By Samuel Njoku
Name: Arthur Brown – LB – #59
Weight: 241 lbs.
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
College: Kansas State
The Baltimore Ravens are a relatively young franchise compared to most in the NFL. However, during the team’s 18 year existence, Baltimore has had one constant in the locker room. Ray Lewis was the face of the Baltimore Ravens. And though his impact on the team, leadership, and work ethic will never be replaced, the front office in Baltimore has already set their sights on the next player who could perhaps replicate his performance on the field.
Filling the shoes of a Hall of Fame caliber player is never simple. Especially the season immediately after winning the Super Bowl. The Ravens brass needed to be sure that whoever they brought in would be able to get to work and not worry about the expectations or comparisons.
Baltimore fans already know his name while the rest of the league needs to say hello to Arthur Brown.
The Ravens drafted Arthur Brown in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft with the hopes that he could be their next great linebacker.
Brown attended the University of Oklahoma summer camp when he received national attention for running a 4.47 second 40-yard dash. One thing is for certain in football: speed kills. And with a blazing time in the 40 yard dash, scouts noticed that Brown would be able to chase down opposing players. After being highly recruited, Brown ultimately decided to attend Miami University, just as his predecessor Ray Lewis did over two decades ago.
Similar to Ray Lewis, Arthur Brown struggled as an outside linebacker. It wasn’t until his sophomore season that he was moved over to inside linebacker where he would flourish.
Brown would leave the Miami football program following allegations that he received benefits from boosters and enrolled at Kansas State University. A few months later, his stellar collegiate career took off. He recorded 95 tackles and two sacks his first season with the Wildcats, and would continue to put similar numbers until his senior year. In 2012, Brown won the Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year award. That year he registered 91 tackles with two interceptions and one sack.
Arthur Brown had the talent to make it in the NFL, but criticism remained that he was too small to play the position. This was similar to the criticism Ray Lewis had to deal with when entering the league. The Ravens didn’t let Lewis’ size bother them in 1996, and they didn’t let it bother them in 2013. With the 56th pick in the draft, the Ravens selected the athletic middle linebacker to replace the future Hall of Fame linebacker. And Brown knows that his shoes are going to be tough to fill.
“Honestly, the way I look at it is [there is] no replacing Ray Lewis”, stated Arthur Brown. “He is still a part of this team. He has had a major impact on so many guys that are already here. Really, I am just an addition looking to fulfill my role and be an impact player.”
With the transition that Baltimore has made over the off-season, an impact type of player may be just what the reigning Super Bowl Champions need.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.