It's April 23rd, 2005. Draft day. Two months removed from a Superbowl loss, the Eagles are on the clock early in the second round at pick 35. Having just selected standout Defensive Tackle Mike Patterson with the 31st pick, perhaps with this 35th pick acquired from Miami, the Eagles will address the offense. After all T.O. has mentioned he is upset about his contract.
"With the 35th pick of the 2005 draft the Eagles select Reggie Brown, WR, from the University of Georgia"
With those words, Reggie Brown became the 7th receiver selected in the 2005 draft and soon, the focus of a fan base starved for wide receiver talent after T.O.-Gate.
Taking the place of the suspended T.O. Reggie Brown made his first start against the Redskins, catching five passes for 93 yards and a TD. He went on to have an impressive rookie debut totaling 43 receptions for 571 yards.
In 2006, 2007 Reggie Brown appeared to be on the track to good things. With nearly 1600 yards, 12 TD's and over 100 receptions, Brown seemed set to have his best season so far in 2008. This would not be so.
Missing 6 games in 2008 Brown hauled in only 18 receptions. Spending the majority of the season injured and/or benched Brown put forth his worse performance to date. Those 18 receptions were good for only 252 yards and one TD. 2009 will be a very important year for Reggie Brown. After moving down to the sixth receiver by the end of 2008, this may be his last chance to catch for the Eagles. Brown needs to get off to a hot start.
After OTAS's Brown had this to say about his performance in camp.
"It's going pretty good. I just want to go out there and be consistent and work on the things I need to work on. Feeling good, running good routes and catching the ball. It’s good to go out there and have the opportunity to make plays. Hopefully that will continue into training camp."
So can Brown put 2008 behind him and emerge as a starter in 2009? When asked about his 2008 season recently Brown said "You can't go out there and think about what happened last year. You can't think that you have to go out and do something extraordinary. So I just go out there and take it one play at a time."
With the emergence of 2nd year WR DeSean Jackson, 4th year WR Jason Avant, a healthy Kevin Curtis and the addition of rookie Jeremy Maclin, "one play at a time" might not cut it. You might think this would bother Reggie, but he just continues on with his training, confident that he has what it takes. "I don't need any extra pressure" says Brown "I'm just going out there and trying to enjoy the game and have a good showing".
With 16 TD's for nearly 2000 yards in his first 3 seasons, Brown has shown himself as a capable 2nd or 3rd WR. The problem is, when your drafted 35th overall expectations are high. Reggie Brown has been given the time to succeed, now he just has to show that time was not wasted.
Dan Bandekow is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also the Lead Writer for www.thephillyeagles.com