Marlon Brown was supposed to be ready for action last season. A.J. Green was gone, Aaron Murray was more comfortable entering his second full year, as a starter, and Georgia was in need of a playmaker to replace the exited Green.
However, somewhere between opportunity knocking and the door opening to greet it, Brown vanished. The culprit last season was a bum ankle that plagued him near the end of summer workouts, but some wonder if the problems for Brown weren’t born long before then, perhaps in his freshman season?
The decision not to redshirt him that year has always been questioned because it was no secret that Brown wasn’t ready for SEC play upon his arrival. He didn’t play in tough league in high school and he wasn’t prepared for the physicality of this league. So, many felt it was a no-brainer to let him sit out a year and get acclimated, but when it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, many wondered if that was the best course of action.
But, on the flip side, even though Brown wasn’t prepared for the SEC on a mental or physical level, you have to figure the expectations for him that season weren’t that high anyhow. He wasn’t coming into a situation where—like Isaiah Crowell, Orson Charles, or Aaron Murray—he was being counted on to produce right away.
A.J. Green was the guy with the golden ticket and everyone was looking to him for production. Brown’s role was to take advantage of the situations Green couldn’t and maybe make a solid contribution to the team in the process.
In other words, pressure was low, so why not throw him out there and see what he could do?
However, here we sit four years later and Brown still hasn’t made much of a dent at all. He’s been, for lack of a better word, mostly invisible. Even in what was likely his best opportunity, last season, he failed to step-up.
I realize some may say I’m being a bit hard on Brown considering the setbacks he’s had to endure physically but, even taking that aspect of his situation under consideration, it’s hard not to notice the fact that, year after year, he’s seen other players come in and make a lot of noise where he’s continued to remain quiet.
In 2010, it was Kris Durham, who hadn’t been more than a solid possession guy for the better part of his career. However, he found a way to make himself indispensable and parlay what might have normally been a forgettable season into one in which he was hearing his name called as a selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Last season, both Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett showed up and showed out for Georgia. And though Mitchell looks destined to play cornerback this season, it’s still not Marlon Brown’s name that is getting rotation as the guy next in line to take over his reps, but rather Bennett and Chris Conley.
Have people finally decided Brown’s just never going to be the player everyone thought he’d be? Or will this deafening silence be all that young man needs to see the writing on the wall?
I’m hoping the latter is true for Brown because he’s long past due for his close-up.