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Brown completes NFL aspirations

Brown completes NFL aspirations

Brown completes NFL aspirations

HOUSTON (AP) – Former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns star C.C. Brown wasn’t asked to the NFL combine, and in high school he had given up on football and enlisted in the Army by the time he was offered a junior college scholarship.

The Texans gambled that the Mississippi National Guardsman and strong safety wouldn’t be called to active duty by picking him in the sixth round.

Less than five months later, Brown enters Houston’s season opener at Buffalo as a starter.

He’ll be the only rookie starting for Houston, a turn of events that has shocked the humble and quiet player.

"I probably won’t believe it until Sunday at game time," he said.

The Texans are high on the hard hitter and even harder worker.

"He’s a bright guy," coach Dom Capers said. "He’s on top of his assignments, and we look forward to seeing him play every week to see how much progress he’s made."

Brown saw plenty of action in the preseason and led the team with 20 solo tackles.

In his first game, he had seven tackles and nearly intercepted a pass in the end zone against Denver.

Brown took advantage of the oft-injured Glenn Earl’s separated shoulder to snag the spot.

When the Houston defense lines up today, the UL product’s stomach will undoubtedly be churning.

"I’m nervous because it’s going to be my first NFL game, but I’m going to be all right after the first snap," Brown said. "I feel that I’m ready. I mean, you’re going to make mistakes whether you’re a rookie or a 10th-year player. The thing is to try not to make too many."

Free safety Marcus Coleman, a 10-year NFL veteran and the unofficial leader of the secondary, agreed and said he’ll be there to help Brown.

"He’s going to make some mistakes," Coleman said. "I mean he’s young. It kind of comes with the territory. If he does make a mistake, I’m just going to pat him on the back and say, ‘Hey you’ve got to forget about it and let’s go onto the next play."’

Originally published September 11, 2005