Brown posted seven tackles and no other counting stats in Sunday's loss to the Panthers. Brown played all 69 defensive snaps and even put in some overtime with five special teams plays. While the seven-tackle output was better than his poor Week 1 showing of just three tackles, Brown is starting to get behind his usual 120-ish tackle pace. That can change quickly, however, especially as Brown gets his sea legs under him with Sean McDermott's new defense.
Brown has essentially locked down the starting middle linebacker job for the season, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports. The Bills only had one other guy with a conceivable shot to compete, Reggie Ragland, but that never came close to materializing, as Brown has a much better grasp of the pro game and the 4-3 defense new coach Sean McDermott has installed. Brown has put up 109 or more tackles in all three of his NFL seasons -- there seems little reason (other than injury) that he won't reach the benchmark for a fourth straight campaign.
Brown's teammate Reggie Ragland lined up with the third-team defense Tuesday, the Bills' final practice before Thursday's preseason opener, Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News reports. The veteran Brown has easily performed better than the high-upside Ragland throughout training camp, and barring injury he's going to be the team's starting middle linebacker come Week 1. If he stays on the field all season, we'd be shocked if Brown didn't accrue triple-digit tackles, especially playing in a Sean McDermott/Leslie Frazier defense that's been known to produce big tackle numbers from the middle.
Brown has taken nearly all the starting reps at middle linebacker thus far in camp while his competition, Reggie Ragland, continues to run with the second team at multiple spots, Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com reports. There's still plenty of camp and preseason left, but what was thought to be a toss-up job battle just a few months ago has been quickly wrestled by Brown's steady hands. Considering he's put up 368 tackles over his first three NFL seasons, he's one to tab in IDP leagues after you get past the top linebackers.
Brown began the team's first training camp practice as the starting middle linebacker while Reggie Ragland ran with the second team, Joe Buscaglia of 7 ABC Buffalo reports. Brown is the incumbent starter from the Rex Ryan regime and is steady and experienced, while Ragland has more athletic ability and better upside. He's also never played an NFL regular-season down yet, so we'll give Brown the nod for now. The current thought is that the loser of this battle will still see the field plenty, just more as an outside linebacker.
|7||10/22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|9||11/03||@New York Jets||13|
|10||11/12||New Orleans Saints||20|
|11||11/19||@Los Angeles Chargers||23|
|12||11/26||@Kansas City Chiefs||3|
|13||12/03||New England Patriots||7|
|16||12/24||@New England Patriots||7|