Out of nowhere

Asked to pick one player he is particularly excited about having on the team this season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll opted for Brandon Browner – and then also added Dominique Byrd.

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Have you been impressed by Brandon Browner not only making the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, but moving into the starting lineup at right cornerback? You’re not alone.

Coach Pete Carroll was asked after practice on Monday to pick one player he is particularly excited about having on the team this season. The options presented a tempting smorgasbord considering that the new players start with an unrestricted free-agent class that features quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, tight end Zach Miller, wide receiver Sidney Rice, left guard Robert Gallery and defensive tackle Alan Branch and also includes a rookie class with seven draft choices and three promising undrafted rookies.

But Carroll did not hesitate in making the Browner his choice.

“He came out of nowhere,” Carroll said.

Well, not exactly nowhere, but the football equivalent – the Canadian Football League, where Browner played the past four seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. OK, so maybe Browner did come from just-this-side of nowhere.

“When he came out everybody lost track of him when he went to Canada,” Carroll said of Browner being part of the 2005 NFL Draft class coming out of Oregon State.

But don’t blame that on Browner. His extended exile in the CFL was not for a lack of trying to get back into the NFL. As he told Seahawks.com last month, “I was up there for four years, trying to get back every season.”

But the best he ever got was a workout. “It seemed they always passed on me,” he said. “It’s always been that way.”

Until the Seahawks came calling in January, signing Browner to a future contract before the 136-day lockout began.

That’s because Carroll and Browner have a history – and it goes beyond Browner playing for the Beavers while Carroll was coaching at USC. Browner played his high school football for Sylmar and Monroe in the San Fernando Valley, which was in Carroll’s recruiting backyard.

“Because I knew him growing up through high school and all that, it was especially fun for me to watch and see if he could pull it off,” Carroll said. “I always thought he was a really good player.”

More than pulling it off this summer, however, Browner has pushed, shoved and nudged his way into the Seahawks’ plans. Carroll has been looking for a bigger corner since he was hired 19 months ago, and the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Browner definitely is that. And he plays even bigger, jamming receivers off the line and jostling them for position while battling for the ball downfield.

“Didn’t know if a guy that tall could do it, but we love the fact that he can,” Carroll said. “And shoot, he’s starting.

“That’s a terrific story.”

via Out of nowhere.