Around the NFL

Harbaugh: WR John Brown exceeding expectations

The Baltimore Ravens set out to revamp the receiver corps heading into the 2018 season. The headliner addition was Michael Crabtree, but it's been John Brown turning heads during training camp.

"He has been better than we expected," coach John Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. "Obviously, we've had high hopes for him, but [he's] better than advertised -- probably even better than what the tape showed, I would say. He's been a complete receiver for us."

The dynamic speedster is coming off two down seasons after breaking out in Arizona in 2015. Brown dealt with sickle cell trait, along with other injury issues that slowed him last season, in which he went for just 299 yards and three TDs on 21 receptions in 10 games.

"I'm fully healthy, and they're taking care of me," Brown said. "People don't even know the situation. They think I'm prone to injury. But I'm just at a place where I'm happy. They're taking care of me, and they understand me."

Brown's talent has never been in question. Nicknamed "Smoke," the speedster can burn cornerbacks with ease and is a better route runner than given credit.

Joe Flacco attributes his improved play this training camp to the addition of Brown.

"I really think that's a credit to [Brown] and just how well he can get off the ball and get going vertical and put those DBs in a bad position," Flacco said, via "When you don't get that, it makes it a little bit tough to hang back there and figure out where you're going to put the ball. I think him in particular, he's just been doing a great job of beating guys off the line and showing guys what he's made of."

The Ravens offense has lacked a consistent deep threat for the past several seasons. Given that Flacco's best attribute when at his peak was the deep shot, the dink-and-dunk offense Baltimore employed recently has induced an amalgam of frustration.

Brown's ability to take the top off any defense could change that dynamic and finally provide Flacco the threat he's been missing.

"[Flacco] knows with Smokey that he just lets it fly and he's not going to underthrow him," safety Eric Weddle said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content


See all the Action

Replay every game all season.