Jayon Brown
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LB in NFL: Jayon Brown Off To Another Hot Start

Photo courtesy Tennessee Titans

It’s been another hot start to the season for Long Beach Poly alum and Tennessee Titans linebacker Jayon Brown, one of the more unlikely success stories from the local ranks.

Brown only started his senior year at Poly and didn’t start full time at UCLA until his senior year either, but the Titans liked him enough to trade up and draft him in the fifth round. His rookie season, Brown didn’t start a single game, but played in every game, and ended up with 51 tackles. Last year, he basically forced the Titans to start him for the second half of the season as he racked up a team-high 97 tackles.

This year, he’s started all five games for the team, and has a team-high 35 tackles, good enough for No. 31 in all of the NFL. That puts him on pace for 112 tackles this season–if he hits that mark, he’d be just the second Poly alum to put together a 100 tackle campaign, alongside Mark Carrier. Of the 43 Poly alums to play on the defensive side of the ball, Brown is already No. 8 in career tackles at 183.

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Brown isn’t the only Jackrabbit balling for the Titans, as multiple Pro Bowl honoree Jurrell Casey continues to star for the team at defensive tackle. 

Ageless wonder Marcedes Lewis continues to contribute to the Packers in his 14th NFL season at tight end. Lewis has at least one catch in every Packers game so far this year, and has already equaled his receptions and yardage total from a 2018 season that saw him almost exclusively used as a pass blocker.

The injury bug has claimed a few Jackrabbits this year, with Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and Ravens rookie Iman “Biggie” Marshall both missing time. Jamize Olawale continues his play as a blocking fullback for the Cowboys, and Quinton Bell is still on the Raiders’ practice squad. 

Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster continues to have a solid season despite the team’s injuries at quarterback. He had seven catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ loss, but also had a costly fumble in overtime.


Bruins alum Joel Bitonio has had another nice season on the Browns offensive line, where he earned a Pro Bowl nod last year. Bitonio’s Browns lost on Monday night to the 49ers.


Jordan alum John Ross hasn’t had great luck with injuries the last few years, and he’ll be sidelined for a few weeks this season with a banged-up shoulder. Ross won’t require surgery and won’t miss the rest of the season, but the injury was severe enough for the Bengals to decide to place him on injured reserve, so he’ll be out for at least three weeks.


Lancers alum Matt Pryor was active again for the Eagles last week, where he’s a backup offensive lineman. Ryan Pope was released from the 49ers’ practice squad.


Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.