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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; TC Cornerback Brown Signs Deal With Saints BROWNBy HAROLD WILSON Staff Writer Texas College All-American cornerback Dathan Brown found himself in the green Tuesday after he reached a free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints. The Steer star becomes the ...

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Old 05-02-2007, 06:58 PM   #1
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TC Cornerback Brown Signs Deal With Saints

BROWNBy HAROLD WILSON
Staff Writer

Texas College All-American cornerback Dathan Brown found himself in the green Tuesday after he reached a free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.

The Steer star becomes the second Texas College player to ink a professional football contract in the last three years, following running back Jonathan Combs, who signed with the Washington Redskins in May of 2005.

Brown, considered one of the NAIA's top 25 football prospects, held out hope of being drafted in the latter rounds Sunday, then waited patiently by the phone the next two days until he received several rings from the Saints Tuesday, including one from New Orleans defensive backs coach Tom Hayes.

"I really knew I wouldn't get drafted on the first day," said Brown from Tyler, where he was in town preparing to take finals at Texas College. "I thought I had a slight chance on the second day. I got a little worried. I feel blessed."

As a collegiate, Brown garnered attention for his skills at cornerback and on special teams after he intercepted 17 passes and returned five for touchdowns in four years, plus scored five times taking back punts and kickoffs during his Texas College career.

"Wherever I can get to make the team, that's where I want to play," Brown said. "I already know its going to be real competitive. Everybody's trying to get a job."

On May 11, Brown reports to mini-camp in New Orleans, uniting him with the franchise that captured the NFC South division title in 2006.

"That's a good opportunity for the young man," said Texas College head coach Jay Brown. "I'm tickled pink he gets the opportunity. I told him to seize the moment. He's excited and we are for him. I don't think it could happen to a better person. He's endured a lot, really developed a lot."

The chance to go to a town and team on the rise like New Orleans, fresh off a trip to the NFC championship game, excites Brown.

"They're rebuilding the city and everything. That's a good way to start off," said Brown, nicknamed 'Cat.' "I watched them a lot last year. They had the potential to be Super Bowl champs."

The Saints sported the NFL's top-ranked offense while the New Orleans pass defense ranked third in the league in yards allowed per game (178.4). The Saints, however, tied for 28th with only 11 interceptions, prompting them to draft cornerbacks with three of their eight selections.

As a junior, Brown nearly totaled that number alone, picking off 10 passes, which he turned into 197 yards and three touchdowns. He also averaged 13.5 yards on punt returns, with two more touchdowns, earning All-America status as a defensive back (first team) and returner (second team).

With teams trying to avoid him this past season, Brown's numbers dwindled to 37 tackles and three interceptions, although he added 17 pass deflections and still earned All-American accolades as a second-teamer.

"We put him on any guy we were concerned with offensively and he could go and cover that guy. A lot of teams game-planned away from his senior year," said coach Brown. "He's a guy that is a total package, an ideal cornerback. He can run with just about any receiver out there. He's tall, physical, strong, a good tackler. I've got a world of confidence he can make any NFL team."

While the statistics helped, especially playing small college football in the NAIA, Brown believes he needed more.

Former Washington Redskins all-pro cornerback Darrell Green, a well-known ally of Texas College, worked with Brown in Washington, D.C. after he completed his senior season and graded him pro material.

"I showed him what I could do and he said I could play in the NFL," Brown said. "It made me feel good knowing (he thought) I could do it and play on that next level."

Brown, listed at 6-0, 203 pounds and a time of 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash, played in the Texas versus The Nation All-Star game in February in El Paso. Brown picked off a pass and returned a punt and kickoff during the showcase.

The dual-threat plans to take two key attributes with him to the next level: confidence and faith.

"I always thought I could make it," said Brown, who considers his biggest assets 'sure-tackling' first and 'covering' next. "You have to stay focused and keep faith in God. Everybody in the NAIA, if you are trying to make it to the next level, keep working hard and keep faith."

"We may have lost the game, but you'll be hurting tomorrow." Doug Atkins
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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If Darrell Green liked him that sure is a good sign. Man, I'd think at least one of these obscure but talented CB's is gonna pay big-time dividends for us.

I am still so stoked about the signing of Jason David, too. The Saints could've dropped a ton of money on Dre Bly or Clements, but instead patiently lie in the weeds and sneak away the starting CB from the defending champs at a price that, comparitively is not too insane. That was avant-garde, the last thing I was expecting was for the Saints to get an RFA.


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Old 05-02-2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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The kid sounds real intriguing, I think a few of small school prospects is going to surprise some people when the season starts.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:17 PM   #4
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I'll pass, maybe add him to the PS this year, he sounds too much like this season's Josh Lay. I remember when Ty Law was all high on his cousin making our team, well guess again
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:13 AM   #5
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Well you have to give them credit. We held on to the core of the secondary in the offseason for one thing. Secondly we went out into FA and got a solid proven starter. Finally we draft two of the top small school prospects in the draft and added 4(whats the count now?) more as UDFA. At the least I see we are trying to address the special teams needs here also. Any way you look at it we should better and deeper next year than last year. Thats how you build a champship team. One piece at a time. Depth is key.

Sorry guys I was never that big on Josh. Special teams player thats all I veiwed him as. I do not think he has enough speed to mask his lack of natural ability to play the position. Maybe this will wake him up a bit.

"We may have lost the game, but you'll be hurting tomorrow." Doug Atkins
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
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If Darrel Green likes him , there must be something to him. Mr. Green was pretty special as a DB.
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:32 PM   #7
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I dont think Young is a project, he is one of that drafts top defensive players. He plays strong and goes after it every play. Has tremendous work ethic and doesn't like to fail on his part, thats the type of player every coach dreams of now and then. I think he'll be a starter for us in two seasons. Not including this upcoming one though
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