Evidently, it’s more than just being an elite special teams player. This past weekend, Colts’ safety Sergio Brown made his first career start as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. To that point, he had last started in 3 career games, all in 2011, while with the New England Patriots. On Sunday, however, Brown didn’t just start, he sizzled.
Filling in for the suspended LaRon Landry (PED’s), Sergio Brown made plays all over the field. He finished the game with 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD, and 1 QB Hit. In the process, he flashed overall speed and playmaking ability.
It was a pretty exceptional performance for a player that a lot of people, including myself (and admittedly wrongly so now), considered more of a special teams ace than regular starter. He looked like the star player than local fans once saw play for Notre Dame at safety.
Since being signed by the Indianapolis Colts after being waived by the New England Patriots in September of 2012, Brown has always been one of the Colts’ most consistent and productive special teams’ players. However, on Sunday, we saw the other side of Brown, the actual safety side of his game. Brown didn’t just play the position, he played it very well.
Consider that Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco was 1 for 3 for 1 measly receiving yard and a Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 42.4 targeting Brown. To put that in better context, the safety he replaced, LaRon Landry, had given up 7 receptions on 16 targets for 105 yards, 1 TD, and a QBR of 86.7 (ProFootballFocus). The advanced statistics provided by ProFootballFocus (PFF) gave him an overall grade of +0.5, which while not great, is still noticeably better than Landry’s -2.6 respectively.
If he can continue to play like he did Sunday, it begs the question of whether the Colts can reasonably bench Brown when Landry returns, given the latter’s lackluster play.