By Brady Henderson
Brandon Browner came to Seattle last winter for a workout with the Seahawks, hoping his latest audition would finally land him a job in the NFL.
In case he needs another reminder of how much his fortunes have turned in a year, he should look no further than the place he’ll spend part of this winter. That would be Hawaii, where he’ll play in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
“That sounds amazing, man,” the Seahawks cornerback told “Bob and Groz” Tuesday when asked what it’s like to hear “Pro Bowler” precede his name. “It’s a blessing.”
Brandon Browner had a team-high six interceptions and led the league with 23 passes defended. (AP)
Browner, a first alternate, was added to the NFC roster Monday night as a replacement for San Francisco’s Carlos Rogers, who won’t play due to an injury. He will join strong safety Kam Chancellor, free safety Earl Thomas, fullback Michael Robinson and running back Marshawn Lynch to form the franchise’s largest Pro Bowl contingent since the 2005 team had seven representatives.
That’s quite a turnaround for a franchise that didn’t have one player make the Pro Bowl in either of the last two seasons.
The same can be said for Browner, who had spent the last four seasons in the Canadian Football League, coming up empty each time he tried out for an NFL team.
“Those tryouts a little bit dampered my spirits,” he said, “had me feeling like maybe I wasn’t good enough or whatnot.”
Browner had one goal in mind when Pete Carroll brought him in for a workout.
“It was most definitely just to make the team. I told coach Carroll at my workout that I would really appreciate a shot — a legitimate shot — at making this team,” he said. “A lot of guys get shots but there are a lot of guys brought in (to be) camp bodies. I told him, ‘You brought me in. I can do some things with this team.’
“I felt the need at the cornerback position; I thought they were a little small and I felt I could do some things with the team. That’s how it worked out for me.”
After signing a futures contract in January, Browner was pressed into action during training camp while Walter Thurmond was sidelined with an ankle injury. He kept the job, starting all 16 games while helping Seattle’s pass defense improve from 27th in 2010 to 11th this season. Browner had a team-high six interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. He led the league in passes defended with 23.
Browner’s aggressive coverage worked for him at times and against him at others. He was among the league’s most penalized cornerbacks, an issue he intends to curb next season.
“I’ve always been a big guy who’s always dealt with being overly aggressive at times,” he said. “I think I led the CFL in penalties, and that’s not something I want to be known for. I’ve always had to work on that. And next season I’m looking forward to knocking those down and taking those out of my game.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson
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