By Chris Emma–
(CBS) Daniel Brown arrived last season to the Bears’ locker room amid a frustrating season and went out to prove himself.
The Bears claimed Brown off waivers from the Ravens in late October, with just one win to their name, and thrust him into a role as he became more comfortable. Brown finished the final six games of the season with 16 catches for 124 yards and his first career touchdown, assuming the starting role at tight end after Zach Miller suffered a broken foot.
A year ago, Brown was switching from receiver to tight end, which felt like a second consecutive rookie offseason for him. Now, he’s fighting for playing time with the Bears and could put pressure on Miller, the incumbent at that position.
Brown joined 670 The Score this past weekend to discuss his offseason.
“This offseason, I was able to hone the skills that I had learned,” Brown said. “I think I showed a lot of improvement in this year’s offseason. I feel pretty comfortable going into training camp. Probably the best I’ve felt going into any camp since I’ve been in the league.”
The Bears added to their tight end room this offseason, signing veteran Dion Sims and drafting Adam Shaheen in the second round. Sims is expected to be an all-around tight end with a key blocking role, while Shaheen should be a major target in the passing game.
Competition will be steady at tight end after the Bears brought in Shaheen.
“It brings competition to the room, but I think competition brings the best out of everybody,” Brown said. “I think of it as an opportunity to showcase what I can do. I think Adam’s going to help that room tremendously. He’s going to be a good young player for us.”
With a month until the Bears take the field for their first practice of training camp, roles have yet to be defined in the reshuffled offense. Quarterback Mike Glennon will be leading the team this season, and he’s still looking to identify targets. Brown has seen the leadership of Glennon, whether it’s on the field or taking teammates like himself to see Jason Aldean in May.
After arriving to a struggling team, Brown hopes to be a piece of a turnaround for the Bears in 2017.
“The experience of last year helps everybody grow into the season this year,” Brown said. “I think everybody’s excited.
“I think everybody’s ready to prove that we’re a lot better than people think.”