Sammy Brown made it to an NFL training camp the hard way. He was a good high school football player, but decided to sit his junior season out to focus on basketball. He never took the ACT or SAT, so he was forced to go the junior college route before he finally made it "Big Time" at the University of Houston.
During his two seasons at Houston, Brown made NFL scouts take notice.
Brown registered 21 sacks and 50 tackles for loss during his two seasons at Houston, and was seen as a late round draft choice by several talent evaluators. However, as Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch detailed in this excellent piece on Brown, it was a lack of effort that caused Sammy Brown to slide down and fall off of several draft boards.
Brown acknowledged as much, saying "They say I didn't have enough effort. I agree with it. I didn't go hard every play. But that's over with. I'm just trying to learn this system and do the best I can."
I've mentioned Brown before as a player I expect to make the team as an undrafted free agent. The Rams have a glaring need for help at outside linebacker, and Brown, obviously, is a player with the talent to produce at the NFL level.
He just has to get his motor running.
In my opinion, it is always a red flag when a player doesn't play hard. I just don't see how a guy who basically admits "I am lazy" all of a sudden turns it on when he starts getting paid. Most of the time, a lazy player is a lazy player and that isn't going to change once he starts cashing checks.
However, Brown had this to say at the close of the article:
"I feel like I haven't accomplished what I want to accomplish yet. I want to be the best. And now is my time. In junior college, I would have the best numbers and they'd say I wasn't this. In college (at Houston), I had the best numbers, and they still said I can't do this. Now, I've got a chance to show everybody what I can do. This is the big leagues. Now, if I have numbers, you can't say nothing."
The Rams need somebody to produce at the outside linebacker position. Sammy Brown is a guy with the talent to fit that need.
However, I'm not going to buy into any big talk from Sammy Brown. This is Missouri. It's "The Show-Me State," not "The Tell-Me State."