Saints DE Brown circling Bears game on calend
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...0-14124833.jpg Saints defensive end Alex Brown sacks the Panthers' Tony Pike. (Charlotte Observer)
By Brad Biggs Tribune reporter 2:48 p.m. CDT, June 14, 2011
For three weeks this spring, Alex Brown commuted to New Orleans to participate in the most well-organized and complete player-run practices during the lockout.
Now, the former Chicago Bears defensive end is completing his preparation for the coming season by working out near his home in the north suburbs while he also puts the finishing touches on the eighth annual Alex Brown Football Camp.
Even though Brown was cut loose by the Bears in April 2010, he not only has kept his home in the area, he has kept his roots in the community. That’s why he’s planning another camp that will be run June 28 through July 1 at Benedictine University in Lisle. It has come a long way since he started in 2004 at Trinity International.
“The biggest thing I get a kick from, because I have had the camp for so long now, I can see a kid go from eighth grade to high school and then get a scholarship to a school,” Brown said. “A very, very small part of me thinks I had a little part to do with that. It’s just fulfilling. Watching the kids like that.”
Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox, along with former Bears Jason McKie and Adrian Peterson, are in the mix of players scheduled to participate. But it’s more about working with the kids for Brown, and that’s why he’s still involved.
Three hundred campers are expected this summer.
“I’m out there every practice,” he said. “I’ve had only one kid who wasn’t happy, a young kid. He was crying and he wanted to be with his parents. I actually paid for his trip because I felt bad.”
Brown also provides scholarships to about 10 kids from his hometown of Jasper, Fla., every year.
“When I got involved in it, I had no idea it would turn into this,” he said.
After camp closes down, he’s hoping to have only a few weeks before he is off to his own training camp. Like everyone else, Brown is crossing his fingers the optimistic reports will lead to a deal between owners and players soon. He already has highlighted the Week 2 meeting between the Bears and Saints at the Superdome.
“I’m looking forward to that one,” he said.