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John DeShazier: Brandon Browner brings winning attitude, imposing size to Saints

Cornerback played for past two Super Bowl champions

The first thing you notice about Brandon Browner is that even by NFL standards, he's an imposing figure. Assemble all of today's supersized cornerbacks, and one who stands 6 feet 4 and weighs 221 pounds still looks big enough to warrant a zip code.

The second and third things you notice – with a bit of delving – is that Browner always appears to be a crucial member of a standout secondary, and that his teams win.

As in: He was a member of New England's improved secondary that helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl over Seattle in February, a year after he was a member of Seattle's Legion of Boom that helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl over Denver in 2014.

Before that, it was two years in Seattle as the Seahawks became a contender and before that, four seasons with Calgary in the Canadian Football League, where he was a CFL All-Star in his last three seasons and helped the Stampeders win the Grey Cup in 2008.

"He's a winner," Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. "All he's done is win Super Bowls and Grey Cups and everything else. He sets the standard. He's a great leader and a great player and we're fortunate to have him."

The Saints plucked him off the free agent market to fill a pressing need.

Browner, who has 11 interceptions and 46 passes defensed in four NFL seasons, is expected to be a fitting compliment at right cornerback to left cornerback Keenan Lewis, a lengthy (6-1, 208) standout in his own right, who was Browner's college teammate at Oregon State.

And he also is a positive locker room influence.

"It's one of the parts to the equation that attracted us to him," Coach Sean Payton said last week. "He's competitive, he's driven and certainly one of the things we talked about this offseason (and) through the draft, through the acquisition of players, is the makeup and making sure that that's something we felt was a plus. And certainly with him, we feel that that's a strength of his."

It doesn't take long to learn that the personality of Browner could loom as large as his physical presence.

"I've been around, been on some good teams," he said. "I think experience is the best thing I bring and I say that in that, I lead by example. I bust my butt day in and day out, and talk to the young guys when need be.

"Hard work, no complaining, you're doing something that a lot of people wish they could be doing. Don't take it for granted. Put it out there on the line for your teammates and that'll get the job done."

Literally, on the line is where Browner and Lewis figure to be. They'll press and jam receivers, taking advantage of their strengths.

"That suits what we do well," he said. "Me and Keenan are some long guys, we've got long guys behind us so that suits us well."

The Browner-Saints union almost happened sooner. He considered signing with the Saints last year before choosing New England. But after a year with the Patriots, the Saints lured him with a four-year contract and Browner's belief that New Orleans was ready to rejoin the NFL's elite after last year's 7-9 mark.

"I've got good buddies over here – Keenan Lewis, I went to college with and I've got a rapport with (safety) Kenny Vaccaro, we go down to Austin once a year and work out a little bit," Browner said. "Then across the team, we've got leaders like Drew Brees and Sean Payton is a heck of a coach, it just sold me. I was ready to be here.

"(The Saints being a championship-level team) is part of the reason I signed here. But just like those teams, I always felt like there was a lot of work to be done and I think I can say that for this team as well. There's a lot of work to be put in before we can speak about Super Bowl and things like that. But there's definitely an aura around this team and this group."

Photos of the New Orleans Saints OTA on May 28, 2015. Photos by Alex Restrepo (New Orleans Saints photos)

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