ENGLEWOOD - Let the record show Marlon Brown is not dependent on Gary Kubiak.
In 2013, when Brown was an undrafted rookie with the Baltimore Ravens and Kubiak was enduring his difficult final season as head coach of the Houston Texans, Brown had a career-best 49 catches, 7 of which went for touchdowns.
It was until the next year, when Kubiak became the Ravens’ offensive coordinator and Brown’s production slipped to 24 catches and zero touchdowns, that the two gained a mutual admiration for each other.
“He’s a straight up guy,’’ Brown said. “Real honest. I appreciate that about any man, any person. If you’re an honest, fair kind of person, I’m going to like you.’’
Kubiak is now the Broncos’ head coach. Even though Denver was already carrying more receivers than many teams with six (Indianapolis and Detroit are carrying just four), Kubiak liked Brown so much the Broncos now have seven pass catchers.
“We just think we’re adding a good player,’’ Kubiak said. “Obviously, that’s a lot of active wide receivers. It’s a very competitive position for us. We’ve been suiting six guys, so we think he can add to the mix.”
Brown played a third season with the Ravens in 2015, but he missed their final six games with a back injury. Free agency passed with Brown still on the market until Kubiak brought him in for the first day of training camp.
The back, though, wasn’t ready to cooperate.
“I thought it was OK and it wasn’t. they told me to go get healthy,’’ Brown said. “They told me you can play, just get healthy.’’
Three months later, Brown has returned to the Broncos. Given Brown hasn’t played in a full calendar year because of a back injury, he’s not expected to play Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
He could use a couple weeks to not only get his long, athletic body tuned, but become familiar with the Broncos’ playbook.
“I don’t want to put a timetable on it,’’ he said. “Taking it day by day. If they tell me to go run a route on Sunday, I’ll go run a route. Straight up.’’