Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dennis Brown: new and improved

UConn held its Media Day on Friday at the Runway. Getting there was an adventure for me, as I experienced the new airport regulations first hand on Thursday and Friday (more on that later). Here's a few thoughts from Friday's session...

Don’t count Dennis Brown out of the quarterback race just yet. He may not unseat D.J. Hernandez for the starting job, but he's making the decision tougher for the UConn coaches.
Brown is noticably bigger, and posed his new, chisled physique for our photographer.
He's gained 35 pounds of rip since arriving at UConn last summer, and now weighs in at 205. He also told me he's increased his bench press from 185 to 315 and added 100 pounds to his squat while still managing to run the 40 in around 4.4 seconds.
"He’s doing very well," Randy Edsall said. "He didn’t play as well in our (intrasquad) scrimmage (Thursday) as he’s done in practice. He’s throwing with good accuracy. You can see he’s thicker and stronger. The weight program has done him a world of good."
Brown has been pleased with his play so far this summer, and doesn’t consider himself an underdog in the competition to start the Aug. 31 season opener against Rhode Island.
"It’s going to come down to the wire," Brown said. "I’m making the coaches push their pens to the end. I think I still have a real good chance. The coaches like what I’m doing, and I feel I’m jelling with the offense a lot."

Though neither Edsall nor Brown would say it, Brown’s emergence at the position may have also played a part in the departure of redshirt freshman Billy Cundiff, a promising quarterback who told Edsall he is transferring to a Division II program near his home in Ohio on Thursday because he is homesick.
Cundiff's departure is disappointing, but in the long run will have little impact on the program. Some UConn fans thought Cundiff would be the second coming of Dan Orlovsky, but the reality was that Cundiff was still the fourth-string quarterback after a full season in the program. It seems unlikely he had much of a future with sophomores D.J. Hernandez and Brown in front of him and Pennsylvania high school prospect Cody Endres set to enter the program next season.

The Rentschler Field turf looked magnificent Friday. Hopefully, it will stay that way. It should. There are no rock concerts booked at the Runway.

As for me, I'm still bushed from a brief vacation to Chicago. I spent 8 hours at O'Hare Airport on Thursday before my flight was finally cancelled and rebooked for Friday at 6 a.m. My wife and I decided to check all our baggage (all of which were carried on to get to Chicago) because of the new flight regulations implemented earlier in the day. The airline told us they couldn't retrieve our bags, so we had nothing but our wallets and a cell phone when we checked into a hotel at O'Hare Thursday night. However, they did hand us a couple of baggies full of toiletries for our trouble. We awoke at 4:15 a.m. Friday and, wearing the same clothes from the day before, headed back over to O'Hare and wait in more security lines. Fortunately, everything went smoothly and we got into LaGuardia on time. Then came the fun part: getting to Rentschler in time for Media Day. With my wife driving like Ted Kennedy five minutes before the package store closes, I got back to my house in Orange a little before noon, jumped in the shower, changed clothes and drove the 45 minutes to the Runway to arrive on time.


Blogger ScottVib said...

Nice blog, great to see something like this pop up for UConn. Great to hear about Brown's improvement over the summer.

August 14, 2006 12:24 PM 
Blogger Vinny From East Haven said...

Good for Cundiff, getting out of a program that's going nowhere. Everyone's got to stop waiting for the next Dan Orlovsky to show up - let's face it, the Huskies are a second-rate team in a second-rate conference.

August 14, 2006 1:19 PM 
Blogger New Big East said...

If Brown can't beat out Hernandez then he can't be that good.

Also of interest is how Hernandez warned his brother about Edsall and he ended up ignoring UCONN and going to a school in a BCS conference.

August 14, 2006 1:54 PM 
Blogger Kgun7 said...

I'm with Scott. Nice to hear about DB's progress, and nice to hear about UCONN Football in general.

August 14, 2006 3:40 PM 
Blogger huskypantz said...

Thanks for the blog- it's about time UConn football got on the blogging map. Looking forward to your insights, Chip.

On another note.....
At first I was disappointed that some UConn-haters made it onto the blog. But I can't think of any schools with losing traditions that have a healthy collection of tools talking unprovoked smack. First in the toolbox, vinny and new big east.

August 14, 2006 7:29 PM 
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

Always interesting to read the feeble thoughts of someone from East Haven. Now, that's about as good a qualification for knowing what it means to be going nowhere as possible.

Great job with the blog. Too bad there's always a village idiot or more to ruin a good thing. That faux nbe name's a dead giveaway as a BCUer.

August 14, 2006 9:06 PM 
Blogger BCSbowls said...

UCONN plays football? I didn't see them in a bowl last year. Only really bad teams in non-BCS conferences don't make it to a bowl.

August 14, 2006 10:07 PM 
Blogger ScottVib said...

Its great that UConn and this blog has already attracted enough attention and made enough waves to inspire the flames.

If UConn wasn't doing anything right and wasn't a threat the flamers wouldn't care.

Thanks for your interest in UConn football.

August 15, 2006 10:57 AM 
Blogger Vinny From East Haven said...

It's really saying something when a team from a so-called "major" conference schedules URI, Army, AND Navy. If I didn't know better, I would think I was looking at Notre Dame's schedule.

August 15, 2006 2:23 PM 
Blogger ThePrideOfConnecticut said...

Nice digs.

As for DB, he showed flashes last year of being a factor at QB sooner rather than later. Great to see he's bulking up.

And for the flamers: Vinny and BCS, you guys wouldn't be haters if you didn't care so much about us. And New Big East, if you opened your good Eye you would see that UConn is as good a place to play FB as any in the country.

Flamers, thanks for your interest in Connecticut football...

August 15, 2006 5:08 PM 
Blogger Train said...

Why didn't Cundiff transfer to BC? Oh, wait, because he wants to go to a program that people care about.

August 18, 2006 1:55 PM 
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

Do people really care about Division II Ashland College more than BCU? That's sounds about right.

August 18, 2006 2:52 PM 

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