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April 27, 2009

Brown back from his 'whirlwind' weekend

Everette Brown can finally get some sleep. "Collapse" might be a better word. There wasn't much room for rest with the weekend he's had.

"It's been a whirlwind," Brown, the second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2009 NFL Draft, said Sunday night. "It's been a great thing to get picked by the Panthers. The owner and the GM, everyone was telling me how much they wanted me to be a part of the organization."

The defensive end's draft experience turned out a little differently than he originally thought. Many considered Brown a first-round pick, but he slid into the second. Periodically, ESPN's draft coverage would drop in on Brown as he sat patiently in his suit and tie.

"It was tough," Brown said. "You go through the process and you have expectations, then you sit there and see things not go as quickly as you'd like them to. But you know eventually that your name will be called and it'll be a great situation, like it was for me."

Brown, a native of Stantonsburg, N.C., will begin his NFL career about a three-hour drive from home. He didn't have to worry about a car for his first visit to Panthers headquarters, though. A flight turned that from a three-hour trip to a 35-minute trip. Brown toured Carolina's facilities Sunday, held a press conference for local media and met with Carolina coaches and staff.

While there was talk before the draft about a move to outside linebacker, Brown said Carolina wants him at defensive end. That's not a bad position to play, considering he should line up opposite Julius Peppers, one of the NFL's premier sack artists. Brown used to watch Peppers play basketball when Brown was younger and Peppers was a star at Southern Nash High in Bailey. Now he has the chance not only to learn from him, but to play alongside him as well.

"I've followed his career," Brown said of Peppers. "That's going to be a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it."

The Panthers are looking forward to welcoming Brown into rookie camp, as they gave up a lot to get him. Carolina was without a first-round draft pick this year and handed next year's first-round pick to San Francisco in order to move up and take Brown. Brown said he'll employ the same work ethic with the Panthers that he did in becoming an All-American defensive end at Florida State, and he won't make them regret their choice.

"I've always had high expectations," he said. "I'm going to give them everything they wanted, everything they're looking for and more."


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