Brown Brings Boost to Cornerbacks

The Florida secondary will rotate players to stay fresh in the Texas heat this Saturday, but they'll also have a new player in the mix. Redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown was cleared and returned to practice this week after a wrist injury forced him to miss all of fall camp. The often-injured Brown will return to the field after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

"I think is a great story of hanging in there and keep persevering," Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said on Wednesday. "I was really excited to see him come back and do it. He's had some setbacks over the last year-and-a-half. For him to get out and be back I thought was really a big lift for our team and really a good message to say that you don't always get a chance to control what happens, but you do get a chance to control how you react to it.

"That was a good message for him and for the younger players and for the team. Sometimes it doesn't go your way but keep hanging in there and usually you can come out the other end."

Brown's return couldn't come at a better time for Florida. The Texas A&M offense will spread the field with wide receivers and force the Gators to play nickel and dime coverage during a majority of the game. The addition of Brown gives Quinn five cornerbacks that he trusts on the field at all times. They'll continue to rotate players to keep them fresh.

The redshirt junior hasn't been cleared for long, but Quinn isn't shy to throw him on the field immediately.

"He made a nice pass break-up yesterday in practice," Quinn said of Jeremy Brown. "You really saw his speed and stuff. It was really good to see him do that. He'll be available to us for the ball game. They can throw it, going to play four and five wide receiver sets. For us to have another DB with experience of his caliber is good."?

Aggressiveness was what got Brown on the field early in his career under head coach Urban Meyer. A back injury slowed his progress and turned him into a player that was more of a luxury than someone the coaches expected on the field. He takes chances in the secondary, which can sometimes pay off with an interception or give up a big play.

The key for Brown will be to understand when to take those risks in his first game since 2010. Playing shape isn't an issue for Brown after his time on the practice field.

"He's feeling a lot better from his knee injury. I think physically he's feeling pretty good. Now it's more of just getting back into the football technique, football shape, more just the vision of seeing things. I don't know a timetable right off the bat. Each week usually when you get back into it you start improving pretty quickly in that way."??

Brown adds depth to the position that had some questions going into the season opener. Sophomore Marcus Roberson returned after he missed the last three games of the 2011 season with a neck injury. He was held out of contact during spring practice but was cleared for fall camp.

Quinn was impressed with how the sophomore played on Saturday, including his game-changing interception in the second half.

"I thought he had a couple good plays down the field, whether it was cutting off a receiver on a deep ball and things like that," Quinn said. "I was pleased with Marcus the first time out, and for him to come back from an injury last year and didn't miss a beat in that way, it was good for him."

Quinn said he's comfortable with Brown, Purifoy, Riggs, Roberson and Watkins getting on the field this Saturday at Texas A&M. The most notable missing from that list was freshman defensive back Brian Poole, who is also splitting time at safety. Quinn said they're continuing to bring Poole along and that he is not expected to redshirt.

ADDRESSING PENALTIES: Above all the issues that plagued the Gators in 2011, it was the constant penalties that hurt the most. The first game in 2012 didn't show any signs of improvement. Florida committed 14 penalties against Bowling Green, which would have tied for the second most of any game during the 2011 season.

The coaches put all of the penalties on film and showed the players each mistake. The message after the video was clear.

"The approach for us hasn't changed in terms of trying to keep the players accountable for it," Quinn said. "I think the big thing is we put ‘em all on film and said, ‘hey fellas, this has to leave our program. These penalties are no longer going to be a part of it.'

"The?undisciplined ones are really the ones we're talking about. If there's?an aggressive penalty that happens, we understand that's football and?if there's a pass interference call that might be different, but the?undisciplined ones are the ones we're harping on the most. We've got?to get that out of our system."

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