The Ravens rookies got their first look at NFL workouts this weekend. As a Rookie it’s essential to get established with a new system and to be able to learn how the NFL game is so much different from college. The team’s second round draft pick Arthur Brown is said to be Ray Lewis “replacement” which the future hall of fame linebacker held down for 17 seasons. Brown is no Lewis, but he has skills that can grow, and is working in that direction. During his last season at Kansas State, he led the team, posting 100 tackles (65 solo) to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors and multiple first-team All-American accolades. In addition, Brown was selected as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year by its league coaches en route to an 11-2 overall record and Big 12 Championship title. He also became the first KSU player since Josh Buhl (2003) to record 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons. When he was asked about being Lewis’s replacement he replied, “Honestly, I think the No. 1 thing is learning my role as a linebacker and just attempting and providing what I do to fulfill that role – learning from the guys who are here and learning from the coaches.” Brown, who is wearing #59, has stayed humble and looks to be a key part of the defense in the 2013 campaign. Since these are rookies, they will just need to continue to learn and improve each day, before the veterans arrive soon.
One of the players who says he will make an impact is small school standout Brandon Williams who played at Missouri Southern State. The franchise is aware of what they’re getting because of some solid scouting; the Lions defender is being regarded as the best NCAA Division II defensive lineman since Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer, John Randle. The 335 lb Williams said, “I’ve definitely got a huge chip on my shoulder coming from D-II, and it’s just that much more of a challenge for me. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m up for the challenge, and just to get out here and show everybody that, ‘Hey, I’m D-II, but I can still play. I’m here. I’m in a Baltimore jersey right now playing with all you guys – D-I’s, wherever you’re from – and I’m going to play as hard as you, play better than you, and I’m here to stay.” No matter what school a player comes from if they are capable of playing at the NFL level, and able to adjust to teams system – they will get the chance. That’s exactly what Williams stressed, “Hey, I’m D II, but I can still play. I’m still here.” That shows commitment and he is ready to make the best of his opportunity.
Now that rookies have received their first taste of minicamp, they won’t see action again until the OTA’s, which is at the end of this month, it was a productive weekend for most of the new comers. Now, they are poised to prove that they belong here; and can make a name for themselves.