10 New Orleans Saints who must make an impact in 2015: No. 6, Brandon Browner


Of all the players on our list of guys who need to make an impact for the New Orleans Saints to contend, I personally believe that our next player will make the biggest difference. I have been pretty consistent both in my short time here as well as my writing for TheSaintsNation.com in saying that I firmly believed linebacker to be the team’s biggest area of weakness, however, if you were to isolate one spot instead of a whole group, then there is no question that whoever started opposite Keenan Lewis was the Achilles heel of the team last year.

Whether it was Corey White or Patrick Robinson, or even undrafted rookie Brian Dixon, nobody looked good. More often than not, they were absolutely putrid.  I don’t think anyone would disagree when I say that the absolute number one priority this offseason was finding a corner who was at least NFL caliber. The team not only did that, but brought in a player who won a Super Bowl each of the last TWO years:

No. 6: CB Brandon Browner

It really wouldn’t be too much to say that Brandon Browner was the team’s ‘biggest’ acquisition. Standing at 6’4″ and weighing in at 220+ pounds, Browner is bigger than many linebackers. There are many elements I expect the veteran and former champion to bring to the Saints, but two in particular are why his presence on the team very well could make all the difference this upcoming season.

The first thing that Browner brings is a veteran presence and a true passion for the game. You hear the term ‘veteran presence’ or some synonym used in nearly every offseason sports cliche as teams, and those who write about them, try to convince themselves that this will be their year.  Certain cliches have a longer shelf life than others, and the idea that teams need ‘veteran leadership’ is one of the more enduring ones, and for good reason.

Veterans are valued not just for their knowledge of the NFL and their proven ability to produce on the field, but also for the way in which they approach the game. The ideal veteran is a player like Browner. He isn’t necessarily in his prime, but is still effective far more often than not. Brandon Browner is a player who is truly passionate about the game of football, and more specifically winning. He treats the game not only as something he enjoys, but he treats it like his job. It is far more than a game to him and he has no problem demanding the same incredibly high standards he sets for himself from his teammates. Browner is simply wired to work as hard (or harder) as everyone else around him.

There was an obvious lack of spirit at times from the defense last year, and the sheer volume of mental errors and ‘screw ups’ could only have come as a result of a lack of discipline. That is something that has just as much, or more, to do with attitude as it does with anything else. Browner is not the kind of guy who will accept a lackluster effort from anyone on the team, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to hear he got into it with some guys at training camp over the next few weeks for ‘dogging it’.

More from Saints News

The Saints lost a handful of veterans who understood how to treat the game like a job and be a true professional over the last couple of years, and players like Brandon Browner should help them restore order in the locker room (getting rid of some of the problem ‘children’ won’t hurt either). Don’t forget that it was Browner’s dedication to the film room and the small details that made him the key component to the New England Patriots‘ championship run last year. Make no mistake, Malcolm Butler might have made the pick to seal the deal, but if Browner didn’t completely blow up the play and ruin the route, Butler likely wouldn’t have had a chance to make the play he did.

It’s a play like that demonstrates the attribute Browner will most bring to the team, competency. Forget the fact that Corey White flat out can’t play, he also was constantly either out of position or trying to do WAY too much. Both factors made him a massive negative to the team. Browner is far from a flawless player, but count on it — he is going to know where he needs to be, when to be there, and will make sure he does it.

Oh right, we haven’t gotten to the on the field stuff yet have we? Let’s fix that.

Outside of being a true pro and a player who plays with his heart and through the whistle, Brandon Browner is also a pretty impressive physical specimen. Head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis knew what they were doing this offseason, as they made their own move on the chess board in bringing in Browner. The NFC South probably has more receivers with great size than any other division in football. Players like Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Kelvin Benjamin are supposed to be major matchup issues for opposing teams. However, Browner has both the size and the strength to match up with those behemoths one-on-one, and still feel like the advantage is his.

Nick Underhill, one of the fabulous people over at The New Orleans Advocate. did a write up on Browner after the team signed him. In that piece he pointed out that while Browner does struggle against smaller, shiftier receivers. he pretty much dominates the bigger ones (so most of the division). According to Underhill, against players 6-feet or over:

"“Browner has been targeted 186 times with 87 receptions allowed, five touchdowns, six interceptions, and 26 passes defensed. This adds up for a quarterback rating against of 71.75. Breaking it down even further, Browner has given up 44 receptions on 86 targets for 550 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions against receivers standing 6-foot-3 or taller. His quarterback rating against: 64.58.”"

Nick’s point is clear, and shows that people who know much more about football than me are also excited about his prospects as a Saint. Browner is the quintessential ‘press corner’, a guy who gets his hands on you early and uses his physicality to control receivers and disrupt their timing with the quarterback.  Being able to not only acquire a quality veteran, but also a player who allows them to dictate terms to their opponents and negate matchup advantages is something that brings unquestionable value.

Live Feed

Dolphins' tampering shows plenty, Deshaun Watson suspension and more
Dolphins' tampering shows plenty, Deshaun Watson suspension and more /


  • NFL Power Rankings Based on Super Bowl Odds (Preseason Battles Set to Begin)Betsided
  • New Orleans Saints surprisingly reunite with Kiko AlonsoNFL Spin Zone
  • Saints rookie kicked out of practice because he can’t stop fighting teammatesFanSided
  • Auburn football: Why there's optimism Smoke Monday will still live out NFL dream after 'significant knee injury'Fly War Eagle
  • NFL Power Rankings Based on Super Bowl Odds (Bucs Lose Key Offensive Lineman, Cardinals' Odds Moving)Betsided
  • It is highly likely that the team will use Browner somewhat similarly to how the Patriots used him last year. They will match him up with the opponents ‘number 1′ wideout with safety help over the top, and then allow Keenan Lewis to totally erase the team’s number 2. It’s a good strategy and with the Saints’ secondary being totally healthy (seriously, knock on wood), this year isn’t a pipe dream — they have the personnel to pull it off.

    There is a legitimate question as to whether Browner will have a bigger impact on the team on or off the field, but to me so long as he has a positive impact on both (highly likely), it doesn’t really matter which is bigger. The point is that Brandon Browner brings almost nothing truly negative with him (other than a flag or two…okay, or fifteen). Provided he is able to be close to the player he was last year, the Saints made an excellent pickup whose impact will be felt all over the field and in the locker room. Expect him to not only fire up his teammates, but also to inspire even more passion and tenacity in young players like safety Kenny Vaccaro and rookie linebacker Stephone Anthony.

    The true measure of Brandon Browner’s impact on this team will be measured in his ability to demonstrate what it means to be a pro and a champion, and whether his new teammates are receptive to the lessons that are there to be learned.

    More from Who Dat Dish