Chicago Bears: Daniel Brown serves a perfect backup to Trey Burton
Daniel Brown has always been a tough player to find a role for with the Chicago Bears. His role should be much more defined in 2018.
Late into 2016 the Chicago Bears started to realize they had something in Daniel Brown. They had no clue what, but it was something.
Brown stuck around for the 2017 season, mainly for his special teams ability. However, the injury to Zach Miller called in the duo of Adam Shaheen and Daniel Brown to replace him.
We all have feelings about Dowell Loggains, but his handling of the tight end situation last season was not strong to say the least.
Still, in his role, Daniel Brown was solid. Matt Nagy likely looks at Daniel Brown and knows what he has there. Not quite a tight end, not quite a wide receiver.
Nagy has always liked the versatility. That is what has drawn him to Trey Burton. Trey Burton is what likely gives Daniel Brown a huge edge over a player such as Ben Braunecker heading into training camp at tight end.
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Curls and flares
As we highlighted after the signing of Burton, the Eagles were able to get him in space into the flats, and Burton was able to create quick separation on curl routes to produce most of his statistics.
Last season, Daniel Brown was 4-6 for 44 yards on curl routes. On flares, he was 1-2 for 4 yards.
They both put timing into their curl routes. While it is a bit blurry, below, you can see Daniel Brown shuffle his feet towards the sideline to draw the defensive backs in. He positions himself and catches the ball with the ability to turn upfield the opposite way of his shuffle.
Trey Burton works similarly from the far right tight end spot below. He is able to see the route over the middle. Stop, and cut upfield to come and get the ball.
Arguably the biggest question with Daniel Brown is whether or not he is a consistent enough blocker to even be labeled a tight end. Heck, he spent less than twenty snaps last season run blocking.
Still, the Chicago Bears did not sign Trey Burton to block either. Burton lines up inline as well, and has even lined up as h-back.
They are not worried about either and their ability to block. That is what Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen will be for.
So, as the skill players began to come in by the heap, and the shuffling of the roster continues where is the status of Daniel Brown? Likely strongly on the side of on the roster.
He has spent time on special teams with the team. Matt Nagy likely loves his versatility. He can do similar things to Trey Burton and would immediately provide help if Burton were to go down.
The team is likely going to keep four tight ends. While Ben Braunecker had some hype in the past, it is hard to see them going a direction away from Sims, Shaheen, Burton and Brown.