In this exclusive Q&A with NFLPLAYERS.COM, Brown, who has also served as a player representative for eight years, talks about his offseason and tells us his secret to a successful kicking career in the NFL.
Q: What have you been up to this offseason?
A: Really just the same stuff that I usually do. Obviously we train, for the most part, year-round. So you don’t take a whole lot of time off as far as your training goes. Other than that, for me it’s just been about relaxing, spending time with my family and welcoming the newest addition to our family in May.
Q: Congratulations on the new addition to your family. What’s the baby’s name?
A: His name is Burke Kristopher. He was born May 1.
Q: Were you able to do any traveling this offseason before Burke was born?
A: We usually always go up to Nebraska, where my wife is from, and visit family and friends up there. We have a lot of college friends and family up there. And of course, being a player rep, we go to Hawaii for the player rep meeting. So the kids always enjoy that, but that’s really about it. Obviously with our baby, we were kind of limited as to what we could do as far as traveling this offseason.
Q: You’ve been in the NFL for a long time now. What’s been the secret to your continued success?
A: I don’t know if it’s really any secret. I think I just try to work as hard as I possibly can. I work hard in the offseason to stay in shape. To some degree I think if you can play a long time in the NFL it has to do with a little bit of luck in terms of staying injury-free. That’s a big part of it — is not getting hurt. I think also, me being able to have some pretty nice game-winning kicks; I think that has helped me a whole lot in the last couple of years especially.
Q: Do you have any interesting training techniques or do anything unique to stay in shape?
A: The only thing I’ve started doing a little bit is spinning classes. It’s something new, challenging and different. I’m just starting it so I don’t know if it’s going to be something I stay with or once the season gets going if it becomes too hard to do.
Q: How would you describe the life of an NFL kicker?
A: I think it’s kind of changed a little bit. There was a stigma a long time ago that kickers weren’t part of the team. Usually, they weren’t really athletic and that’s usually the only position they played. But I think you’re starting to see a lot of kickers that have played other positions at least at some level in football. So I think you’re starting to get guys that are a lot more athletic and we’re doing things that the team’s doing as far as conditioning, running and lifting. I think some guys are looked at a little different than they used to.
Q: How has serving as a player rep affected your career and how has it impacted your teammates?
A: I hope that it’s affected their careers a lot more positively than it’s affected mine. And I say that because I hope that I’ve been able to help players throughout their time and if they had questions or issues they felt like they could come to me and we were able to resolve some of their issues or questions. For me it’s been good though just to stay on top of what the issues are and I feel like I can help educate guys in our locker room.
Q: What’s one of the more interesting benefits you’ve discovered while serving as a player rep?
A: Nothing has really caught me by surprise. I know a couple of years ago they extended the tuition reimbursement plan for active players after 2005 to where guys could go back to school once they’re done playing and utilize that benefit for three years. … That’s the one benefit guys should really look at. Especially if you haven’t finished your undergrad, it really gives you a chance to go back and do that. I think guys that have should really consider possibly thinking about going back to grad school.
Q: Do you have any plans of possibly taking advantage of the education program?
A: I’ll probably just go get my MBA somewhere to open some more opportunities and open some more doors.