There are two J. Browns on the Arizona Cardinals but one goes with more acclaim than the other. Tonight, Jaron Brown put his stamp on the Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver group while John Brown remains sidelined with an injury.
The down was 3rd and 7 with Carson Palmer three yards deep in his own endzone after David Johnson narrowly avoided a safety on the previous play.
Palmer drops back from an empty set and launches the ball deep:
A great throw where only the receiver could get it but an even better catch by Brown over the Chargers top CB in Flowers and a gain of 23 yards and out of their own endzone. It's obvious that this play was designed to get 1-on-1 coverage outside and get the Cardinals' offense moving downfield, which is what Bruce Arians loves to design in an attacking mentality.
However, whether to design (hitting Brown if coverage was favorable on the blitz as a hot route) or whether there was a miss, there may have been a missed opportunity to hit David Johnson coming out of the backfield, here.
For those of you who like route concepts, the idea is to mix up the coverage where #20, the safety, doesn't know who to go after.
With the safety caught in the middle after being held up on Gresham's route in the coverage, Johnson's speed helps separate him where he has empty grass in front and the safety would have to make a shoestrings tackle to bring him down. Unikely as it may be, it's still possible he stops Johnson before the first down marker.
But I don't think so, as Gresham drew the other linebacker in coverage AWAY from the center of the field, giving Johnson green grass in front of him as he hits the second level, as the other safety was on Jaron Brown's side of the field.
So this begs the question....why highlight this portion when Jaron was the one who made the catch?
Is it to critique Palmer?
Not really, as he converted the play and got the first down. Rather, it's to show how David Johnson is used as a receiver and how Arians schemes to find mismatches in a team's defense and exploit those holes.
It's very possible we might see the same play called again except this time Johnson runs forward for a 40 yard gain up the middle. In the meantime, however, let's just enjoy the spectacular catch and the progress Jaron Brown has made this offseason.