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  • Orlando Brown Jr. grew up in his father's world.

     

    He hung out in NFL locker rooms. He learned the mentality required of a successful offensive lineman. He even began to value the college diploma his father never earned.

    Now the massive Oklahoma tackle is about to enter a different universe Lamar Jackson Youth Jersey , one in which he will be poked and prodded, measured and compared. And he will no doubt hear a litany of questions about his late, great, dear old dad.

    "I don't necessarily model my game after him," Brown said Thursday at the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. "I can't really study dad because it's a different game. So much has changed between 1993 and now."

    Make no mistake, the same traits Orlando "Zeus" Brown used to carve out a more than decade-long career with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens still work.

    He was known as a tough, physical blocker who could steamroll anyone in his way.

    The second-generation star still relies on power but understands he must be leaner and more athletic to succeed in today's up-tempo, no-huddle track meets.

    Still, he was born into the family business.

    "I've been fat my whole life," he said when asked if ever didn't want to play on the line. "I wish I was fast. If I was 6-foot-2, I'd probably be playing DB. But God blessed me."

    With dad's genes.

    Brown fins himself in good company this weekend. There are plenty of family ties around Indy.

    Some, like Brown and running back Chris Warren III, are now playing their fathers' positions.

    Others have more recent ties 鈥?especially among the linemen.

    The brother of Michigan State's Brian Allen B.J. Hill Color Rush Jersey , Jack, has played the last two seasons with the New Orleans Saint The brother of UCLA's Scott Quessenberry, David, suited up for the Houston Texans last December after waging a long battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

    Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey even claimed to try catching passes from cousin Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons.

    "We went out and he started throwing passes to me and the balls were going over my head every time," said McGlinchey, a high school tight end at the time. "I said 'What are you doing? He said 'That's where Julio (Jones) usually is. I told him, 'Ok, I'm not that guy.'"

    Nobody has a bigger legacy to fulfill than Brown.

    He described his play that first season in Norman, Oklahoma, as "really bad."

    Since then, there have been few complaints.

    Brown started 40 consecutive games for the Sooners and was twice named an All-American. He insisted he wouldn't leave school until he had a first-round projection.

    At 6-8, 360 pounds, Brown could be one of the biggest players chosen in this class.

    The problem: He did only 14 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press Rashaad Penny Jersey , the lowest total of any lineman who has lifted at the combine.

    Brown knows it's a problem that must be corrected at his pro day and the stigma could stick with him through the end of April.

    "I didn't stick to my breathing routine," he said. "That's the lowest number I've done."

    But Brown has repeatedly demonstrated his strength on and off the field.

    When his father died from diabetic ketoacidosis in September 2011, the grieving son's academics suffered.

    Things deteriorated so much the University of Tennessee pulled a scholarship offer.

    Then, Brown woke up.

    "I made up my mind to not ever let academics be a problem again," he said.

    It hasn't been.

    Yet with so much at stake over the next three months, Brown must show that he's more than just a big, passionate player who enjoys studying the game and the history of it.

    He must carve out his own identity in this new football world.

    "I think my biggest asset is my football I.Q. I understand the game, I understand the NFL, I understand what it takes," Brown said. "I've always loved football and the personnel part and I learned a lot by growing up around it."

    Note: Army offensive lineman Brett Toth said he has applied for a waiver to enter the NFL but has not yet been given any assurance it will be granted by draft weekend. "I hear occasionally they've been talking about it. But they have other things far more important than me. They've got to worry about the whole Middle East."

    To say Kole Calhoun was struggling would be an understatement.

    When the Los Angeles Angels‘ right fielder was placed on the disabled list June 2 with a strained right oblique, he was in a 12-for-122 slump (.098), dropping his season average to .145.

    “Every day is a new day,” Calhoun told the Orange County Register last week. “You’ve still got to go out and perform. I’m not thinking about it much honestly. I just want to go out and have a good game. Just going out and trying to help the team win.”

    He did that Wednesday Uchenna Nwosu Jersey , going 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs as the Angels snapped the host Seattle Mariners‘ eight-game winning streak with a 7-4 victory. The teams wrap up their three-game series Thursday night at Safeco Field.

    Calhoun has hit two home runs in his past three games after hitting just three in his previous 62. Since returning from the DL on June 18, he’s batting .306 (15-for-49) with three doubles, four home runs, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.

    That’s helped Calhoun raise his batting average to .180.

    He even returned to the leadoff spot in the batting order last week in Baltimore, a spot he held in previous seasons.

    “Kole has made some adjustments and hopefully it will pay off,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told The Register.

    Scioscia said one key for Calhoun is he’s been more selective at the plate as of late.

    “He’s had a good eye in previous years,” Scioscia said. “It’s been a part of his game, but it’s been elusive this year.”

    The Angels will send rookie right-hander Jaime Barria (5-4, 3.40 ERA) to the mound Thursday in place of left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right adductor strain. Barria suffered a 6-3 loss on June 12 at Seattle, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits in five innings.

    The Mariners are scheduled to start left-hander Marco Gonzales (8-5, 3.77 ERA). Gonzales is 0-0 with a 4.66 ERA in four career starts against the Angels, including two earlier this season.

    Gonzales is coming off his first career complete game in a 4-1 victory against Kansas City. Gonzales lost the shutout bid on Mike Moustakas’ two-strike Troy Apke Color Rush Jersey , two-out single in the ninth inning.

    “It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work this year and having the right guys behind me,” Gonzales said after his last start. “Those guys played incredible defense behind me and when your team gives you a lead in the first half of the game, you inch closer to eyeing the end. From the first inning I just had the mentality that this is my game and I’m going to go as deep as I can.”

    Gonzales has been a big part of Seattle’s success this season after earning the No. 5 spot in the rotation this spring.

    “He’s matured, there’s no question,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Gonzales. “It always works better when guys earn it. He has a lot of confidence right now because everything that’s happened this year, he’s earned. From coming into spring training, winning a spot in our rotation, he continues to build throughout the season.”

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