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Giants Training Camp: Tim Brown Looks For An Opportunity

Tim Brown looks around the NFL and he sees a number of smallish wide receivers thriving in today's pass-happy, receiver-friendly NFL.

"Steve Smith, Wes Welker, DeSean Jackson, Santana Moss, you see those guys making plays," Brown said. "As long as you have the passion, the desire, the heart to play in this league you can do it.

"When I get my chance to go out I just have to make plays."

Brown, an undrafted free agent from nearby Rutgers, has to hope that players like the ones he mentioned have blazed a trail that will give players like him a real opportunity, not just make them a training camp curiosity.

See, Brown is listed -- probably generously -- on the roster handed out by the Giants as 5-foot-8, 165 pounds.

"I played football all my life, I'm not going to give up," Brown said. "I have always been doubted all my life about my being small. I just have to keep going."

During Monday's pair of practices, Brown's opportunities were limited. He worked exclusively with the third group, quarterbacked by Rhett Bomar. In the morning session, Brown made a twisting catch over the middle on a ball thrown behind him.

In the afternoon session, he made a catch on a quick in, then followed that by displaying the thing that got him his NFL opportunity in the first place -- blinding speed. Brown flew down the left sideline, left safety Michael Johnson in his wake and hauled in what would have been a 70-yard touchdown pass from Bomar.

It is that speed, reportedly sub 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, that has gotten Brown his NFL opportunity.

Back in May, after watching Brown in a workout in East Rutherford, Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked about what attracted him to Brown.

"He was quick off the ball and he made some nice catches," said the Giants coach. "He adjusted well, and went low and picked the ball out of the air.

"He was able to maneuver his body past the defenders when he was headed out on a deep route. He knows what he’s doing out there and he has some nice speed."

Coughlin's comments Monday would lead you to think he is still intrigued.

"I'm hoping whatever role we can place him in, whether it's a gunner or maybe eventually a punt returner, whatever role he can fit for us will help him," Coughlin said. "So, you have a really, really fast kid who has toughness and it's another chance for him to show his ability to be on the field, that's all."

Brown's experience as a return man is limited. As a sophomore at Rutgers he returned seven punts for just four yards and ran back 15 kickoffs, with a long return of 38 yards. The past two seasons he returned a total of just eight kickoffs.

Still, Brown believes he can help in either capacity -- if he is asked to try.

"I'm just waiting on my chance, my opportunity," he said. "If he [coach] really wants me back there he's going to put me back there.

"I feel like I'm going to be able to help at anything the coach puts me at. He wants me to block, then I'll get in and block. I'm waiting on an opportunity to show coach I can do things."

Brown had 55 catches for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Rutgers in 2009. He averaged 20.9 yards per catch. He told me that Philadelphia, Arizona and Miami were also interested in bringing him him to camp but that he chose the Giants because they were a "great fit."

"It was a great fit. I'm just going out and working hard every day," Brown said.

Interestingly, as a Miami native Brown has known veteran Giants receiver Sinorice Moss for several years. Brown, in fact, has worked out with Sinorice and Santana Moss in the off-season, as well as Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans.

He said he does not look at camp as a competition between himself and Moss for a roster spot -- even though the reality is the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Moss is likely the player Brown would have to beat to earn a spot with the Giants.

"Sinorice is a great guy. Not one time do I think about competing with him," said Brown. "I just go out and play, I'm not worried about competing with him. I just go out and play hard. I want to see him playing hard."

If Brown continues to play hard -- and blow past defenders like he blew past Johnson on Monday -- he might get to stick around for a while.

(E-mail Ed at Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)