Former Bears DE Alex Brown stands out on NBC Sports Chicago’s “Football Aftershow.”

When asked for his thoughts this week on how the Bears handled Roquan Smith’s situation, Alex Brown thought back to his playing time with the team.

“This particular system when we saw it [linebacker] Lance Briggs comes in at 230, 235 pounds, you knew he was going to be an All-Pro this year,” said Brown, a defensive end in 2002-09. “When he came in at 245, 248 you knew it was going to be a struggle all year to get him down so he could be that player.

“Roquan could fit into that system if he gets his body right. He had to lose 10 pounds, maybe 12 pounds to be a superstar on that defense. He’s a tackling machine, and that’s what the Will linebacker is: tackles in space. Roquan definitely can. He’s a phenomenal player.”

But he won’t be for the Bears after general manager Ryan Poles traded him to the Ravens this week. Still, Brown said the Bears handled the situation correctly.

“If you look at Roquan, who came in as a freshman, he persevered. Persevered this year,” Brown said. “If you don’t think you’re going to make a contract, pawn it, you can bet your butt he’ll stick around and not come to play until he absolutely has to.” Do you want to go through with that, or is it better for the team to get a second and a fifth?[round draft pick] and move on from this big contract?”

Those are the kinds of comments viewers of NBC Sports Chicago’s “Football Aftershow” have come to expect from Brown, who has been part of the station’s Bears postgame coverage since 2016. But he stands out from the show this season following the departure of Olin Kreutz.

Kreutz had become the de facto lead analyst for his scathing comment, but an incident on CHGO Sports in May prompted NBCSCH to remove him from the cast. The show continues with host David Kaplan, former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt, Briggs and Brown.

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David Kaplan (from left), Dave Wannstedt, Alex Brown and Lance Briggs make up the “Football Aftershow” cast.

Brown draws on his gaming experience to put the current bears in perspective. His career has spanned from playing for a four-win team in 2002 to playing in Super Bowl XLI. He also underwent a transformation when then-GM Jerry Angelo hired Lovie Smith as a trainer in 2004.

Brown lives in Atlanta and is a senior sales executive for Traffic Tech, a Chicago-based logistics company. He follows the Bears throughout the week and flies in the day before a game. The arrangement allows him to spend time with his wife, son and three daughters.

When he played, Brown respected those who worked in the media, calling them the bridge between players and fans. He said he knew he wanted to join them after his career was over.

“I love approaching people and I love football,” Brown said. “If I could somehow convince someone to pay me to talk about football that would be great. That’s what led me down this path.”

Brown had a stint with 120 Sports, which morphed into Stadium, and appeared on radio shows. He doesn’t have broadcast training, but he’s had plenty of practice answering questions as an athlete.

“When I was about 14 or 15, I was being interviewed after football and basketball games and people started to understand,” Brown said. “You hear the question, think about it briefly but quickly, and then give an answer that you don’t mind two or three hours later.”

Brown said the hardest part of starting out as an analyst was speaking critically about former teammates who were still playing.

“You have to be honest and evaluate them,” he said. “If they didn’t play well, you have to say that. And then you go out to dinner with them afterwards and they give you weird looks. But now that all those guys are gone, you really can be as unbiased as you can without getting bulky.”

As much as he enjoys his job at NBCSCH, Brown has other ambitions. Remember he is from Florida and played at the University of Florida.

“I like to talk about teams that I love. I love the bears and I love my Florida Gators,” Brown said. “I love the SEC. I would like to do the Bears or the SEC Network. It was the only way I would ever stop everything and go to the SEC network if they called me. That would be my dream job.”

If Brown keeps this up, he could be living that dream.



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