Steve Brown talks about his defense

From today's conversation we had with defensive coordinator Steve Brown, he seems to like to take the approach of a boxing match, feeling out his opponent. It seems when the gloves come down and all caution is thrown to the wind, the defense plays exponentially better.

After today's practice Joker Phillips once again alluded to a faster start Saturday for his team. He has changed something this season to change the year after year trend and that is to take the ball when he wins the toss. This has had some success in getting on the board first but this hasn't parlayed into momentum in avoiding getting down multiple score before mounting a comeback. As further grasping at straws, perhaps the defense can bear a huge part of the blame.

From today's conversation we had with defensive coordinator Steve Brown, he seems to like to take the approach of a boxing match, feeling out his opponent. It seems when the gloves come down and all caution is thrown to the wind, the defense plays exponentially better. For some teams like a Kentucky, perhaps doing things conventionally doesn't work. It would seem that at some point one would think the talent isn't there to do it conventionally.

Tennessee starting quarterback true freshman Tyler Bray has three and a half games as a starter and we asked Brown does he do anything different to rattle his cage or unnerve him?

"With a guy like that you always try to get pressure in his face," Brown said. "You try to cover really well to allow the pass rush and or the pressure to get there."

In almost the same breath the coach talked about the things they have been doing really well is the receivers are making a lot of good plays, catching the ball the ball in tight spots, which gives there quarterback confidence to threw it up there. So the the thing he said they've got to do get in he face.

"They've had an issue with sacks. We will try to win with four and if we can't we'll bring five, we'll bring the whole house if we have to.

We asked is it customary for a defensive coordinator try some thing at first to see if it works or to go into a game with a game plan to go after the guarterback right away? Brown said - "I think what happens is that if you try something at first and they get a big play then you can't ever get that back. It's kind of like a chess match, you do the thing that's sound, solid, and see how the flow of the game is going then you try to come after them. But if you throw everything at them at first having a feeling that it's going to work and it doesn't, then you think dadgum, now what am I going to do."

Is it chancy?

"Yeah, you don't want to do something and all of a sudden they get an easy or quick score or they get the momentum. And put your offense on the field an they are down seven to nothing. You don't want to be comfortable and you pick and choose when you do things. You try to have good solid coverage where he doesn't have easy passes or you pick and choose, you are not selling the farm."

Brown said their (Tennessee's) offense is more of a conventional style. He said they are running back by committee, they'll run some sweeps with their wide receivers, and some reverses to try to get their running game going. He said they will run some bootlegs and some misdirection but for the most part the are a conventional offense.

What we have gleaned from all the aforementioned, Brown is the most comfortable being a conventional defensive coordinator and in my humble opinion that hasn't quite worked as well as we would like. Maybe that only works when you have top talent.


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