Wide receiver Jaron Brown (13), helped by a block by wide receiver John Brown (hidden), breaks free in his 51-yard screen pass Saturday night in Minnesota.
Jaron Brown broke into an almost bashful grin. He didn't want to go anywhere near what sounding like self-promotion.
Sure, his two catches during the Cardinals' preseason loss in Minnesota provided two spectacular versions of what the second-year wide receiver can do. His 51-yard-breaking-tackles catch off a screen pass showed his power. His 35-yard leaping grab of a jump ball showed his athletic ability and body control.
Did it sew up a spot for him to be on the 53-man roster? Probably not. But that's because Brown had certainly already done so with his tremendous training camp and ability to play special teams.
Still, the notion wasn't something Brown was willing to second.
"I'm just trying to get better," Brown said. "I'm just trying to improve from last camp."
That's clearly happened, although Brown did enough last year at this time to find his way on to the roster despite his undrafted rookie status coming out of Clemson. Then the Cardinals signed Ted Ginn as a free agent and drafted John Brown and Walt Powell and it looked like the hill would be a tall one to climb.
Apparently not. Not when the head coach raves about you every time your name is brought up.
Arians' thoughts on Brown right now? "Big play every day," Arians said.
The Cardinals haven't even had Michael Floyd on the field in the preseason while Ginn has been a non-factor while he deals with a sore knee, and yet the team's first-offense has looked sharp. Brown is a big reason why.
"I don't care if it's Patrick (Peterson), Cro (Antonio Cromartie), or who's on top of him," Arians said. "He's developing a confidence factor to become a really solid player."
That Brown was so unheralded out of college isn't completely a surprise; Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins were the star wideouts for quarterback Tajh Boyd (although together with Andre Ellington in the backfield, it's a wonder how the Tigers couldn't score 50 a game.)
For the Cardinals to unearth him, though, in a year where John Brown appears he will have an immediate impact as a
rookie, the depth General Manager Steve Keim has piled at the position is impressive. When everyone is healthy, Brown – who can play all the receiver positions but is best suited in the roles taken by Larry Fitzgerald or Michael Floyd – might not get many snaps on offense.
Brown looks to be more than just a practice flasher, receivers over the years like Stephen Williams, Andy McCullough and Max Komar, who couldn't uphold their quality play once the games began.
Like John Brown, Jaron Brown looks like he's already earned some trust from Palmer, who said Jaron Brown is simply more consistent now than he was last year.
"That is the kind of confidence he is playing with right now and that's the confidence we have in him because he consistently shows us quarterbacks that he will make a play for us," Palmer said.
Perhaps it makes sense that Brown would rather let that play do his talking.
On his two catches Saturday, Brown deferred. John Brown made a great block on the screen to free him, Jaron Brown said. Quarterback Drew Stanton made a "terrific" throw on the other.
As for Brown's part in the plays,"I definitely should've scored on at least one of them," he said.
"Hopefully next time I will be able to do that."