Baron Browning is a beast.
At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, the former Ohio State linebacker ran the 40 in 4.51, hit a 40-inch vertical and jumped 10 feet, 10 inches from just standing.
That’s not just “athletic.” That’s freakish athletic.
But that’s also not how Browning wants to be defined. He’d rather be known for his attention to detail on technique at inside linebacker.
“I think it can help me a lot, but I don’t like that word that people often use. I want to be known more as a technician,” he acknowledged during the Broncos’ Rookie Mini Camp. “I don’t want to be known as a guy who is an athlete. I want to be known as a guy who is a technician. That’s where my focus is. Just getting with my position coach—Coach [Reggie] Herring—and my defensive coordinator (Ed Donatell) and just doing everything possible to keep developing my skillset to become a technician.”
Browning admits to having relied on his athleticism in high school, but at Ohio State he specifically worked on the details in his coverage.
“Being precise with where I want to have my eyes and being precise in my step replace and not jumping—staying square and making a man open me up versus opening up right away,” he said. “Just being more of technician in my coverage.”
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Having played both outside and inside linebacker at Ohio State, Browning has been slated for the inside linebacker position with Denver - a slot that could definitely use Browning’s strength and speed. And he’s excited to focus on just one position.
“I think it’s a great feeling just because I can focus on that one position and critique every small detail,” he said, adding that he embraced his dual role with the Buckeyes, but he’s ready to stick with one. “It’s hard to find all the small intangibles and critique yourself the same way you could if you’re playing one position.”
And Browning believes focusing just on the inside will allow him to use his natural instincts and athleticism even more.
“No matter how good of an athlete you are, if you give somebody a lot of responsibility, all those different responsibilities start to blend together,” he said. “I think playing one position allows you to play faster.”
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Although Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme is different from what he played at Ohio State, Browning has a lot of free time to study the playbook - and that’s what he plans to do.
“Yeah, it’s different, but I don’t have school now. I spend that extra time studying the playbook and I’m adjusting well,” he said.
Asked how long he thought it would take to “get comfortable playing inside” and Browning had a quick answer.
“I felt comfortable yesterday, so I guess not long,” he added. “I feel like your instincts just take over. For me, it’s studying the playbook, knowing my job and doing my job.”