and the Chargers are going to reap the benefits of having Brown back in the lineup. The 5’11” 190lbs. target had 19 receptions in his rookie season of 2011 with 17 of those catches going for a first down. That presence was surely missed when it came to moving the chains a year ago.
New Head Coach Mike McCoy discussed Brown’s progress toward taking part in OTAs, telling U-T San Diego:
“Some of those guys that had offseason injuries or whatever it is, we’re just going to work back in and gradually work them up to where they need to be and get them back to 100 percent.”
Brown already believes his ankle meets that ‘100 percent’ requirement, but he also understands that there is something to be said for being in football shape. The wideout said:
“I haven’t played football in a year, so I have to get my mechanics back, make sure I can break and all that stuff. That’s pretty much what the process is. Last week was kind of the break-in week. It was a little sore coming out, but this week it feels a lot stronger. Hopefully it progresses week to week.”
Obviously this all comes full circle to the man under center in Rivers who seems as excited as anyone to have one of his top weapons returning to the lineup. Rivers said:
“It’s like getting another second-round pick because you missed him all of last year. He’s looking good and coming on. You talk about the injury that happened in the preseason last year. He’s just been battling and battling to get himself back to where he can participate with us. It’s good to have him back out there.”
From what the speedy receiver has shown in his limited action in the league, the potential is obviously there for a breakout season in 2013. Given the offensive ineptitude that the Bolts displayed a year ago, his infusion into the lineup can certainly only help.