This is the time of year when everybody is trying to figure out who is going to make the Ravens' 53-man roster – including the Ravens themselves.
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In many media projections, Arthur Brown is off the team because of the depth at inside linebacker. It's part of the dreaded numbers game.
But hold up a second. On Tuesday, Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke as if Brown will make the 53-man roster.
"Arthur has really come on. We played him a lot. We played him with the 'ones' a lot, we played him with the 'twos' a lot. He's flashed a number of times athletically," Harbaugh said. "As hard as he worked in camp, I think really he'll play faster in the regular season because he's so quick, so explosive."
As Harbaugh pointed out, Brown is in a "tough spot" because he's behind two very good starters in Daryl Smith, who Harbaugh reiterated is the most underrated linebacker in football, and reigning Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley, who is one of the best young linebackers in the game.
Then fifth-year inside linebacker Albert McClellan and second-year linebacker Zach Orr are two of the team's best special teams players. So they each have carved out key roles.
Brown has improved on special teams, but isn't quite at the level of McClellan and Orr. Yet the 2013 second-round pick has a lot of potential to continue growing as an all-around linebacker.
"He's done really well and I expect him to have a really good year," Harbaugh said.
A reporter followed up, asking Harbaugh if he was saying that Brown isn't on the metaphorical bubble.
"I can't say right now. Nothing's written in stone," Harbaugh said.
"You look at the numbers, you do the count, you're going to go, 'OK, what's it going to be?' That's for us to decide at the end. … But I know one thing, he's certainly good enough to be on our team and contribute for us."
Brown played in 14 games and made 15 tackles and one half sack during his rookie season. He played in just four contests with no tackles last year.
As Brown said, he's invested a lot of work this offseason to get better. He put on more muscle and has gained a better grasp of the defense. He said he's not viewing Thursday night's final preseason game as a situation where he's playing for a job.
"Honestly, I don't approach the game with [the bubble] in mind," Brown said. "I approach it like any other game as a great opportunity to showcase and contribute to this team while I'm here."
Brown said he doesn't look at his first two years as a negative. It's all part of the process, waiting for his turn.
"Approaching it with a selfish mindset, it can be tough. Me trying to get mine or me trying to succeed where I would like to succeed and be where I'd like to be, it does drain you and it does get tough," Brown said. "That's why every day I have to come out here with the mindset and focus on the team."