Louisville's starting middle linebacker, Brown told InsideTheVille.com following Saturday's spring scrimmage that the Cardinals defense needs to eliminate small mistakes that lead to big plays.
"We did alright [in the scrimmage], but we had little mistakes which led to big plays," said Brown. "We've got to cut down on that and we should be fine."
Charlie Strong wasn't pleased with the play of his defense after Wednesday's practice. The UofL coach said the defense needs to be tougher after watching the offense dominated the red zone portion of practice with precise passing and power running.
Before the scrimmage, Strong tweeted that he wanted to see "something" from his defense, primarily toughness and intensity. Brown said his unit responded to Strong's challenge Saturday, delivering several big hits during the scrimmage.
"We had a little bit of fire, so you saw a couple of big hits out there," Brown said. "We've got to fly around. If you make a mistake, you have to fly around and usually somebody will be there to help you."
Brown, one of the team's leading tacklers last season, has moved to middle linebacker this spring to replace Dexter Heyman, a second team Big East selection. Brown said he's adjusting fine to his new role in the middle of Louisville's defense.
"It's really not that hard coming from WILL because it's basically the same thing...just on the strong-side," Brown said. "I've got to make all the calls and that's the only thing that's different."
With ten returning starters, Brown said the defense has worked well together this spring.
"Just being older we know more of what to do and everybody is on the same page," Brown said. "If we can just cut down on the little mistakes we'll be fine because the little mistakes lead to all these big plays that you saw today."
What does Brown believe the strength of the defense will be next season?
"I think it will be our hustle because we're going to have 11 guys running to the ball every time," said Brown. "There shouldn't be big plays because we're going to have people making up for everybody else."
With only a few practices before Saturday's spring game, Brown said the defense will be focused on making improvements in the final week of spring practice.
"Just cutting down on big plays, stopping the pass, getting a better rush and we've got to fill our run lanes better," Brown said. "We've just got to cut down on the little mistakes."