Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 32 Devin McCourty, and the day before that it was No. 33 Dion Lewis. Because today marks 31 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 31, cornerback Tarell Brown.
On Tuesday of last week, Mike Reiss of ESPN noted that Brown’s jersey number is still a fluid situation:
"Brown, who initially wore jersey No. 9 in New England before switching to No. 31 on Tuesday, has been lobbying for another possible number change. He wore 25 in San Francisco and joked that he’s engaged in some negotiations with teammates."
Selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Brown is a veteran of eight NFL seasons, all in the Bay Area. The University of Texas product has started 61 of the 114 games he’s appeared in, totaling 11 interceptions, 61 passes defended and 261 combined tackles.
The Patriots are hoping that they will get Brown in his 2011-2012 form when he started all 37 regular and postseason games in that span, picking off eight passes and helping to lead the 49ers to January and February.
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What the Patriots won’t like is if Brown picks up where he left off in Oakland last season, when he deflecting a measly four passes and failed to register an interception. The Raiders’ pass defense left much to be desired, as did the play of Brown.
So far, however, so good. In training camp, Brown has performed like a trusty veteran that you want in your secondary. He was the standout performer of the second day of padded practice.
It appears that any concerns about Brown’s pesky foot issues can be set aside, according to Mike Reiss:
"The 30-year-old Brown has had the look of a potential starter in recent days, making plays on the ball and displaying fluid movement skills that reflect how his previously injured foot is no longer hampering him. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise, considering he’s started 56 regular-season games over the last four seasons with San Francisco and Oakland."
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 35 Jonas Gray, No. 36 Tyler Gaffney, No. 37 Jordan Richards, No. 38 Brandon Bolden, No. 39 Travaris Cadet, No. 41 Dekoda Watson, No. 42 Xzavier Dickson, No. 43 Nate Ebner, No. 44 Matthew Wells, No. 45 D.J. Lynch, No. 46 james Develin, No. 47 Michael Hoomanawanui, No. 48 Geneo Grissom, No. 49 Joe Cardona, No. 50 Rob Ninkovich, No. 51 Jerod Mayo, No. 52 Dane Fletcher, No. 53 Eric Martin, No. 54 Dont’a Hightower and No. 55 Jonathan Freeny.