Player Watch #50: Ben Brown - finished 2018 with 61 goals - second in Coleman Medal

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spongebucket

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Brown looked lost today and through the JLT could be a liability this year, slow, clunky, the only way I see him getting his goals is through free kicks. The entry into the forward line wasnt the best today either so I will give him that, but geese he looks far from the same player as last season.
 

susurrar

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obviously he wasnt the root problem today but i have to say i have serious concerns about him. i think hes been looking really awful for quite a while now. of course it is that much worse that our forward line is so one dimensional. it is very easy to stop brown. only looks like scoring from free kicks.

thank god he can kick. great set shot banana from a fair distance for his first goal.
 
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obviously he wasnt the root problem today but i have to say i have serious concerns about him. i think hes been looking really awful for quite a while now. of course it is that much worse that our forward line is so one dimensional. it is very easy to stop brown. only looks like scoring from free kicks.

thank god he can kick. great set shot banana from a fair distance for his first goal.
Agreed 100%. He has kicked a lot of goals the past couple of years but I find him seriously hard to watch - plays for free kicks a lot, plays from behind far too often and is just so slow. Sure he gets impeded a bit but all forwards do, and not all of them fall over every time someone goes near them. Desperately needs a second key forward to free him up to make those long leads that work for him. The fact that players kick it on his head half the time doesn't help either. I don't know I am just bloody furious with everyone at the moment.
 

Snake_Baker

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Started to turn the corner. Has slightly improved over his 3 matches. Will be at home under the roof next week, so I am expecting more improvement, although Andrews will be a handful.

Andrews picked up 17 rebounds, so BBB may have to play decoy. Larkey might actually be a good tactical option this week.
 

Pykie

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Has been less than average since the midpoint of last season.
Yep,

Seriously worrying.

I don't for one second abide by the Waite factor.

He is one of the most used forwards in the league in terms of forward entries.

He is looking to get behind his defender on the ground at every opportunity instead of attacking the ball in the air like he usually does, he's not leading anywhere near as much, instead he wants the ball on his head, so he can try and get over the back.

He had 4 or 5 one-on-one opportunities that he completely bottled or just didn't hold the mark yesterday that was delivered absolutely fine to him, this had absolutely nothing to do with having another forward there. That is plainly just a deflected cop out imo.

He's looking for cheap joe the goose goals constantly atm. Bitterly dissapointing last 10-12 rounds considering he looked like the odds on Coleman medalist in the first half of last season.

He has been among the best contested marking players in the league the last 4 seasons.

He averaged 2.3 contested marks per game in 2016.
He averaged 2.5 in 2017.
He averaged 2.25 in the first half of 2018.
He averaged 1.4 in the second half of 2018.



Either teams have figured out how to defend him, or the blow torch needs to start to be applied as a senior player imo.
 
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Has been less than average since the midpoint of last season.
The nagging thought has been there for a while - "when did Ben Brown's performances become ... well.. shit?"

There's usually some overcompensation for judging key forwards and justifiably so for North Melbourne ones.

Yep, the midfield delivery is probably shite.

Yep, they're probably getting human centipeded by 3 opponents the while umpire watches on, snag in hand while recording it on his handicam.

Yep, they're probably playing with serious injury coz we couldn't possibly risk playing kid X from the VFL because they haven't served a 140 game apprenticeship (before their delisting) yet.

But even allowing for those pre-conditions, Ben has been off the boil for quite a while. The game that stood out was vs West Cost last year when Schoefield well and truly owned him despite standing and weighing roughly one Hrovat less.

Somewhere along the way, when Ben was impeded with hip injury and badly out of form, some genius came up with this brilliant plan (TM Baldrick) for his return to glory:

1. Now that his already wonky centre of gravity is compromised further by wonky hip, why not start wrestling opponents as if he's a 25yo Wayne Carey?

2. Now that he's proven to almost never get to 100% condition because of various leg injuries and is appalling in almost ever ruck contest he's ever contested and is the only bloke vaguely capable of marking a ball in our forward line..why not pull him out of the forward line and throw him in the ruck to freshen up?
 

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TennisPlayerAndy

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The nagging thought has been there for a while - "when did Ben Brown's performances become ... well.. shit?"

There's usually some overcompensation for judging key forwards and justifiably so for North Melbourne ones.

Yep, the midfield delivery is probably shite.

Yep, they're probably getting human centipeded by 3 opponents the while umpire watches on, snag in hand while recording it on his handicam.

Yep, they're probably playing with serious injury coz we couldn't possibly risk playing kid X from the VFL because they haven't served a 140 game apprenticeship (before their delisting) yet.

But even allowing for those pre-conditions, Ben has been off the boil for quite a while. The game that stood out was vs West Cost last year when Schoefield well and truly owned him despite standing and weighing roughly one Hrovat less.

