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SPOTLIGHT
Albert Chen
September 05, 2011
DONALD BROWN, Running back
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September 05, 2011

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DONALD BROWN, Running back

The Colts' recent first-round picks, from receiver Anthony Gonzalez in 2007 to defensive lineman Jerry Hughes last season, have fallen short of expectations, but the biggest bust of all has been Donald Brown. Great things were expected of UConn's alltime rushing leader when Indianapolis made him its top draft pick in 2009, with the hope that he'd eventually take over from Joseph Addai and reignite a faltering ground game. There have been brief glimpses of what Brown can do (he rushed for 129 yards in a critical win over the Jaguars last December), but the power back's injuries and struggles with run blocking and picking up blitzes have limited his workload. (Brown had just nine carries in last season's final two games.) During the off-season the Colts re-signed the 28-year-old Addai and made Syracuse's Delone Carter their fourth-round pick—signs of how far Brown's stock has fallen. He starts the year behind Addai on the depth chart, but the Colts would like nothing more than for their third-year back to have his breakout season. "After being around for two years now, he understands the lay of the land," coach Jim Caldwell says. "He has a real good grasp of our system and what we're doing." Says Brown, "I know that the more experience you get, the easier the game gets." Brown better know this, too: His opportunities in Indy are running out.

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