7.) Rookie WR Daniel Braverman Will Gain 500+ Receiving Yards – Kenny Zook
Considering the talent above him, predicting that Daniel Braverman will start by the end of the 2016 season would be tantamount to rooting for an injury. So my prediction is that Braverman will be obviously good enough to start in the slot for most NFL teams. Why so much confidence in a seventh round draft pick? Is it the chip on his shoulder? The “always had to prove myself and always did so” attitude? That is part of it, but when I read an article about the Bears’ receivers coach, Curtis Johnson, Braverman became a lock in my mind.
My first reaction when I read about Coach Johnson was flashbacks from Marine Corps boot camp. I remembered how I hated my Drill Instructors. I also remembered how I loved them in the long run, because they pushed me to succeed at something I wasn’t equipped to do. If I had truly understood what I was in for, I would have never enlisted. They did not care. They pushed me beyond every limit I thought I had. That is what Coach Johnson does. He demands more from a player than the player is even aware he has to give. He’ll challenge their urgency, their guts, their commitment.
Now, many people might say that such harsh, old-school tactics might not work on some modern athletes. Johnson might be Braverman’s undoing rather than a key to his success. Well, what does Braverman think of Coach Johnson’s tactics? If he has spoken on the subject, his words flew under my radar. I don’t think Braverman needs words to answer the question, though. What has he done after every practice? He has stayed on the field to catch an extra hundred balls. Is that because of the coach, or just who Braverman is? I don’t think it matters. The kid is driven and has a coach who will always expect more. Daniel Braverman will push Eddie Royal and Marc Mariani for offensive snaps, end up with over 500 receiving yards, and shine in 2016.