There are still nearly two weeks of training camp practices and four preseason games that need to be played until the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to trim their roster down to 53 players, but rookie wide receiver Justin Brown will more than likely make the decision to cut him a tough one.
Brown, one of two sixth-round draft picks this year, has reportedly had a strong camp thus far as he is exhibiting soft and reliable hands. Saturday night against the New York Giants, the 6-3 receiver will need to show not only how good his hands are, but how good of a special teams player in addition. Brown recently told The Delaware News Journal about his desire to do whatever it takes to secure a roster spot.
“There’s a lot I can do and nothing I won’t do to make this football team,” Brown said. “In the end, it’s the coaches’ choice, but I’m doing my best to be one of those choices.”
While not lighting fast, Brown is a physical player and that\’s one trait that new wide receivers coach Richard Mann highlighted following the selection of the Delaware native during the draft.
“I think he has good toughness and that’s part of being a good receiver,” Mann said back in April. “He’ll lock up downfield and I think that is a part of it also. On top of it all, he’s a good receiver. He can catch the football.”
While he isn\’t currently listed on the Steelers latest depth chart as punt returner, Brown very well could get a chance to return a few over the course of the preseason. During his four seasons at both Oklahoma and Penn State, he returned 93 punts for 637 yards and one touchdown. If for some reason he\’s not given a chance to do so, he must use that toughness of his in order to make his presence known on the coverage teams.
In all likelihood, Brown will be headed for the practice squad, but a lot can happen as far as injuries go between now and the final cut down day. There is an outside chance the Steelers could decide to keep six receivers instead five, so every day he must continue to improve and head the advice the experienced players are giving him.
“The veterans always tell the young guys to stay in the playbook, so I study that with every chance I get,” he said.