Derrick Brown Discusses the Challenges the 2020 Season Presents

Schuyler Callihan

For rookies in years past, the transition from college to pro football was made a little bit easier. Due to the pandemic, it has made that transition a much more challenging one in just about every facet. 

No rookie minicamp, no preseason games, nothing. To make things even more abnormal, teams are conducting virtual meetings and are typically not allowed to meet in large gatherings, which makes it very difficult to build a relationship on and off the field with your fellow teammates, coaches, training staff, you name it.

Nothing about the 2020 season will be viewed as normal and for guys such as Panthers rookie defensive lineman Derrick Brown, every practice, workout, and film session will become more important than ever before.

“I think I’m missing the experience. That’s something that, you know, you can get your feet wet and I’ve been put into the situation that this is going to be the real thing. You know, it’s going to come out and it’s going to be best on best. In that situation, I just have to get ready for it.”

Regardless of the unideal preseason, Brown will have exceptionally high expectations heading into his rookie season. Over the last two years at Auburn, Brown evolved into one of the best interior defensive lineman in the country. Brown understands the lofty expectations that come with his first round selection, but he's more concerned with getting acclimated with the Panthers' defensive scheme.

“I mean to be honest, my goals are to go out and be a threat and do what I can to help this team," he told reporters. "I don’t know exactly what those look like quite yet and like I said, I’m still trying to learn the playbook, so I’m trying to get my mind right on that first. Before I can even play fast, I’ve got to be able to learn everything and not be cautious. You can’t put limitations on what you want for yourself in the season.”

Having a guy like Kawann Short on the roster should help make the learning curve less stressful for Brown. Most first round selections are coming into a position room that lacks experience and fortunately for Brown, that won't be the case. Short is an accomplished and respected veteran that will play a huge part in the Panthers defense and having him line up next to Brown will eliminate a lot of the pressure that Brown may feel to produce at a high clip right away.

Do you think that Derrick Brown will be slow out of the gate due to not having rookie minicamp and preseason games? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and discuss!

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