Can one play, one game, make or break a career? Some might disagree, but if you look beyond the red tape you'll see that sometimes players simply need a chance to prove themselves.
Every year you see and hear about players that have risen from obscurity to become high profile NFL superstars, and fans always wonder where this player came from? More likely than not, the player simply was given an opportunity. Whether it was due to an injury above them on the depth chart, or the fact that they proven their worth in practice with hard work and determination, they finally got their shot.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had their share of players who have risen up to perform when given the opportunity, and their share of players who have dropped the ball, figuratively and literally, and squandered away their chance.
A player like Limas Sweed is a player that had the tools, but when given the opportunity to make plays on the field, it just never panned out, and because of that he is no longer with the Steelers and no longer in the NFL.
The other side of the coin are players who's stars shown brightest when they were given the chance. Antonio Brown as a 6th round draft pick was given the chance to make a play in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 took that chance, in the form of a 58 yard catch, pinned it to his helmet, and never looked back.
The Steelers very well could have a few players on their current roster going through OTAs and minicamp that could just need that one chance to prove themselves, and it looks like former Penn State and Oklahoma receiver Justin Brown could be in the Steelers' plans.
Brown has gotten more reps with the starting unit this year throughout OTAs than he had all of last year combined. For whatever reason, the Steelers are giving him his shot.
"It is definitely good getting some reps with the ones," Brown told Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "When my number is called, I am just trying make sure that I ready and I know what I am doing. I've noticed (the Steelers taking a long look at him), and it's definitely encouraging."
For Brown, he knows it is all about improvement and making sure that when the time comes, he is able to make the plays necessary to solidify himself on the Steelers' roster.
"I am trying to go hard every day and show the coaches that I have been working hard. But as I said, I still have a ways to go."
Now, it is simply up to Justin Brown not to drop the ball.