Editor’s note: At press time, the New York Giants led the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-13 in the fourth quarter.
PITTSBURGH — So much has changed in a year for Andre Brown.
He has gone from competing with D.J. Ware for a roster spot to battling David Wilson to be the No. 1 running back within what is potentially one of the NFL’s best offenses.
When you consider Brown has been waived eight times by five teams since being selected by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, there’s something to be said for his resiliency heading into Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Steelers.
“Every year has been a different type of challenge, and the challenge this year, you know, is the biggest one yet,” Brown said. “Now it’s about attention to detail, reading the defenses, knowing the linebacker tendencies and knowing where the possibility of where a run’s gonna go pre-snap. It’s about just taking my game to another level where I’m not thinking out there, I’m just reacting. It’s like, I’ve seen it, boom, and I’m reacting.
“Always have an answer to the test. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to prove.”
He paused before adding: “Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL.”
Brown made the most of his opportunity last season, stepping into the spotlight when Ahmad Bradshaw got hurt and rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in his first career start.
However, he broke his left leg in Week 12 against Green Bay and missed the final five games of what had been a breakout campaign to that point.
That was a cruel blow, for sure, but it could have been worse, considering Brown’s status as a restricted free agent in the off-season. The Giants still showed faith in the 26-year-old, whom they drafted out of N.C. State, and he re-signed for this season on a one-year tender, meaning there remains plenty at stake for him.
Brown had four carries for 23 yards for the Giants on Saturday night. Eli Manning connected with Victor Cruz on a 57-yard TD pass in the first quarter. The Giants’ defense added a safety, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense scored on an Adrian Robinson fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.