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Dyami Brown coming into Year 2 with confidence boost

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A player's confidence can be tested in his first year, said wide receivers coach Drew Terrell, and that's exactly what happened with Dyami Brown.

Brown, drafted with a third-round pick in 2021, was expected to be the deep threat that the Washington Commanders sorely needed for their offense. Thanks to injuries and a sporadic amount of playing time, those moments were sparse, and Brown finished with 12 receptions for 165 yards.

Things seem to be different this year, as Brown was running with the first team offense during OTAs and minicamp. He's armed with more knowledge heading into his second season, and there are still high expectations for what he can accomplish.

"This year, he's come in with a complete different confidence," Terrell said. "He knows he can play at this level. He knows he can be a big time play threat. He knows he can go out there and beat pro bowl corners one on one."

Brown was one of the best deep threats in college football at North Carolina. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the Tar Heels and was one of Sam Howell’s favorite weapons because of his knack for making contested catches (he was second in his draft class behind Kyle Pitts with 21 contested catches.

And in fairness to Brown, some of that did carry over to the pros during his rookie season. Three of his catches resulted in gains of at least 20 yards, including a 48-yarder against the Dallas Cowboys.

Still, Brown's production wasn't close to what he wanted for himself. There was a five-game stretch where he received zero targets and was featured in just 24 offensive snaps.

So, he spent the offseason watching film and taking notes on what he needed to learn and improve upon.

"For me, it was just being able to understand how to use my speed," Brown said. "Then there was another thing about just being aggressive and being who I am. A lot of the times, I was being passive just because I was like, 'I'm not sure if I should do it or not.' So, having that understanding of 'just go ahead and go get it.'"

It's clear that self-assessment has paid off, because Brown has looked more comfortable with himself this offseason, and that's "huge," according to Terrell.

"Outside of your natural ability and your ability to execute what we want you to execute, your confidence is probably up there towards the top," Terrell said. "And in our room, you have to be confident."

The Washington Commanders have wrapped up their mandatory minicamp. Here are the top photos from Thursday's practice. (Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)

Brown said there were several occasions where he could have been more aggressive, so this year, he wants to focus on using his hands to make catches as opposed to letting the ball come to him with a defender covering him.

That's a solid coaching point he gave himself, because as Terrell said, "every ball that comes to you is gonna be contested."

"You have to believe in your heart that this is my football and I'm going to beat this guy," Terrell said. "Because even when teams are playing zone, nowadays it's match up stuff, one on one."

Brown had a humbling experience in 2021 after being one of the best receivers in North Carolina's history. It's been a work in progress to rediscover his love for the game, and now that he has, the receiver is inching closer to making more of an impact.

"Going through the season, it's 18 long weeks," Brown said. "That's something I wasn't used to. It was at a point to where it was like a shutdown. But I had to find [the love for the game] again."

If Brown does manage to find a role in the Commanders offense in 2022, it should make the unit that much more exciting.

"I think Year 2 is a big one for me."

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