by Michele Yowler
At the impressive height of 6'4 and weight of 266 pounds, Courtney Brown, defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, works diligently at making progress in his NFL career. Selected by the Cleveland Browns as the first overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Browns's 4.5 total sacks trail only Shaun Ellis (5.0 NY Jets) among AFC rookie defensive lineman. He leads the team with 20 pressures and has a total of 50 tackles, 35 solos.
Brown also holds Penn State career records with 33 quarterback sacks and 70 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. In 1999, Brown was the unanimous All-American First-Team selection. He was the All-Big Ten Conference First Team choice, adding Defensive Player of the Year, and Lineman of the Year honors. He was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurkis Trophy. He started every game at left defensive end, recording 55 tackles (33 solos) with 13.5 sacks for minus 107 yards and a school season-record 29 stops for losses of 150 yards.
With such an impressive college career, as well asa n excellent performance thus far in his NFL rookie year, it might be assumed that Brown is disheartened with the loosing streak the Cleveland Browns currently find themselves stuck in. However, he stated, "Well I try no to think about that, I take it one week at a time and focus on that. I try and work on the things that can help the team get better, myself included." Asked to assess his progress thus far in the NFL, Courtney said, "It's been a learning process, but I'm looking forward to getting better during the second half of the season."
Brown's attitude is one of quiet confidence. A man of few words, he walks out his faith with purpose. "I believe God is in control of everything and I personally feel that he is in control of my life and he put me here for a reason. I feel I've got to go out here and do the best that I can to thank him for the opportunity."
Receiving Jesus into his heart as a teen, Brown began a serious walk with the lord in college. Asked how being a Christian has changed him, the soft-spoken Brown stated, "It gives me a purpose and security in life to know that I am here for a reason. Whatever I do, I have to do it to the best of my ability."
Courtney meets with teammates on Thursday evenings for a Bible study. He believes this time of fellowship with other NFL believers aids him in his own walk, "It is helpful because you get to see other people and how they deal with situations. It encourages you." His favorite scripture verse is Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." "I have quite a few (scriptures that I like), but that one (Philippians 4:13) really encouraged me in college and I hold onto it."