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Patriots Player Profile: Pharaoh Brown

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The Patriots got their first win of the season in a defensive slugfest in New Jersey, beating the Jets 15-10. An obvious part of the Patriots win was the lone touchdown, which was arguably the most exciting part of the game. The touchdown was scored by the third-string tight end, number 86, Pharaoh Brown.

At the beginning of the second quarter on a first and ten, Mac Jones connected with Brown, who was wide open going down the right seam out of a three tight end set, he was able to get behind the defense and take it 58 yards for the touchdown. The Brown touchdown would put the Patriots ahead 10-0, giving the defense a cushion for pretty much the rest of the game. A quarter later, Brown would catch another pass, this time coming out of the fullback position on a sit route. Brown stiff armed one man to break the tackle for the first down, and took on two more tacklers at the end of the play for some extra yards.

The recently elevated Brown would finish the game with two receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. During the long touchdown, many Patriots fans were all probably wondering the same thing, “who is that?”, which is a fair question, with Brown being a recent depth acquisition in the Patriots offseason.

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Before being elevated to the 53-man roster earlier this month, Brown was signed to New England’s practice squad in August after being cut by the Colts. The 29-year-old is something of a journeyman tight end, starting his career with the Oakland Raiders in 2017 after going undrafted out of Oregon.

After being waived by Oakland in 2018, Brown signed with Cleveland’s practice squad. Brown would eventually be elevated to the active roster in late October, but he would end the season early on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The tight end would re-sign with the Browns in April of 2020, but would be waived by September, finding himself on the Texan’s active roster. With the Texans, in week ten of the 2020 season, Brown would score his first career touchdown against the Browns. Brown would finish the season with 14 receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns, proving to be a career year for him.

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After a lot of bouncing around, it seemed that Brown had found his comfort zone in Houston, re-signing with the team in 2021, and going on to have yet another productive season. Brown would play in 15 games and put up 171 yards on 23 receptions.

It should be noted that Brown is more of a in-line blocking tight end/ third tight end, which means his touches are going to be limited from the get-go. The third tight end usually only comes on in heavy packages, and it is rare that teams throw out of a heavy package, so the receiving numbers are judged somewhat on a curve.

The next year, Brown would again re-sign with the Texans only to be waived, where he would then start his second stint with the Browns. In 2022, Brown played in 13 games, recording five catches for 45 yards. Brown would then go to Indianapolis for a cup of coffee, before finding himself with the Patriots.

Before becoming an NFL journeyman, Pharaoh Brown was a football and basketball star at Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Brown’s football skills gave him the choice of going to either Michigan or Oregon, and Brown chose Oregon.

The freshman had a quiet 2012 season with the Ducks, only catching two balls for 42 yards. In his sophomore season, Brown would appear in 7 games, starting in three of them, and would put up 123 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches.

One of Brown’s best years at Oregon was his 2014 junior season, where he caught 25 balls for 420 yards and six touchdowns. Unfortunately, Brown’s productive season would end in horrible fashion, suffering a gruesome non-contact leg injury against Utah. Brown tore two ligaments in his knee and stretched an artery, the injury required emergency surgery, and Brown almost had to have his leg amputated. The injury ended up requiring multiple surgeries and would take Brown out of football for all of 2015.

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Brown would come back with a vengeance in his 2016 senior season, playing in nine games and putting up 426 yards and five touchdowns on 33 receptions. This performance would earn Brown first-team All-PAC-12 honors. Despite having a great comeback year, it was still not enough to impress NFL scouts into taking him in the draft. According to his draft profile, the leg injury reportedly took away some of Brown’s explosiveness.

Six years later, Brown is proving that he can still be a serviceable depth tight end in the NFL, having adequate blocking skills, being able to lineup at the fullback position, and can just maybe rip off a casual 58-yard touchdown every once in a while. Brown has good measurables as well, standing at 6’6’ and weighing 255 pounds, he is however a bit on the slower side, recording a 4.83 second forty time.

It was surprising to see Brown making plays, since he is behind Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki, who are both proven NFL-caliber receiving tight ends. Brown may have fallen into a good situation with the Patriots, because Belichick and the New England coaching staff are known to coach and prepare everyone the same.

Whether you are the starting quarterback, or a backup special teamer, in New England, everyone is treated the same. With that being said, it would not be surprising to see Brown bounce between the Patriots active roster and practice squad this season, since the team is known to switch personnel around depending on what opponent they are facing.

The opponent this coming week will be the 2-1 Dallas Cowboys, in Dallas. With this being an obvious test for the Patriots, they will need more big plays on offense, like Brown had against the Jets. One would hope that New England can get big plays in more conventional ways, facing a list of formidable opponents in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for New England's heavy packages in the future!

Make sure to check out for your local sports updates! - WD

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