Triple Duty

Senior Safety Chief Brown is at the end of the long road back from an Achilles injury last year and finds himself learning and backing up three secondary positions - Rover, Free Safety and Husky.

"It's been hard. There's a lot to learn, but I have played all three in the past. I'm more comfortable at free and Rover because I have played there more during my career, but I'm getting more comfortable at Husky daily," said Brown. "I expect to play more Husky and Rover during the season."

Two summers ago, Chief, who had had a really good spring and was penciled in for a lot of playing time as a junior, tore his Achilles tendon. He missed the first eight games of 2014 and even when he came back, he wasn't the same Chief.

He started coming around more and more during spring training and had a good summer in the weight room, which led to him being declared fit and ready to go.

Chief, Trae Elston and Mike Hilton are the "old guys" in the secondary, a secondary that is expected to be potent despite losing All-American's Cody Prewitt and Senquez Golson.

"We have good depth and experience. I think a bunch of guys will get playing time. I think a lot of us will have different roles and get significant snaps, but because of our experience, I don't think we feel any extra pressure just because Cody and Senquez are gone," he explained. "We are deeper than we've been since I have been here. We are at least two deep at every position."

Chief's goal is to be versatile enough to help at all three positions.

"It's all about knowledge - knowing what to do in every situation, with every call and at all three positions," he noted. "I think I can do it."

Lots of talent, lots of experience, good depth and good health, knock on wood, so far should equate to good success, Brown said.

"It's just a matter of going out there and proving ourselves. We had a great DNA last year with some great guys, but I think we can be better this year," he continued. "If guys just play their roles and know what to do, we can be a great defense, better than last year even, especially in the defensive line. Having the guys we have up front, it makes everyone's job easier. We have so many great players up there, it gives all of us confidence. In the secondary, we know they are going to get a rush and we are going to get some pick opportunities.

"We just need to do a little better job on third down and maybe doe a little better job against some of the physical run teams. If we do those two things, we can lead the nation again in scoring defense."

What's better?

"I think our overall speed is better. Guys are faster sideline to sideline. Also, we can go big if we need to and have the depth and versatility, I believe, to match any style of offense. That wasn't always the case last year," he added. "And it seems like we are forcing more turnovers in camp this year than we were last year.

"Tony Bridges has made a lot of plays on the ball - he is going to be a stud at corner, and Kendarius Webster and Tee Shepard and Carlos Davis and Kailo Moore have all had picks in fall camp. I just think we have a chance to be better across the board."

And where does that leave Chief? He believes in a good spot for his final campaign.

"I'm going to get a shot at all three positions at one time or another and I intend to make the most of it," he closed.

Chief Brown will have tripe duty on defense and probably some special teams duty as well, but he's proven in the past he can handle it.

OM Spirit Top Stories