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Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown among 'NFL's grittiest role players'

Sounds weird for a speedy little receiver.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Gritty role player. That is the sort of thing you think of with baseball or, if in football, a fullback or a backup lineman or something. You wouldn't think a little speedy pass catcher would fit the mold.

However, SB Nation's Danny Kelly puts Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown into that category -- one of the NFL's grittiest role players.

Kelly defines such players as neither stars on a national level nor key go-to players on their team. That makes sense.

Here is what he said about Brown:

Playing behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, it can't be easy to rack up a bunch of targets, but John Brown burst onto the scene as a rookie for Arizona, catching 48 passes for 696 yards and five touchdowns. The speedy slot receiver had a knack for getting deep behind defenses, and when opposing teams were scheming to stop the Cardinals' big two offensive weapons in Fitzgerald and Floyd, Brown took advantage. He should continue to excel as their de facto third receiver in 2015, especially if Carson Palmer can stay healthy.

He has a point. However, if you listen to the talk this offseason, there is buzz about him becoming a go-to guy, a player who will break out.

It is tough to see that happening with Fitz and Floyd on the team, but if you look at the success smaller, faster receivers are having around the league, it seems less implausible.

For now, we'll go with it. Brown is a gritty role player. And if he ends up with 1200 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, maybe we'll be reclassifying him in a year from now.