RENTON, Wash. -- Brandon Browner didn't mind being forced to sit out the final four games of the regular season due to suspension because it was fun watching his Seattle Seahawks continue to roll toward the postseason.
"It was fun because we were kicking everyone's butt. I was missing not playing with the guys but it was awesome to watch from that perspective," Browner said Thursday, speaking for the first time since returning from his four-game suspension for using a banned substance. "The progression of our quarterback is awesome. He's playing like one of the elite quarterbacks and the defense is playing lights out. They're playing like when I left. They didn't skip a beat.”
Browner, Seattle's starting cornerback the last two seasons, is expected to play Sunday in Seattle's playoff opener at Washington for the first time since early December when he dropped the appeal of his suspension and went to the sideline for the rest of the regular season. Coach Pete Carroll has not said whether Browner would start, concerned that he might be a bit rusty after four weeks away from the Seahawks facility.
Browner originally began the process of appealing his suspension, but dropped it the week after Seattle's 23-17 overtime win at Chicago in Week 13.
"It was about that time," Browner said when asked why he dropped his appeal. "Sometimes you make mistakes. I was fortunate enough that the guys continued to win.”
Both Browner and fellow starting cornerback Richard Sherman had their positive tests for banned substances leaked following the Seahawks' Week 12 loss at Miami. Sherman said all along that he believed his suspension would be overturned on appeal and was proven right last week. Because of that, the Seahawks will have both available for the postseason.
Browner said he tried to stay in shape by mimicking the Seahawks' practice schedule. He returned to California for most of his suspension and worked out on days that the team did. Then he sat back and watched his teammates win the four games he missed by a combined score of 170-43 and get back to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
"I knew I had the suspension but it wasn't hard at all," Browner said of watching on TV. "It was fun to watch the guys win the way they did.”