FAN SPEAK with Manaia Brown

The second installment of's "Fan Speak" is here. This time around you asked to hear from Cougar defensive lineman Manaia Brown. Here are the questions we received from you and Manaia Brown's answers to them.

Once again Parley Smith out of Provo, Utah has the first question. He asked:

"Manaia, what do you see as the biggest difference between last year's team and this one?"

Manaia Brown replied: "Attitude. Attitude is a lot different on both sides of the ball. Last year we went into games, even before we played the game, the feeling was we hope to win. Right now we expect to win."

Tyler Tippetts from Las Vegas asked two questions:

1) "Manaia any chance you could get another year of eligibility to destroy Ben Olson next year?"

Brown laughed and responded: "Are we playing UCLA next year? You know Ben Olson is a good guy both on and off the field. They guy is talented and I love the kid, but yeah I would love to play Ben Olson next year."

2) "Would Coach Mendenhall let you guys do the Haka on the field right before the game? Maybe you should put the bug in his ear!"

Brown replied: "That's a good question. You know what, coach Mendenhall is all about the Maori culture and he knows everything about it and the spirit of New Zealand. If it didn't take the purpose away from the team I think he would let us do it. If it didn't take away our expectations of winning the game away."

Weldon Decker Iowa City, Ioaw asked: "Are you really down to 290 and faster and meaner than you've ever been?"

Brown: "You know what, really I am down to 290. I bounce around from 290 to 295. My legs are probably the weakest they've ever been right now coming off of last year's ACL sprain."

Mark Pedersen from Atlanta, Georgia asked, "Manaia at your new weight, what specific advantages have you noticed thus far in your play against the OL that maybe you weren't as effective at last year?

Brown said: "My wind. You know last year I could give about three good plays and then I would be dead tired. My wind is a lot better now and I can breathe a lot better now dropping that weight."

Nathan Mills from Peoria, Arizona asked three questions:

1) "Manaia how is the shoulder feeling?

Brown replied: "The shoulders good. It's the strongest it's ever been since the snowmobile accident. I'm on a system right now where I hit every other day and I can't practice consecutive days just to keep my strength up and not beat it down and try to rebuild it in the summer."

2) "What specific things were most difficult to do when your shoulder was hurting?"

Brown: "Just sitting and watching. For two weeks they tell you to sit out and do nothing, and then slowly come back in and having to jump right in to things"

3) "What player do you most look forward to facing this season?

Brown: "Utah. Anybody who lines up across from me at Utah. I can't wait till we play Boston College and TCU. I played TCU my freshman year, but Utah is the game I'm looking forward to. To take them back to their losing days."

Nathan Mills followed up with a series of questions:

"Mania, you have played against a lot of great competition while at Nebraska and BYU. What team was the toughest?"

Mrown responded: "What team was the toughest? Well I played Notre Dame twice but Miami in 2001. They had players named Jeremy Shockey, Ed Reed at safety, Clinton Portis as a running back and McGahe as a fullback, McKinney was a tackle, Gonzales, Delma the rookie of the league last year he was their middle linebacker that year, D.J. Williams, Buchanon, Roll, Andre Johnson at the Houston Texan's he was their receivers, Ken Dorsey with the 49er's and that was one full team when we played them. That year that had about 10 first rounders at the University of Miami."

"What team talked the most trash?"

Brown: "What team talks the most trash? Air Force talks a lot of trash. You know when I was at Nebraska and we played Colorado Buffalos and they killed us by 63 to 36, man their fans talked a lot of trash, but in our conference, Air Force."


Brown: "What team is the fastest? I think TCU is going to bring a lot of speed into our conference. I played against them my freshman year. I would say right now Utah is a fast team. They're tempo is fast and their offense is fast."


Brown: "Personally, I think going to Laramie by itself. Not playing Wyoming. I don't think they're players are intimidating but the altitude, the weather and the drunk fans it's gets pretty crazy out there and intimidating."


Brown: "I don't know because last year I couldn't even bench that much because I was still dealing with it (shoulder) so we'll see this year."

Lee Tanner from Delta, Utah asked three questions to finish the interview:

1) "What do you expect from the fans at home games?"

Brown replied: "I just expect them to be in those seats. They're going to miss out in a big ole party on Saturday if they don't. Hopefully they wear our colors this year you know. Some people come out and I'm not picking on the fans, but when we play Utah it's all red. When people come here I just want it to be all white and blue."

2) "Do you expect us to raise a loud cheer when the team is not performing well to encourage you to play harder?"

Brown: "Yeah, I think the crowd does make a difference. The crowd at Lavell Edward Stadium should to be the twelfth man on the field."

3) "Do you think that fans should never boo you're play when it is lacking intensity and some are not playing smart?"

Brown: "No, I think the fans have the right to let us know when we are doing bad. They can ease up on us a bit but they should let us know when we need to step up our game if we are doing bad."

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