In his first season, defensive end Everette Brown had 22 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
If this guy was in his fifth year in the league and he was a starter, those numbers would be absolutely terrible. But he was a rookie in his first year sitting behind another veteran.
Before the 2009 NFL Draft, Brown was projected to be a first round pick. There was even some talk about him going No. 1, but his size was such a huge factor that he dropped to the Carolina Panthers in the second round (sounds familiar).
The Panthers did not run a 3-4 defense, so Brown was going to play defensive end. Unfortunately for Brown, the Panthers still had Julius Peppers on their roster.
Brown would have to wait until Peppers left the Panthers to become a free agent. Now that Peppers has left, Brown will have the opportunity to prove to the team that he can replace Peppers and lead the defense.
Brown needs to be the Panthers' best player, plain and simple. There are a lot of questions about the safety position for this team.
That is a big weakness in the Panthers defense and if the Panthers want to disguise that weakness they must be able to pressure the quarterback, which was something that Peppers could do.
Sometimes Peppers would slack off and not try his best because he could not get what he wanted. One thing you probably hear about Brown is his work ethic.
With questions at QB, WR, and FS/SS, Everette Brown needs to step up and not just be a good player for the Panthers; he must also be the best player.