After logging just two quarterback pressures in the season's first two months -- an average of 0.4 per game -- Brown averaged 1.4 pressures per game from November onward, including two hits on New Orleans quarterback Mark Brunell in the season finale. That was his fourth multiple-hit game in the final 10 weeks; perhaps uncoincidentally, the Panthers won all four.
"I feel like I progressed as a player and as a person throughout the whole season," Brown said. "It's a foundation for me to build off of, and it's also great that I experienced it early in my career so that going into the offseason, we've got something to build off of and (have) motivation going into next year."
Brown didn't hit the "rookie wall," as the cliché goes; he became more consistently effective as the season progressed, which he sensed in all areas.
"Just being able to play fast, being comfortable on the field, being able to study my opponents and being able to adjust my game to make plays and get to the quarterback efficiently," Brown said. "More than anything, being able to play the run better, being more comfortable in the fits (and) using my speed and quickness and my leverage to get in the backfield and be able to make plays."
His first goal for the offseason is to rest for a little while, and let the physical toll of the year pass. Then, he wants to get into the weight room and strengthen his 250-pound frame -- something he knows he'll need if the Panthers can return to the playoffs.
"Next year we'll be playing more than 20 (games), so I know how to prepare myself and know what it takes," he said. "I'm almost ready to get started tomorrow, but I want to take a little time off to recuperate and get my body fresh."'
(this excerpted from Panthers.com)
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