Giants' Andre Brown comes 'full circle'

After injury and whirlwind tour of NFL, running back returns to Big Blue training camp

Updated: August 9, 2011, 3:05 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk |

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Andre Brown took the handoff, darted through a hole, planted his foot and made a cut so quickly that the defender trying to tackle him practically froze.

Members of the Giants' first-team offense watching on the sideline were buzzing over the move by the running back who is looking for a second chance with the Giants and a seventh chance at an NFL job.

"He's faster," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of Brown. "I think all his issues with his legs are passed and he does look more explosive."

[+] EnlargeAndre Brown
Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireTwo years after an Achilles injury, Andre Brown believes he can still cut it in the NFL.

If others had taken the path Brown has had to take in his brief NFL career, they might have lost not only their speed but also their desire.

After being drafted by the Giants in the fourth round in 2009, Brown ruptured his Achilles tendon in training camp and spent the season on the injured reserve list. The Giants released Brown prior to last season and the 6-foot running back proceeded to bounce around the NFL.

"I've been around the world," Brown says. "I went from here to Denver, from Denver to Indianapolis, from Indianapolis to Carolina. I was in Indianapolis for about two games. I went to Carolina for you might as well say, like, a day. Then from Carolina [I] went back out to Denver, and then I went to Washington."

He finished the 2010 season with the Redskins but they released him last month, and the Giants gave him an opportunity to come back.

Brown said he kept in shape in Florida with a personal trainer while working out with other running backs like Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew and Ahmad Bradshaw.

It was during these workout sessions that he began to see he could cut again and regain the explosion he had prior to the Achilles injury.

"Last year, I was just getting out from surgery so I just felt that I could run straight ahead," Brown said. "I couldn't make cuts like I wanted to, and I am a natural jump-cutter. I like to jump in and out of things, but I didn't feel that pop."

That "pop" in his step is back. And, if he continues to improve, Brown hopes to challenge third-string running back D.J. Ware in camp for reps.

Just being back in Giants camp has helped Brown feel better mentally, as well.

"I know most of the guys, and I am comfortable around them," Brown said. "They drafted me, I like the coaching staff, I like everybody in the facility, and this is where I am comfortable. I think that is also helping me run the way that I am because I am happy where I am and I am comfortable."

Because Brown lived such an uncomfortable NFL existence, bouncing around the league, he figured he needed to start preparing for life outside of football, so he took a few summer jobs at a couple of marketing firms. He also helped out in public relations for the Carolina Mudcats, a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

"I worked a couple weekends," he said. "They had me doing intern work. I was doing most of the information and getting all the stats and stuff like that. You could say I was just following people around."

Now Brown hopes he can finally stay put in one place -- and call New York home.

"It would be a storybook ending," said Brown, who will mark the second anniversary of his Achilles injury on Aug. 14. "Now I have come full circle."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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