NASHVILLE – Titans linebacker Jayon Brown loves to be in the middle of the action.
So having to watch his teammates play down the stretch without him in 2020 was tough.
And it's made him even more anxious for the start of the 2021 season.
"It's rough for anybody whose season gets cut short like that – you just want to be out there with your teammates," Brown said when reflecting on the end of last year. "Playing football since a young age and up to now, I have a strong love for the game and not being able to participate definitely wasn't the best feeling.
"Me personally, getting my season cut short last year, I am excited to get back and keep building on what I have displayed in the past. I just want to keep on getting better and having fun with my teammates and making plays and winning a lot of football games. … I am glad to be back and healthy now and ready to go out there and display my talents with this team and keep on building and growing."
See the Top Images from LB Jayon Brown's Offseason Workout. (Donald Page)
Brown, re-signed by the Titans earlier this offseason, took part in OTAs this offseason after suffering a season-ending elbow injury in the team's November 24 game at Baltimore, which forced him to miss the final six regular season games, and the team's playoff contest.
Brown had surgery and was placed on Injured Reserve. He's focused this offseason on getting even stronger in the weight room while working to improve his game on the field.
Titans inside linebackers coach Jim Haslett said Brown is a gem of a pro.
"I saw him every day last year (even when he was on IR) – he would come in the meetings and you could tell he didn't want to be in there because it was killing him not playing," Haslett said. "It is amazing from a coaches perspective when he comes back and you think, 'Boy, we missed him' because he can do so many different things for you. He has great cover skills, he is really smart, he helps everybody get lined up.
"It is good to have him back, and we just have to keep him healthy. I expect big things from him."
A fifth-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Brown is excited about what's ahead. Since entering the NFL, Brown has tallied 367 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 35 quarterback pressures, 17 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 28 passes defensed.
Brown tallied 76 stops and a sack, with an interception and four quarterback pressures, in 2020 before suffering the elbow injury.
Brown racked up a career-high 117 tackles in 2019, when he also had a sack, seven quarterback pressures, four tackles for a loss with an interception and fumble recovery.
"My goal for this season is always to improve on just my game overall, with covering and tackling and just overall being a more complete player," Brown said. "I want to continue to be a playmaker for my team and a leader as well. Being in this system with these coaches, I know what is expected out of me. They know my talents and my strengths and I am looking forward to going out there and making plays, getting balls out, getting interceptions, tackles, TFLs (tackles for losses) and all that good stuff.
"Overall, I just want to be a leader and a playmaker for this team and keep on building on my strengths and weaknesses while helping my team win."
Titans LB Jayon Brown visits Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles for the fourth episode of Off_ Days. (Donald Page)