Atlanta Falcons rookie running back Thomas Brown already has a following. The Tucker native and University of Georgia graduate is a fan favorite in Flowery Branch.
This season, Brown, a sixth-round draft pick, hopes to help strengthen what is already considered a stable running game behind Jerious Norwood and Michael Turner. As part of a series introducing the Falcons rookies, Brown, one of five former Georgia Bulldogs on the Falcons roster, spoke with Times sports writer Bill Murphy last Saturday about his first weekend of practice in the NFL, what he looks for out of himself this season and balancing life in the NFL as a newlywed.
Question: What was your first weekend of practice like as an NFL rookie?
Answer: Well I don’t really feel like I’ve had my first practice yet, since these two practices a day are like the OTAs (offseason training activities) we’ve been
doing during the summer. I’m really excited to get out there in pads and see how I measure up.
Q: Were there a lot of butterflies before you reported to training camp?
A: Yeah, the day before I got here there were a lot, but I’ve just calmed down a little and relaxed. I just got some quiet time to think to myself and got in the good book a little bit and prayed about my situation, just relaxed and have faith.
Q: What do you want to do to impress the coaching staff right off the bat?
A: I just have to show consistency. Down after down, I want to come out here and prove myself over and over again to the coaching staff that I can come out here and make this team better.
Q: As an Atlanta native, is it a big deal for you to get to play for the home town team?
A: It’s always been a dream to get to play here at home, but to be honest it’s something I never thought much about. The chances of that happening are like one in a million, so it’s a great opportunity to get to play right here in the city I was born in, and now I just want to get out there and show out for the fans.
Q: How does NFL training camp compare to summer practice working out for coach Mark Richt at Georgia?
A: In college I think it’s more stress on your body. As a professional, they allow you to do a lot by yourself, especially with the time we have off, and expect us to come in here in shape and prepared.
Q: Have you noticed that the NFL playbook is overwhelming, or have you fully gotten into that yet?
A: Not at all. We’ve put most of the playbook in and I feel very confident with how I’m picking it up thus far.
Q: How do you balance life as a newlywed with being away at training camp for an extended period?
A: I got married in April, the day before the draft, and it’s a little bit tough trying to get adjusted to being married since I’ve been with my girlfriend on-and-off since high school. So it’s different when you’re spending day-to-day with someone and then you have to spend three weeks apart.