Eagles Notes: Eagles' Bryce Brown aims to make the most of his first start

Eagles rookie Bryce Brown, whose last start was in high school, has 141 yards on 32 carries this season.
Eagles rookie Bryce Brown, whose last start was in high school, has 141 yards on 32 carries this season. (HARRY E. WALKER / MCT)
Posted: November 22, 2012

Bryce Brown spent last Thanksgiving in Knoxville, Tenn. He was not playing football and had the reputation as a former top recruit whose college career unraveled.

One year later, Brown is preparing to start for the Eagles in Monday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Even for Brown, who was confident he could become an NFL player, this was not something he could predict at the Thanksgiving dinner table in Knoxville.

"Not a starter" this season, Brown said. "I definitely knew I had the talent and ability to play."

Brown's opportunity could come if LeSean McCoy sits because of a concussion. McCoy, like quarterback Michael Vick, still has concussion symptoms and is at the first stage of a five-step process to return to the field.

Brown has served as McCoy's backup all season. He has 141 yards on 32 carries, including five carries last week for 35 yards.

"It looks like he's more comfortable in the offense every week," coach Andy Reid said. "He's doing a nice job in pass protection. That wasn't his thing when he first came here. So he's doing a nice job there. And he's a patient runner. When he goes, he goes. He's a big body, physical player."

Brown last started a game as a high school senior in Wichita, Kan. But he has worked all season in a complementary role, and he knows his responsibilities will be different as the starter.

"I haven't had more than five carries in a game yet," Brown said. "Rhythm comes once you get the ball a lot more. You're in the game plan more."

Brown appreciates where he is. His college career started at Tennessee before he transferred when Lane Kiffin went to Southern Cal. He reappeared at Kansas State but eventually left the program after one game. The Eagles gambled on him when they used a seventh-round pick to take him, and now he has the chance to start for the first time since he was a star high school recruit.

"Definitely grateful for it and thankful for it, because I've had a tough road," Brown said. "Mentally, I have to get my mind prepared, make sure I'm in shape and ready to go. I'm obviously going to get a lot more carries and be a lot more involved in the game since I'll be starting."

Scott stays in

Jake Scott is expected to start at right guard for the second consecutive game, meaning Danny Watkins will remain a backup. Watkins continues to deal with an ankle injury. But he's healthy enough to be active on game day, so he apparently lost his job to Scott.

Extra points

McCoy, Vick (concussion), wide receivers Jason Avant (hamstring) and Riley Cooper (knee), defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (foot and ankle), and running back Chris Polk (toe) did not practice Wednesday. Wide receiver Mardy Gilyard and Watkins were full participants. . . . Reid confirmed that defensive end Vinny Curry will likely be active. . . . Tackle Jason Peters attended the morning walk-through but did not participate. The Eagles have until Nov. 27 to activate the Pro Bowl left tackle.

Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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