Thomas Brown was in ‘freeze mode’ when Frank Reich awarded him his game ball

Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown was certainly expecting to get a win out of his first game on play-calling duties—and he got it. But what he’d also get afterwards seemingly came as quite a surprise.

Following the team’s hard-fought 15-13 victory over the Houston Texans this pas Sunday, Brown—in a very emotional moment—was awarded a game ball by head coach Frank Reich. He was asked about the honor prior to this afternoon’s practice.

“First of all, I had no idea he was talking about me, anyway,” he said. “And so, I was one of the last guys comin’ in the locker room. Normally, win or lose, I’m outside the locker room for the most part—when the guys are comin’ in, shakin’ everybody’s hand, givin’ everybody hugs before they kinda come in and listen to Frank’s speech.

“So when he was talkin’, I’m thinkin’ like he’s about to give it to a different player. So when he called my name, I was kinda in freeze mode for a second. But I think our relationship, our dynamic has continued to grow from a day-in, day-out standpoint.”

The outing wasn’t perfect, but Brown helped orchestrate an impressive game-winning drive for Carolina—a 15-play, 86-yard possession that resulted in walk-off field goal from kicker Eddy Piñeiro. Week 8 also marked the franchise’s first fourth-quarter comeback win since the 2018 campaign.

So, where did Brown put the ball?

“I put it on my shelf,” Brown later said. “There’s a kinda bookshelf in my house on the right side right in front of our TV, where there’s a pretty nice trophy on the top of it. You can probably imagine what that trophy is. So I put it in the same shelf underneath that, which is, again, a great step in the right direction for our overall program.”

Well, hopefully he’ll have another “pretty nice trophy” to add to that shelf in due time.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire