Rookie Bryce Brown about to get his shot

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 21, 2012
Bryce Brown watched football on television last Thanksgiving, wondering if he would ever get a chance to play in the NFL after a brief, checkered collegiate career. Now the rookie running back is preparing for his first start since 2008. In front of a national TV audience, no less. With LeSean McCoy sidelined by a concussion, Brown is expected to get a bulk of the carries when the Philadelphia Eagles host Carolina on Monday night. He's come a long way since leaving two schools in a three-year span. ''It's exciting,'' Brown said Wednesday. ''I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I'm grateful for it. I've had a tough road. Mentally, I have to get prepared. Obviously, I'll get more carries but I prepare the same way every week.'' Brown was the nation's highest-ranked running back coming out of Wichita East High School in 2008. He chose Tennessee and had an impressive freshman year backing up Montario Hardesty. Brown rushed for 104 yards in his first game with the Vols and finished with 460 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 101 carries. When coach Lane Kiffin left for USC after that year, Brown transferred to Kansas State. He sat out 2010, and carried the ball only three more times in college. Brown suffered an ankle injury early in the season and played in just one game before leaving the program. Brown's decision seemingly crippled his chance of getting drafted. But the Eagles gambled with their seventh-round pick and he's made the most of it. ''He's a smart kid and he's a good player, so that's impressive,'' coach Andy Reid said. ''It looks like he's more comfortable in the offense every week. He's doing a nice job in pass protection. That wasn't his thing when he first came here. He's doing better there. Better recognition of the blitzes. Then, he's a patient runner, and then when he goes, he goes and he goes hard. He's a big body. A physical player.'' Brown has shown flashes of his potential in a limited role behind McCoy. He has 141 yards rushing and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. His 40-yard run in a loss to New Orleans on Nov. 5 is the longest for Philadelphia this season. ''I haven't had more than five carries in a game, so it's hard to get in a rhythm,'' Brown said. ''Rhythm comes when you get more carries. The more you're on the field, the more you get a feel for the game.'' The 21-year-old Brown, uncomfortable speaking to the media as a collegian, has been quite the opposite as a pro. Wearing silver-framed glasses, he stood at his locker and spoke to reporters for nearly 30 minutes before practice. ''I want to do anything I can to help my team win,'' Brown said. ''As for being a starter, I like my role here and I like Philly.'' The 6-foot, 220-pound Brown has speed and strength. He ran a 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at his pro day last year, but wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine. All that's in the past now. He's got his chance on a big stage. ''I'm thankful,'' Brown said. ''Opportunity comes and now I have to take advantage of it.'' Brown was used on kick returns for the first time in last week's 31-6 loss to Washington. He averaged 22 yards on three returns. Brown volunteered to stay on the return unit this week, but won't be used there because of the injury to McCoy. The Eagles (3-7) have lost six straight games and also could be without quarterback Michael Vick against the Panthers (2-8). Vick also has a concussion that forced him to miss the loss to the Redskins. Notes: Along with Vick and McCoy, WR Jason Avant (hamstring) and DT Cullen Jenkins (foot, ankle) didn't practice. ... LT Jason Peters, out since the start of the season while recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon, was on the sideline, but isn't ready to participate yet. ... Jake Scott will remain the starter at right guard over 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins. Scott was in the lineup just six days after he signed last week. --- Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker