Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Defensive coordinator Don Brown heading to BC

The feeling was that there could be a new coordinator in place for the UConn football team in 2013 but nobody thought defensive coordinator Don Brown would be the first one to go.

As first reported by Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, Brown is headed to BC after two successful seasons running the defense at UConn. The Huskies finished the season ranked 10th in total defense among FBS teams while ranking seven in rushing defense and 13th tackles for losses.

Brown has an impressive resume finding success wherever he's been. Eight of his 10 stops have been in New England including head-coaching stints at Plymouth State, Northeastern and Massachusetts. Not only does Brown figure to improve the Boston College defense but with Brown joining BC head coach Steve Addazio, a Farmington native and former head coach at Cheshire High School, recruiting Connecticut and the rest of New England is about to become even more challenging. Brown also recruited Florida for the Huskies and of course Addazio built relationships in the Sunshine State during his time as an assistant coach at the University of Florida so it will be interesting to see if BC beats out UConn for Florida prospects.

Here is a link to Boston College's release on Brown's appointment

Even if Brown had stayed, he would have had plenty of work to do with the graduation of UConn's all-time sacks leader Trevardo Williams, starting linebackers Jory Johnson and Sio Moore, starting cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz and Blidi Wreh-Wilson and top interior defensive lineman Ryan Wirth. The Huskies do return leading tackler Yawin Smallwood and injuries on the defensive line enabled plenty of returning players to see quality time in the defensive line rotation. The defensive line should also get a boost assuming defensive end Jesse Joseph is granted a fifth season of eligibility.

Brown also coached the cornerbacks at UConn and there is no position on the defense which will be under more scrutiny than the CBs. The ability of Wreh-Wilson and Gratz to lock up in man coverage enabled Brown to be more aggressive in sending his linebackers on blitzes. Taylor Mack  played well at times but was also beaten in man coverage. The other cornerbacks coming back are untested and head coach Paul Pasqualoni said late in the season that starting safety Byron Jones could be shifted to cornerback.

Safety Ty-Meer Brown is also back as are eight other players (including Joseph) who started at least one game on defense for the Huskies and the linebacking corps will be aided by Florida transfer Graham Stewart so Brown's departure does not mean that it won't be a dominant unit but it certainly does not help.

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