Getting Online

There's lots of work put in by West Virginia's football team over the summer, but some players add in more unconventional approaches than the routine lifting, conditioning and film study that marks June and July.

For quarterback Jarrett Brown, its not just about adding to his already chiseled frame or burning up hard drives and monitors in the Puskar Center. He combines a bit of fun in the form of XBox, where he wears out the Madden football franchise of games in addition to a few other titles. While some schools have used video games to teach their offenses, WVU apparently hasn't gotten to that point yet. However, that doesn't keep Brown from using it as a tool, even secondarily, to improve his game.

Staying true to his quarterback nature, Brown keeps his digital arm busy as he floods his game plan with passing plays on Madden - something he realizes wouldn't be allowed in a real game. The senior does see where the game could help with some situational plays, however.

"The bad thing about [playing the game] is that I like to throw the ball 70 times in the game," admitted Brown. "Sometimes it's not that good. I would do that in a game if I could. Coach Mullen said he would if I take care of the ball and not throw any picks."

Of course, that's not likely to happen, but Brown does think that playing the game can help. Even though he has proven himself as a player on the field, his actually game-time experience is less than that of most seniors, so he uses every chance he can get to improve. And who's to say that watching USF's defense or throwing against the Pitt secondary in Madden might not help him with a similar situation in real life?

Of course, the primary emphasis on playing is fun, and Brown maximizes his return in that area as well. An avid gamer, he usually beats up on his competition, which primarily consists of teammate and roommate Alric Arnett, who admits that Brown's long hours with the controller often end up in his favor.

Alric Arnett
"We play [every game] together," said Arnett with a laugh. "He's better than me. He beats me every time. He plays the game more."

"I am pretty much [better than Arnett]," Brown said without boasting. "I play a lot. It keeps me busy. I love playing [NBA] 2K9 and Madden."

The duo, which has roomed together the past two years, also faced in other in real life, with the outcome pretty much the same.

"We played against each other in a spring game during senior year," said Arnett, who attended junior college while Brown came to West Virginia. "They beat the mess out of us. I can't say too much about that has changed."

While the competition has been one-sided, the benefits gained by the pair's play and living arrangement is not. Just like the pairing of Pat White and Steve Slaton, the Brown and Arnett realize how important their connection is to the Mountaineers' receiving success.

"I like to study my receivers," admitted Brown. "I like to know what they're thinking. I like to know what routes they like to run and what they're most comfortable running. That helps a lot."

Living together allows the two to have football on their minds even in their spare time, which Arnett believes is beneficial.

"[Our chemistry] is pretty good," said Arnett. "We just talk about football all of the time even when we leave the stadium. We pretty well know what each other is thinking."

Whether the two are on the field or in their living room, their constant practicing will continue to fine-tune their skills, even if it's just working their hands out on a video game controller.

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