Monday, November 08, 2004

Brown Highlights First Half of Season for Titans

By Matt Toy, from NFL.com

One of the high points for the Titans in the first half of the season has been the production of running back Chris Brown. At the seasons mid-point, Brown ranks second in the NFL in rushing with 810 yards, while ranking second in average yards per carry among full-time running backs.

Brown’s performance has not only surprised football fans around the country, but even Brown himself.

“It’s a real surprise to me that I have done this well,” Brown said. “The offensive line has played with a lot of confidence and that has made it easy on me.”

Brown entered the 2004 season taking over for former Titans star Eddie George. The second-year running back has proven that he fills the shoes well.

“Eddie is a legend around here and I learned a lot from him,” said Brown, who mentored under George his rookie season a year ago. “I have just taken it all in stride. I now need to work on being consistent like Eddie was for so long here.”

So far this season, the only one stopping Brown has been Brown himself. He has struggled through a few nagging injuries, yet still has managed to rank among the NFL rushing leaders.

“The numbers are there and the production is there,” head coach Jeff Fisher said. “We just need to see the consistency week after week. We’ve got to get past the injury things that have caused him to either miss practice time or miss game time.”

Brown did not practice last week due to a turf toe injury suffered at Minnesota, but he still managed to produce an impressive 147-yard, one touchdown performance in a 27-20 Titans victory against Cincinnati on Sunday.

“Everybody in this league is dinged up, but you have to find a way to get out there,” said Brown. “You have to go out there and get it done. I wanted to prove everybody wrong and prove that I can play with pain.”

Brown’s teammates took notice of his heroic effort to sacrifice his body for the betterment of the club.

“I think (Steve) McNair is rubbing off on him,” QB Billy Volek said. “He did a great job. When you have a running back like that and give him the ball he’s going to raise your level of play.”

As the season heads to the back half, Brown plans to prove that his performance is just the beginning of many more good things to come.

“We just finished the first half,” Brown said. “It’s how you finish, not how you start. I’m going to keep working hard and hopefully we can all do well as a team during these last eight regular season games.”