San Diego Chargers‘ wide receiver Vincent Brown is entering his second season in the NFL. Brown missed the entire 2012 season due to a broken ankle that he suffered in a preseason game last year against the Dallas Cowboys. Brown is expected to enter the season as a starter for the first time in his short career.
Brown’s most productive game was a loss against the Oakland Raiders when he had five receptions, 97 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
Brown’s success could depend on the Chargers’ rushing attack. San Diego ranked No. 31 in yards per rushing attempt and was tied for last with Oakland in rushing touchdowns last year. If San Diego’s rushing attack is ineffective again, teams could stack the box against Rivers, which would make it more difficult for him to find Brown and others.
San Diego’s ability to improve the run game will depend mostly on starting RB Ryan Mathews. After making the Pro Bowl in 2011, Mathews had his worst season as a pro when he posted career lows with 3.8 yards per rushing attempt and one touchdown in 2012. San Diego added Danny Woodhead to be Mathews’ primary backup, which should help the run game.
Brown missed almost half of his team’s games during the 2009 NCAA season due to a thumb injury. As mentioned earlier, Brown missed all of last season with a broken ankle, so injuries could be a concern as well.
San Diego does not have a player on the current roster with at least 70 receptions or 900 receiving yards in a season since 2009. Brown is expected to start at WR alongside Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal. Floyd led San Diego in receptions and receiving yards in 2012, so he could take pressure away from Brown.
Rivers and the coaching staff are high on Brown’s abilities and based on their expectations, he is a candidate to have a breakout season.