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John DeShazier: Charles Brown appears to have inside edge on left tackle spot

Posted Aug 3, 2013

He started with first-string unit Saturday in Black and Gold scrimmage

Charles Brown

The election apparently is favoring the incumbent.

New Orleans Saints left tackle Charles Brown, who has been the starter at the position the entire offseason, seems to be enhancing his standing as the Saints progress toward the preseason opener against Kansas City on Aug. 9 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Brown, who started three games at right tackle last season and five games at that position in 2011, has worked with the No. 1 unit at left tackle whenever available. And was in his usual position again Saturday, for the Black and Gold scrimmage.

“Charlie Brown has done a great job all camp,” quarterback Drew Brees said. “They’ve all kind of developed the way that we would want. We still have four weeks of preseason games and we’ll see how it shakes out. But I love our unit.

“I think Charlie Brown, the times when he has stepped in in the past, he’s done a great job. It’s really just been a matter of (him) staying healthy. And he’s done a great job, (and) here we are 8, 9 days into camp.”

Brown has missed 14 games the past two seasons due to injuries.

While Coach Sean Payton said he preferred to study tape of the scrimmage before assessing the performances of Brown, Jason Smith and Terron Armstead, it remains clear that Brown – the more experienced of the three in the Saints’ system – is playing well enough to hold on to the spot that was vacated and left to him when Jermon Bushrod signed with the Bears as a free agent.

On Saturday, Brown said it was another opportunity for him to acclimate to his teammates. As a right tackle, he had to sync with right guard Jahri Evans and on the left side, he has to find harmony with left guard Ben Grubbs.

“I was just trying to make sure that me and Ben get our calls, get to the line and get set on time,” Brown said. “Just trying to get the timing for everything right, so that in that first preseason game it’s not the first time we went live.

“I felt good. I wasn’t too tired. It was kind of hot. I felt like our timing was good, we were getting off the snap count. I jumped it once, trying to get off quick on first sound. I got a false start but that was my only bad timing.”


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