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Brown's Review of Each Game

Some reporters and I talked with defensive coordinator Don Brown for about 10 minutes the other day. Here are some highlighted quotes. Bottom line is, Brown feels the defense is making some progress, but some misfortune or inopportune plays undermined that progress in a way. Brown and Coach Ralph Friedgen both talked about linebacker Adrian Moten having a clear shot at Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher, but Moten either tripped or fell and never got to Dasher. Or, as Brown explained it, using a metaphor.

“We are clear as a bell on one blitz walking in on a quarterback and all of the sudden we get a sniper shot from the bleachers,” Brown said. “Nobody shot us in the bleachers, but those kinds of things are growing pains we’re going through. ... Bottom line is, you have to keep your mind as those around you are losing theirs.”

Brown also summed up the defensive play in each of the first three games:

Vs. California
“The first game, from a personnel and a maturity standpoint, they were really the antithesis of what we were. A veteran club in their big year and they are hitting their stride. Did we measure up? No.”

Vs. James Madison
“Then you play an option team and you have to switch gears and go to a base and make sure you have your option responsibilities covered. We give up two huge plays. We can’t control an interception being brought back, or a punt being dropped. You can’t control those things. But those are tough things for a young group to overcome when you are trying to develop chemistry and continuity.”

Vs. Middle Tennessee:
“Last week, you go to wide open, throw it 60, 70 times a game. We had four sacks. We had a fumble recovery. We had an interception hit us right between the numbers that could walk in for the end zone. But you have to also move forward. I think we’re getting close to playing the type of football I’m looking forward to.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 24, 2009; 12:02 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Friedgen Reflects on His Approach With Team


I would have to agree with Brown's assessment that the defense is making strides from that awful first week in Berkely. However, it SHOULD NOT take 4 weeks to install a new defensive scheme considering all of the time these guys have had to work on it with spring practice, summer workouts, and training camp. I could understand the problems against a potential title-contending Cal team, but the fact that the defense was still scrambling around between plays against a Sun Belt team is not acceptable. There were substitution problems on BOTH sides of the ball, but it was more readily apparent on defense.

Why in the world were the Terps trying to sub in and out between plays against a team running a no-huddle??? Granted Middle Tennessee's no-huddle was not necessarily a hurry-up, but their offense was at the line of scrimage on most occasions within 10 seconds of the ball being spotted. You just cannot make defensive personnel adjustments against that kind of offense, and the Terps were noticably confused on a number of plays, particularly the defensive line.

There is a sliver of light at the end of this tunnel, I just can't tell how long this tunnel is---two more weeks, the rest of the season, or does it finally click this week?

Posted by: Russtinator | September 24, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Brown must go. Get Gary Blackney back, no matter what it takes. Or make Sollazzo the D-coordinator...which he should have been named about 4 years ago.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 24, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

it has been a bit frustrating watching this season unfold.that being said fridge has said all along that this team could be good it is just a question of when.the margin for error was fumble away last week if a bowl game is on the wish list thius season.I think the D is coming along. it is hard to stop a team that gets at least 3 TO's those inside the 30. not going to win many games at any level with that stat line.We saw flashes with the pressure and INT's.We have a very young team, if they can quickly figure out how to play mistake free. we should win enough to make a bowl game this four games are basically our it stands now 7-5 will be a stretch.

Posted by: toddwhite2004 | September 25, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Barno1 -- Sollazo needs to prove he can coach d-line before he gets any promotions.

Posted by: mcmelton | September 25, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

You guys are ridiculous. What did you expect? An aggressive defense is going to give up big plays if it can't pressure the quarterback. You can't just take a scheme and turn it completely on its head over one off-season and expect it to perform at 100% efficiency.

Brown's defenses wreaked havoc on teams like JMU when he was at UMass. Do you think, then, that UMass has better athletes than Maryland? When the system clicks, it is going to work well.

Posted by: jrchris | September 25, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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