Much was expected out of wide receiver Vincent Brown a year ago after the flourishing finish he had to his rookie campaign in 2011. The rapport that had been built with quarterback Philip Rivers throughout the summer months of 2012 had many fans excited about the possibility of losing very little production even in the wake of Vincent Jackson’s departure from the team.
Unfortunately for Brown and the San Diego Chargers, the 2012 season never got started for the then second-year man as a horrific broken ankle in the second game of the preseason ended his year before it could begin. That shouldn’t put a damper on the optimism for the wideout heading into his third NFL year, however, as his ankle is 100 percent and he will be a vital piece of the offense moving forward into the 2013 season.
What made Brown so impressive during the latter half of his rookie season was the ability that he showed to move the chains for the offense. Keeping drives alive is an underrated aspect of being a clutch receiver. Of Brown’s 19 grabs in 2011, 17 of them picked up a first down for the San Diego offense. That type of chain moving presence was clearly missing a year ago as the offense stagnated frequently and put the man under center (Rivers) into some nearly insurmountable situations.
The receiver spot might not have a V-Jack type of playmaking presence anymore, but the total package could actually be just as productive. The Robert Meachem experiment failed horribly in 2012, but perhaps new Head Coach Mike McCoy can get the most out of him as a slot guy like he was with the New Orleans Saints. Danario Alexander’s emergence was one bright spot a year ago in what was a dark season, and he figures to be another vital piece to the receiver puzzle this year. Eddie Royal was a huge disappointment last year as well, but if he can stay healthy, McCoy has familiarity there as well from his Denver Broncos days. Malcom Floyd is the one consistent piece of the San Diego receiving corps that can always be counted on, and perhaps rookie Keenan Allen can provide a spark of competition as well.
These six guys could easily allow the Chargers to see a resurgence of sorts in their aerial attack under McCoy’s direction. It will be interesting to see how Vincent Brown is utilized in this new-look attack, and his role be more clearly defined by how he is used during training camp. It’s going to be great to see him back on the field going full speed for the first time in nearly a year when camp rolls around. The Chargers have to be optimistic about what Brown will offer to this squad throughout the 2013 season.