Somewhere along the way, when Ben was impeded with hip injury and badly out of form, some genius came up with this brilliant plan (TM Baldrick) for his return to glory:

1. Now that his already wonky centre of gravity is compromised further by wonky hip, why not start wrestling opponents as if he's a 25yo Wayne Carey?

2. Now that he's proven to almost never get to 100% condition because of various leg injuries and is appalling in almost ever ruck contest he's ever contested and is the only bloke vaguely capable of marking a ball in our forward line..why not pull him out of the forward line and throw him in the ruck to freshen up?
The nagging doubt of which you speak is probably a flea, Mr Ploppy.
 

Mcarcherey

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Yep,

Seriously worrying.

I don't for one second abide by the Waite factor.

He is one of the most used forwards in the league in terms of forward entries.

He is looking to get behind his defender on the ground at every opportunity instead of attacking the ball in the air like he usually does, he's not leading anywhere near as much, instead he wants the ball on his head, so he can try and get over the back.

He had 4 or 5 one-on-one opportunities that he completely bottled or just didn't hold the mark yesterday that was delivered absolutely fine to him, this had absolutely nothing to do with having another forward there. That is plainly just a deflected cop out imo.

He's looking for cheap joe the goose goals constantly atm. Bitterly dissapointing last 10-12 rounds considering he looked like the odds on Coleman medalist in the first half of last season.

He has been among the best contested marking players in the league the last 4 seasons.

He averaged 2.3 contested marks per game in 2016.
He averaged 2.5 in 2017.
He averaged 2.25 in the first half of 2018.
He averaged 1.4 in the second half of 2018.



Either teams have figured out how to defend him, or the blow torch needs to start to be applied as a senior player imo.
i'd be interested to see his free kick stats over that same period - he may've marked less but most likely due to marking infringements, hence his goal tally hasn't dropped...

In general to all the negative posts here - seems ppl have forgotten he was overlooked in 3 drafts, persisted and has become easily a top 5 AFL key forward. We've always known he isn't athletic, i don't know why it's being brought up now... His strengths are his fitness, footy IQ/leading patterns and marking ability. He never has and never will be the kind of forward you can put him 1 on 1 to wrestle or outrun his opponents. He's a hard worker and he's come back from 1 bad game. He came second in the 2018 coleman, i don't subscribe to him being out of form since halfway through 2018, he's always had within-season slumps.

he plays an important role and he does to an elite standard - he's not a franklin or cameron type and i find that to be better, i'd rather get brown knowing he's consistent, hard-working and gets on the park. It's better than paying overs for someone who is a absolute star but doesn't get on the park and relying on that player to win you a premiership.
 

Black2Blue

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Our forward line needs a serious make-over. Apart from JZ, Brown is the only serious multiple goal kicker we have. And when our small forwards offer little threat, the defence can strangle BBB. Either Watson or Larkey need to be given a run alongside him. Even BMac or Durds down the track. I think BBB will build into the season ok. But more than anything, we need some dangerous small forwards at his feet who can kick goals. Garner, Thomas, Taylor, Zurhaar, Walker, Wilko should all be given runs throughout the year. As it stands, we have just about the weakest forward line in the comp despite Brown being one of the top KPFs.
 

Marstermind

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Ben Brown – 100 games
The 127th player to play 100 games for the North Melbourne Football Club

Played: 100 Won: 54 Drawn: 0 Lost: 46

Game 1 – Round 14, 2014 v Melbourne (M.C.G.). North Melbourne 15.17-107 d. Melbourne 10.6-66
Game 50 – Round 18, 2016 v Collingwood (Docklands). North Melbourne 18.16-124 d. Collingwood 12.12-84
Game 100 – Round 1, 2019 v Fremantle (Optus Stadium). Fremantle 21.15-141 d. North Melbourne 9.5-59

Disposals
Game High: 17 (Round 6, 2017 v Gold Coast, Round 4, 2018 v Carlton, Round 17, 2018 v Sydney)
Season High: 256 (2017)

Kicks
Game High: 13 (Round 6, 2017 v Gold Coast, Round 4, 2018 v Carlton, Round 23, 2017 v Brisbane Lions, Round 15, 2018 v Essendon, Round 17, 2018 v Sydney)
Season High: 186 (2018)

Handballs
Game High: 16 (Round 16, 2014 v Hawthorn)
Season High: 76 (2017)

Marks
Game High: 10 (Round 17, 2016 v Port Adelaide)
Season High: 120 (2017)

Goals: 217 Behinds: 99​

Brownlow Medal Games
Round 23, 2014 v Melbourne: 1 vote
Round 16, 2015 v Essendon: 1 vote
Round 17, 2015 v Brisbane Lions: 1 vote
Round 6, 2017 v Gold Coast: 2 votes
Round 9, 2017 v Melbourne: 3 votes
Round 16, 2017 v Fremantle: 2 votes
Round 18, 2017 v Essendon: 2 votes
Round 19, 2017 v Melbourne: 2 votes
Round 23, 2017 v Brisbane Lions: 3 votes
Round 4, 2018 v Carlton: 3 votes
Round 9, 2018 v GWS Giants: 2 votes
Round 14, 2018 v Western Bulldogs: 1 vote

