Vincent Brown, the San Diego State star, was pegged as the wide receiver to watch as Malcom Floyd and Denario Alexander were put on the injured reserve. As Keenan Allen elevated his play into the San Diego Chargers’ most dangerous offensive weapon, does Brown add value to Rivers and the offense?
Allen is playing at a high level and Antonio Gates is having a solid year again, so it’s looking slim for Brown to vastly contribute the rest of the season.
Leading the Chargers in targets is Gates, to no surprise, but leading the receivers with 90 targets is Allen, whereas Brown has only seen 63 passes thrown his way. Brown was praised as the best route runner on the Chargers squad, but ironically, Rivers and Brown haven’t been on the same page much.
The offensive change from an Air Coryell offense to Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt’s Erhardt-Perkins offense benefits the quarterback in a hurry up offense. Two different offensive systems, but one has given Rivers NFL MVP mentions. It’s very possible Brown’s lack of production is more of a playbook issue.
If you really need to know his value, watch out for the Oakland Raiders game. Statistically, Brown has had his best games against the Raiders in 2011 and 2013. In 2011, Brown caught five passes for 97 yards and one touchdown, and in the late-late game this season against the Raiders, he hauled in 11 catches for 117 yards.
Don’t expect Floyd and Alexander to be back to join the receivers, because the projected roster looks solid. For 2014, Allen, Brown and Eddie Royal are the headliners. Brown and Royal, who enter the final years of their contracts, could benefit from increased coverage on Allen. Brown could also see benefit with another year under the Erhardt-Perkins system.