Shrieking doesn’t suit Brown’s low-key persona anyway. He would prefer play speak for him. But middle linebacker means calling identifications and giving orders, so as Mississippi State’s new starter Brown must turn up his volume.
“When I go on the field, I’ve got to be in control.” That’s not selfish, just fact.
Brown has had three whole years to prepare for taking charge. After redshirting he spent two seasons as first backup and then last year alternate to Benardrick McKinney. Splitting snaps with a now-NFL linebacker proves Brown’s own abilities to make the plays.
Now he steps up to first-team, and in spring and preseason alike the Bulldog defense hasn’t missed a step. No, not even with a new position coach/coordinator arriving in time to promote Brown. The pairing of Brown and Manny Diaz is a hit.
“His philosophy is really helping us,” Brown said. “He gets a little itchy if he can’t blitz. He’s an aggressive guy, he doesn’t like to sit back and take anything. It’s fine with me, I like to blitz. I think it’s going to be fun.”
Also fun is being one of a Brown Bulldog partnership. Richie shares more than a name with classmate and outside linebacker Beniquez Brown. They share responsibility, they can even completely swap jobs on the fly. Or at the snap. In general Richie makes defensive line calls, Beniquez the outside assignments. But…
“Yeah, it’s all the same, the concepts,” Richie said. “The only difference is a number. It’s all relatively similar, small knick-knack things. But we could interchange if we had to.”
Still this Dog has the last say. The loudest, too.