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FILM ROOM: Blair Brown is going to be better than you think in his first start

Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Blair Brown will get his first career start since being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round this year. He’ll play weakside linebacker against the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Telvin Smith who was injured last week from a concussion. Although he played the second half against the Arizona Cardinals, recording three tackles and also a tackle on special teams, this will be his first start — meaning he’s got a week to prepare in the film room and on the practice field.

Let’s dive into the film.

Against the run is where Brown excels the most. He is able to shed blocks and keep his eyes on the ball carrier. His play thus far on special teams captures this.

On this run play against the Cardinals, Blair gravitates toward the hole, is picked up but maintains separation with the lineman and brings down Adrian Peterson. Although undersized, he still shows the strength and ability to always make plays.

In the game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Jaguars were up 37-0 and Brown got a chance to play some linebacker. On this play the left guard comes out to the second level to block for his running back but Brown utilizes his size to get underneath the lineman to pursue the ball carrier.

He does this because he has help with Posluszny to his left to force the running back inside. He would have made this play if he wasn’t held, which by the way, was not called. That’s nothing new if you’ve been watching Jaguars games this year.

Against Baltimore his responsibility is to cover the middle but also pickup any ball carrier coming out of the backfield. The strong safety has the tight end and Brown’s responsibility is wide receiver Michael Campanaro (No. 12 who is motioning to receive the Jet Sweep.

Brown recognizes the motion but hesitates because of the backside fake. Even though he takes a split second to make the decision, he’s still the first one to make the tackle.

These hesitations are the only thing holding him back which should fade over time once he gets more snaps. I see Brown being a solid backup for Telvin even though he is a much smaller linebacker at 5’11”. He has great ability to recognize where the play is going and takes great angles to the ball carrier to make tackles. Awareness and pursuit are a lot harder to teach than aggressiveness.

This next play he is able to track the ball carrier to the make the tackle we just aren’t seeing the aggressiveness we are used to seeing from Telvin but nonetheless Blair Brown still shows a lot of promise.

After reviewing Brown this week, he does give me the confidence that he will be fine against the Colts. He is slightly above average in all things I look for in a linebacker which are — run stuffing ability, coverage, and angles taken in the open field. His only weakness is confidence, similar to most rookie linebackers coming into the NFL.