May 21, 2024

Kevin Brown ready to dominate in year three

EDMONTON – Year three for Elks running back Kevin Brown is shaping up to be a good one.

The 27-year-old from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina has been a spark plug for the Double E’s offence since making his debut back in September of 2022. In only 25 professional games, Brown had churned and burst his way for over 2,000 total yards, due in part to his impressive 6.3 career yards-per-carry.

This season, Brown is gunning for the CFL’s rushing title and hopes to be an integral part part of an Elks team that he believes can be the top offence in the league. It’s a self conviction born from another year in offensive coordinator Jarious Jackson’s offence and the addition of an established quarterback who can push the ball down field.

“I feel very more confident and more, I don’t want to say relaxed, but I know the offense way better than I did before,” Brown said. “I have a good relationship with the guys and the coaches, so it feels great. You know, it feels like I’m at home. It feels natural.”

The Elks already had the CFL’s third-best rushing attack last season — driven by Brown’s workhorse ability and Tre Ford’s improvisational talent — but a bottom-ranked passing attack made it easier for teams to key on the team’s offence. Enter McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who has a league-leading passing pedigree and a ton of talented options in Eugene Lewis, Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Dillon Mitchell, and Kyran Moore to push the ball downfield.

Still, it will be up to Brown and his ideal mix of speed and stoutness that will determine how many yards he will rack up with the extra space provided by the passing game.

“I mean, he’s a guy that can go the distance if they don’t tackle him and he gets out in open field,” Head Coach Chris Jones said. “He’s about as fast as we have in the CFL.”

Where Jones hopes to see a little more growth is in the hard yards. Jones was complimentary of the shape Brown arrived to 2024 Elks Training Camp in, and it should only serve him well when he’s out on the field trying to turn nothing into something.

“KB’s a tough kid,” Jones said. “The thing I want him to do is when there’s nobody blocked, you’ve got to get behind your pads and get us about three (yards).”

The first chance to see Brown operate in the Elks new-look offence will be this Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium, when the Elks take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders to kickoff their preseason. The first-team offence is expected to see their fair share of action on Saturday, so fans will get a real taste of what the regular season has to offer — as will the players.

It’s been nearly seven months since Brown has run through the tunnel at Commonwealth Stadium and heard the roar of the crowd. It’s an experience the Elks running back says can’t be beat.

“The feeling is unreal. It’s amazing. It’s like a kid waking up for the first time on Christmas,” Brown said.  “Have you ever went to the dentist and they told you can eat a certain thing for so long and then once you taste it you just fall in love with it again? That’s kind of what it feels like.”