Stevie Brown returns to the New York Giants this season after missing the 2013 season with a torn ACL, and as it turns out the Giants need him badly. Let's take a closer look at Brown as we continue a player-by-player look at the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp on July 21.
2013 Season In Review
After stints with the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts where he didn't get much of an opportunity, Brown took advantage of his chance with the Giants in 2012. Brown had a breakout 2012 season during which he was second in the NFL with eight interceptions. Brown added two fumble recoveries and 11 passes defensed to his resume in 2012, earning a reputation as a play-maker. Quarterbacks has only a 71.3 passer rating against him.
Brown then lost the entire 2013 season when he suffered a torn ACL while returning an interception against the New York Jets during a preseason game. The injury cost Brown the opportunity to earn a big pay day as 2013 was his free-agent year and opened the door for Will Hill.
Ah, the NFL Circle of Life. Hill is gone, three suspensions in three years causing the Giants to release him, and Brown is back. He re-signed with the Giants as a free agent and is now back in the team's starting lineup. Brown said recently that he continues to rehab his surgically-repaired knee, but that he was "not at all" limited physically.
"I just know I feel good right now," Brown said following a recent OTA. "For what we’re doing right now, I feel like I can do what I need to do but I know I still need to do better."
In addition to his knee, another area of concern for the Giants with Brown might be surrendering as many big plays as he makes. During 2012 the Giants allowed 13 pass plays of 40 yards or more, the second-highest total in the league. Last season that number dropped to five. How much did Brown's presence, or lack thereof, have to do with either number? That is really unknown, but it bears watching.
Regardless, Brown will have every opportunity to prove that the play-making ability he flashed in 2012 was no fluke.