New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Charles Brown hated to see teammate Jermon Bushrod leave in free agency on Tuesday. But Brown said -- if he's needed -- he's ready to fill the hole on the left side of the offensive line.

Brown, a former second-round draft pick in 2010, is the likely replacement for Bushrod, a two-time Pro Bowler, if the Saints can't land a starter on the free agent market.


ELIOT KAMENITZ / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE
Brown isn't sure the Saints need to be looking.

"I expect them to (sign an offensive tackle), but if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen," Brown said Wednesday. "It doesn't matter. I'm just about to work. That's all I can do.

"All I know is Bushrod in gone."

When asked if he was looking forward to the upcoming season, Brown simply said, "Yes."

Brown showed flashes of his potential in his first three seasons in New Orleans, but the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Brown has been plagued by injury.

As a rookie in 2010, he played in three games and was inactive for 13. After his rookie season, however, he needed offseason back surgery. Still, he seemed like he would be the heir to one of the Saints' starting tackle positions. But he lost out to Zach Strief for the starting right tackle position in training camp.

Brown did start five games that season at right tackle before being placed on injured reserve with a hip injury.