Browns deliver for Cardinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals may want to ask UPS if they can borrow their slogan.

They found out that John Brown and Jaron Brown can do quite a bit.

The pair of receivers was thrust into the starting lineup when Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn were sidelined for Saturday's preseason opener against the Houston Texans with injuries, and they responded by playing like starters. Jaron didn't have a monster game but he was methodic and accurate with his receptions, one of which went for a touchdown.

John, however, played the role of star in his first NFL action.

He was targeted 10 times, catching five of them, for 87 yards, displaying his speed and quickness on nearly every one of them.

"I just knew I had to step up," John Brown said. "So, it's basically showing those guys in case anything happens I can be the person to fill those shoes."

John and Jaron will get to stay in their roles a little longer. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Floyd tweaked his groin late Thursday and will miss six to 10 days while Ginn, who banged knees with a gunner while returning punts early in Thurdsay's practice, will miss "maybe" three days.

It has been a while since he took the field for an actual game, John Brown said. He claimed he wasn't nervous Saturday night but once he saw the defensive back drop back on Carson Palmer's first pass attempt, he it was coming his way.

He may have bobbled his first NFL catch but John kept his eyes on it until he secured it, and the play went for 25 yards.

Palmer, who completed all five of his pass attempts in eight snaps Saturday night -- two of which went to the Browns -- was impressed with the composure of both receivers.

"It's great when the day before, they find out 'Oh, wait, I'm starting? I'm in there with Larry [Fitzgerald] and those guys?' And to see the way they handled the situation, they weren't scared, they weren't nervous, there was no, 'Man, this is the NFL.' There was none of that going on. To see those guys react to just being in the game and making plays and doing their jobs was really good. I'm very happy and excited to see that."

For the past week, Arians raved about Jaron Brown's rapport with backup quarterback Drew Stanton. It seemed like Stanton found Brown on every deep route he called during training camp.

When Stanton hit Jaron on third-and-goal from the 5-yard line late in the first quarter, it wasn't quite a deep ball but it resulted in a touchdown.

"I felt like we're finally starting to get some kind of rhythm with the quarterbacks," Jaron Brown said. "That's one thing we work in training camp.

"With camp that's one thing we try to work on and eliminate the mental errors."

Only if there was a reward for the opposite. On first down near midfield with 7:20 left in the first quarter, Stanton targeted the other Brown, John, on a deep route. But 39 yards later, Houston cornerback Brandon Harris got tangled with the receiver as he tried to come back for the pass, prohibiting him from making another big catch. Arizona got the ball at the Texans' 19 and scored six plays later.

To Arians, it was just John Brown doing what John Brown does.

It's one thing to come in as a rookie, play like a starter and start laying roots on your standing on the roster. It's another for the defense to start taking notice.

"Oh man, he's a beast," defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said of John Brown. "He's good. He plays every day like he's hungry. He practices the same way. You can't expect him anything but greatness from him. He's been working his tail off and I'm very impressed with him. Real low key. Take some pressure off the other guys. He doesn't surprise me with his performance on the field because he does it in practice, too."