Q&A with Thomas Brown

Read on to see everything co-offensive coordinator Thomas Brown is saying with just a little more time in spring practice left.

Thomas Brown, Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach
On if there is a leader out of the quarterback group…
“Yeah, there is definitely not a leader. I think those guys [redshirt junior quarterback Malik Rosier and sophomore quarterback Evan Shirreffs] at times have separated themselves and they have taken most of the first teams reps. Part of it is because of them being able to retain information and knowing what to do and also being able to take command. But it is going to be a long process, like we said from day one. I know everybody gets antsy and wants an answer immediately. And I wish I could give you one, I wish we could give you one. It will be a process that plays out through the fall.” 

 

On the progress quarterbacks Malik Rosier and Evan Shirreffs have made…
“I think it is being able to be more vocal. Obviously, last year when you are competing you were competing for a spot, but obviously still, probably in the back of your mind believing I am going to be the backup to Brad [Kaaya]. So it is still difficult to really go out and sell out on every single snap, which you should have that mentality. But, you know, I don’t forget what it is like to be a player, and sometimes it is not realistic. I think knowing it is a wide open job and you have an opportunity  and it is going to be on you to decide whether or not to step up to the challenge or let somebody else beat you out. It has made those guys answer the bell a little bit more.”

 

On balancing a quarterback being the best leader or the best quarterback…
“Well, I mean, obviously you want both. You want the guy in that spot to be a leader and also be the best quarterback. I think a lot of guys have leadership qualities. You can talk about him being able to command a huddle, speak thoroughly and take charge. But a true test of a leader is who is following you. You can have all the qualities, but are the guys running around you, do they trust you, do they believe in you and are they willing to play with you in a cohesive unit? But I think throughout this process we will be able to see more as we put those guys through different scenarios, who kind of comes out on top.”

 

On who has made the biggest jump at wide receiver…

“Receiver wise, definitely by far [redshirt junior wide receiver] Darrell Langham. I think, obviously last year, coming in with a new staff and seeing a guy with that type size, I mean, he is not the most dynamic from a speed stand point, but thinking he could be a bully type of receiver because he has the body to. So I think obviously it was more of a mental deal for him last year, just being able to believe that he can play as big as what he was and having confidence. And he has been a great surprise, in my opinion, when it comes to the receiver room and it has probably stood out almost every single time we step on the football field. Of playing like he is a big man and not like he is 5’8, like he is my height trying to play receiver. Use your size, use your length, use that ability to overpower some smaller DBs and make some plays.”

 

On who has made the biggest jump at tight end…

“Tight end wise, I think [sophomore] Michael Irvin [II] has probably made the biggest jump. You know, [senior] Chris Herndon [IV] is being consistent. I think he is somewhat of a quiet guy. We are trying to get him to open up a little bit more, but that is just his natural personality, which is fine. But I think Michael Irvin has made the biggest jump, when it comes to the tight end room, of being consistent of knowing what to do, how to get lined up and executing the stuff we ask those guys to do.”

 

On junior running back Mark Walton’s limited work load…

“I think he is handling it well. Obviously, being a playmaker, being a tailback, I mean you want guys who want the ball in their hands but also aren’t so selfish and go into panic mode and shut down when they don’t get the football. And I think he is finding that correct balance, and at times we are helping him through that. Because I understand he probably wants the ball 25 times a day, every time we scrimmage. Obviously giving him work on his pass protection, which in my opinion separates the average backs from the great ones. Because a lot of guys you can find across this country can carry the ball, but if you want to have a chance to be great in this offense, and have a chance to go to the next level and be great at the level, then you better able to protect the quarterbacks. He has been really consistent with that. And Mark is a perfectionist in many ways, which obviously helps him to be as good as he is now.”


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