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Bryce Brown gives run game added pop

Posted Aug 9, 2014

Although Brown is one of four running backs in a deep backfield, his explosive runs made onlookers sit up and take notice.

Running back Bryce Brown was the backup who stole the show Friday night as the Bills took the field against the Carolina Panthers in the team’s second preseason contest. Although Brown was just one of four running backs to showcase the impressive depth the Bills have at the position, it was his explosive runs that made onlookers sit up and take notice.

“When I go out there, my goal is to make a play,” said Brown. “Every time I get a chance to touch the ball or be out there on the field my main goal is to make a play some way, somehow.”

Brown led the running back corps with 64 yards on 11 carries, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Much like the start to the Hall of Fame game Brown looked like he was shot out of a cannon on his first two carries with the ball. Following a fumble recovery by Manny Lawson to give the Bills offense the ball at the Carolina 28, Brown took a 2nd-and-10 carry up the middle and eluded defenders on a streak for 14 yards. The next play he gained the corner outracing defenders to the wide side of the field and nearly reached the end zone. He made contact with the front right pylon on the play, but was ruled down at the three-yard line.

“(My eyes) got real big,” said Brown smiling. “I should have gauged the sideline a little bit better. I didn’t realize I stepped out but that’s just part of being aware. I’ve got to be more aware. That’s something I need to work on a little bit.”

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Brown continued to gather steam until the Bills first possession in the fourth quarter when he broke off two runs again for 11 and 14 yards. The runs put the Bills in scoring position and after two runs by fellow RB Anthony Dixon, QB Jeff Tuel was able to hit WR Chris Summers just inside the front right corner of the end zone for a score.

“Any way that I can contribute and put my team in a position to be successful, I’m happy to do it so if that’s picking up big chunks of yards, then that’s my goal,” said Brown. “Like I said, I want to make plays every time I touch the ball.”

Brown’s performance did not catch his head coach by surprise. He’s fully aware of the combination of speed and power that he brings to the field.

“I think, in my mind Bryce Brown is a very talented running back that has the potential to start in the NFL,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “So I think what happens a lot, when he is in the game I think he is one of the better players on the field. So, his production is not surprising for any one of us.”

Brown believes he can more effectively maximize his rare talent just by being around the veteran backs he now calls his teammates.

“We’ve got some great guys in the room with me right now and I think that’s an advantage for me because I look at all those guys,” said Brown. “Growing up, watching them play. They’re great and having them in the room gives me a lot I can learn from and apply to my game as well.”

Dixon, who had a solid performance of his own, shares Brown’s views on the team dynamic among the running backs.

“You know, we’re just a product of each other,” said Dixon. “We push each other every day in practice. We want to be the best in the league. We’re going for the No. 1 spot. Regardless of what anybody says. We just got to make each other better every day. Coach (Tyrone) Wheatley coaches us hard and we compete with each other and push each other and make sure we’re playing to that bar we set.”

With three more preseason games remaining for the Bills, Brown has several more opportunities to showcase his talents to the coaches. Although there are names above his on the depth chart, he remains dedicated to learning and perfecting his game.

“The one main thing with me is to make sure I’m the best player I can be and I think that’s going to take care of itself,” said Brown. “Being able to make plays, doing all that. Those things are going to take care of themselves. I don’t worry about carries. I don’t worry about play calls because I don’t control that. The only thing I can control is when I get the ball, what I do with it.”