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Titans rookie LB Zach Brown denies 'soft' tag

After months of being sifted and picked apart by scouts and draftniks, 253 NFL draft picks now have a chance to settle in and go to work.

For Andrew Luck, the opening act of rookie minicamp in Indianapolis meant a first chance to show why he's worth the outrageous hype. For others, it's a chance to prove your critics wrong.

Former North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown was chased throughout his draft process by an ugly review: Experts claimed the Tennessee Titans second-round pick shied away from contact. Is there a more damning critique for would-be NFL linebackers?

Now with a new NFL home, Brown has fired back:

"I use my finesse sometimes to get around the blocker to make a play," he told the Tennessean. "So for me, I want to prove everybody (I'm not soft). I am at Tennessee and I am going to try and make everybody else pay for passing me up, that is a chip on my shoulder.

"Some people did tell me that and I was like, 'OK, line up across from me and then we'll see who shies away from contact -- who the better football player is.' "

It's no surprise Brown won't cozy up to the red-lettered scouting reports questioning his toughness. He now has a chance to shred and scatter those reports to the wind when the pads go on.

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