In a Strange Offseason, Derrick Brown Ready To Help Panthers Move Forward

Jason Huber
August 03, 2020 - 10:32 pm

The Carolina Panthers defense went young this offseason as they prepare to rebuild for the future and their 2020 seventh overall pick, defensive tackle Derrick Brown is the key to spark that process.

"I want to have a successful rookie campaign," Brown said during a Zoom presser on Monday. "I want to be able to do everything I can to be able to help this defense and help this team and help this organization moving forward. I can do that by putting my best foot forward and being able to soak it all in while I'm in the classroom aspect and being on the field." 

Drafted out of Auburn, the start of Brown's career has been everything but normal and NFL rookies were first allowed to report to facilities only last week due to COVID-19 halting an in-person offseason.

But as a rookie, the unnormal has been normal.

"It's not normal but I don't know any different when it comes to training camp," Brown said. "I'm just taking it day by day and whenever the doctors here have something to tell us I take it day by day and I think all the other guys are taking the same approach."

Addg DB to the D-Line --

"I did get to work KK a lot this summer," Brown said. "That was big for me because he's been in this game a long time so getting that experience to talk down to me now. Him just trying to put that wisdom into me...he's just been open arms with giving me knowledge." 

Short had just as much praise for Brown. 

"Just seeing him (Derrick Brown) around and what he's done from the day he got drafted to today, he just put himself in a (good) position," Short said on Sunday. "A guy willing to work and do whatever it takes to help anyone. Whether they double team us or not, I don't know but we just gotta be ready." 

The negative is that Brown won't be able to get game experience in the preseason after the NFL eliminated it due to COVID-19, and he'll have to be game-ready the first time he suits up. 

"I feel like I'm missing the experience," Brown said. "That's something you can get your feet wet in but when I get started it's going to be the real thing and the best on best. For that situation, I'm just going to get ready for it." 

One can make the argument that Carolina's defense will struggle this with all the new pieces and first-year players but Brown doesn't have that mindset.

He remembers when he was a freshman at Auburn in 2016 that had a relatively new defense. 

"We ended up finishing top 15 in the country in defense," Brown said. "I've been a part of defenses that have been down and been brought back up but it's about the guys in the room and never about anything else." 

No matter what, Brown will continue to prepare one day at a time for whatever his career holds.

"I've always just kind of taken life with a what's the next thing type of attitude," Brown said. "Just kind of focusing on the next thing...and now with us not knowing everything we kind of had to tone it back and go one day at a time with everything." 

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