Finals:
2014 Elimination Final v Essendon
2014 Semi Final v Geelong
2014 Preliminary Final v Sydney
2015 Elimination Final v Richmond
2015 Semi Final v Sydney
2015 Preliminary Final v West Coast
2016 Elimination Final v Adelaide

Most Consecutive Games: 48 (Round 22, 2016 v Sydney to Round 1, 2019 v Fremantle
Has played 100 of 108 games since debut

Honours
Club Leading Goalkicker 2016 (41), 2017 (63), 2018 (61)
Club Brownlow Best (2017)
Australian International Rules Representative (2017x2)
 

Thewlis Dish

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2. Now that he's proven to almost never get to 100% condition because of various leg injuries and is appalling in almost ever ruck contest he's ever contested and is the only bloke vaguely capable of marking a ball in our forward line..why not pull him out of the forward line and throw him in the ruck to freshen up?
I expect once Thompson is back then we'll see McKay taking the Maj role as a second ruckman. Against Freo it was basically pick Campbell or give Brown short bursts in there though, especially once EVW went off.
 

scottywiper

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Very underdone. Id give him plenty of time before writing him off. But our forward line is major worry. Ziebs set shot kicking, the lack of small forward productivity, Wood invisibility. All lingering issues from last season that appear to be in place again in 2019 based on three outings.
 

Snake_Baker

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I expect once Thompson is back then we'll see McKay taking the Maj role as a second ruckman. Against Freo it was basically pick Campbell or give Brown short bursts in there though, especially once EVW went off.

When Thommo comes back, B-Mac can get up on the wings and give us a long target out of defence..
 
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I expect once Thompson is back then we'll see McKay taking the Maj role as a second ruckman. Against Freo it was basically pick Campbell or give Brown short bursts in there though, especially once EVW went off.
True though it's doubtful Campbell was ever getting selected so Brown must've always been the backup option. While I like him as a forward can't see McKay being moved down there atm so the tactic appears to always shift Brown to the ruck for relief.

If we restructured the forward line to a small attack or did something creative during these times it's be handy but we don't. You'd also hope the mids would change tact when Brown rucked but they appear to still stand and wait for platter delivery as if Goldstein was still in there.
 

Heaps of fun

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The nagging thought has been there for a while - "when did Ben Brown's performances become ... well.. shit?"

There's usually some overcompensation for judging key forwards and justifiably so for North Melbourne ones.

Yep, the midfield delivery is probably shite.

Yep, they're probably getting human centipeded by 3 opponents the while umpire watches on, snag in hand while recording it on his handicam.

Yep, they're probably playing with serious injury coz we couldn't possibly risk playing kid X from the VFL because they haven't served a 140 game apprenticeship (before their delisting) yet.

But even allowing for those pre-conditions, Ben has been off the boil for quite a while. The game that stood out was vs West Cost last year when Schoefield well and truly owned him despite standing and weighing roughly one Hrovat less.

Somewhere along the way, when Ben was impeded with hip injury and badly out of form, some genius came up with this brilliant plan (TM Baldrick) for his return to glory:

1. Now that his already wonky centre of gravity is compromised further by wonky hip, why not start wrestling opponents as if he's a 25yo Wayne Carey?

2. Now that he's proven to almost never get to 100% condition because of various leg injuries and is appalling in almost ever ruck contest he's ever contested and is the only bloke vaguely capable of marking a ball in our forward line..why not pull him out of the forward line and throw him in the ruck to freshen up?
You're not still underrating what Will Schofield can do as a stopper after the Grand Final are you? He was in awesome form at the tail end of the season. No problem with the rest of your post but seriously watch this if you haven't seen it
 

jclei

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I really hope they do too. Larkey is still too weak and still a bit too slow but one thing he nails is his positioning. He always finds good positions in the forward 50 to take a mark. You can just tell the opposition will put all their time into Brown and Larkey could quite easily kick a few in a half
 

Boomer29er

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Guys, this is a very controversial question to ask, but is it possible that even with the rough circumstances that Brown has and continues to face, that he might be a tad bit overrated. Now don't get me wrong, I love watching Browny when he's firing, but I just get this feeling after watching him in the back half of last year and in the JLT and Round 1 this year, that he rely's a little too heavily on umpiring and doesn't exactly have too many strings to his bow. I am prepared to accept criticism for this post, but I doubt I am the only one who who feels even slightly this way about Brown. Perhaps it is just the structure of the team and his recovery from surgery that has limited his abilities, but I just get the feeling that he can only be so good.
 
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