A.J. Brown: "The Sky is the Limit for Me"
A.J. Brown was one of the best rookies in football one season ago for the Tennessee Titans.
But the Ole Miss football product isn't looking back. Instead, he's trying to find if a ceiling for his play even exists.
"I think the sky is the limit for me to be honest. I’m a great learner and I’m going to keep learning each and every day. That’s the biggest thing to my game, I’m a huge learner. Definitely a lot of things I can clean up," Brown reflected on his rookie year. "Year one I was just trying to play fast and not think about it too much, but year two I can really just key in and focus on what I really need to focus on, and learn a lot more stuff in regards to coverages and everything else."
When asked what he's specifically been working on this year, the answer was quick – everything. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has suggested that if there's one part of his game to really sure up, it's fining separation at the top of his routes.
And those details can be hard to find, especially this offseason.
Brown hasn't got much time to spend with his quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, this offseason because of the coronavirus outbreak. He says, originally, the plan was to meet up every weekend, but the pandemic put a halt to that.
He's still at his home in Nashville, where he has a trainer and has got to work with backup quarterback Logan Woodside. But work with Tannehill has been limited.
"I don’t think this offseason due to the coronavirus is going to mess anything up. You have to put in the work. The work shows," Brown said. "Just looking back, I just paid attention to the details and I’m going to continue to do that each and every day. Learning, like I said, and just getting on the same page with Ryan (Tannehill). Think what he’s thinking, because he’s the man in charge and I have to get open."
A rookie last year, drafted No. 52 overall by the Titans, Brown outperformed every rookie receiver drafted before him.
Making 11 regular season starts and appearing in all 16 games, Brown totaled 52 receptions for 1,052 yards and 8 touchdowns, catching balls from both Tannehill and Marcus Mariota, now an Oakland Raider. He finished third in rookie of the year voting behind Kyler Murray and Josh Jacobs.
Always one of the most heard voices in the Ole Miss locker room during his time in Oxford, Brown says he took a step back year one in the NFL. Now, after the impressive rookie campaign, his voice in the locker room is going to be more prevalent.
"I think I’m a natural-born leader. As a rookie, I didn’t really come in and say too much. I just had to come in and show everyone that I’m a hard worker myself and hold myself accountable," Brown said. "Now that I have some of my teammates’ respect I can start holding other people accountable too. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season, a big leadership role for me. Bringing up the rookies and everything, so yeah, I’m really excited for that."
Away from football, Brown is now a father. A baby girl, Brown's first, was born earlier this offseason. He jokes that he hasn't gotten too much sleep the last few weeks, but it's all a blessing. Maybe the sky is also the limit for the baby girl Brown.