Jan. 19, 2007
COACH WEIS: Good afternoon. I have just a couple of things to address with you today. I’m going to introduce ?? announce a couple of changes in our coaching staff. Two coaches from our last ?? for the last couple of years, both Rick Minter and Peter Vaas’s contracts have not been renewed and they’re going to be replaced with Corwin Brown as defensive coordinator and he’ll give you a little bit more information positionally on how we’re working the staff on defense. And Ron Powlus will be promoted, my director of player personnel up to the position as a quarterback coach. Those other positions are in the process of being redefined and reassigned.
But for today’s purposes only, today’s really to talk about Ron and Corwin. When I got ready to make a couple of tweaks in our staff, when it came to the offensive side and my hiring of Ron, it didn’t take me very long to figure out what direction I wanted to go to find a guy to work with the quarterbacks. Ron’s been with me now for the last two years.
He’s done an outstanding job for me off the field, and he’s earned my trust. I feel he has great promise as a coach, especially working at this delicate position and working with the head coach who sometimes could be overbearing at this position.
I think that that’s sometimes a little tough. And at this time what I’m going to do is bring Ron up and let him go through a little firing line from you and introduce Ron as our quarterback coach.
RON POWLUS: Thank you, Coach. You know, it’s been ?? and I’ll just make a quick statement to get things started here, give you guys some answers to some of these questions already.
But 14 years ago I had the chance to come here and represent this university on the football field and wear the gold helmet and play in front of these fans and the dedicated fans and the people that were here and talk to you guys on a weekly basis and made a lot of great friends, a lot of great teammates. Got a great education.
But the thing that really stuck out most to me, my time here was the opportunity to represent the University of Notre Dame on a worldwide basis. And a few years ago, after being out of the game, Coach Weis gave me an opportunity to come back and be a part of the program. An off the field role, a role where I had a chance to work with a lot of recruiting, Coach Ianello and the rest of the staff, a chance to get to know a lot of players and deal with some of the things ?? help them deal with some of the things I dealt with as a player and it was a tremendous opportunity to be part of it again.
A couple of years of doing that the coach has given me an opportunity to get back deal with things going on the field. I won’t be wearing the gold helmet, but I’ll be working with Coach Weis on the quarterbacks, is a great opportunity for me to be a part of Notre Dame football on the football field again.
I’m thrilled with the opportunity. My thanks to Coach Weis. The entire staff has been terrific great group of guys, great staff. Thanks from me and my family for Coach Weis for giving me what he’s done to get back to Notre Dame and back on the field.
With that, fire away. Good to see you all again.
Q. Ron, did you get the coaching bug when you had the opportunity to work on the field a couple springs ago?
RON POWLUS: For me the coaching bug came before that. It was getting out of the game a few years. I worked in the business world for a couple terrific companies and enjoyed what I was doing and things were good. But the more removed I was from the game, the more I missed it and finally you go to school at Notre Dame, you play football you get this terrific education. When you stop playing you have the opportunity to use that education, and that’s what I was doing.
And I finally said to myself why am I not doing what I want to do. If I want to be in football still, trying to get into football. And at that time Coach gave me that opportunity, but it was getting away from the game for a couple of years and realizing that I want to be part of it, what can I do to be part of it.
Q. You came back to Notre Dame with the idea that you would soon get into the coaching aspect of it?
RON POWLUS: I didn’t know what the time frame was. I wouldn’t try to guesstimate on any of that. I hadn’t been around this side of the college football game before. I was a player and this side is different.
What I did know is Coach gave me an opportunity to get back here. And I focused wholeheartedly on the job I was doing. I wasn’t worried about coaching for the last two years, that’s not been my job. My job was to help our guys off the field in academics and things like that.
So I had no time frame on it. That wasn’t my ?? my focus was on what I was doing.
Q. So how much do you have to learn about being a quarterback coach?
RON POWLUS: Of course there’s plenty to learn. I fortunately played the position for many years. Had a lot of experience. But bottom line I’ll learn what it’s like to teach the quarterbacks from one of the best quarterbacks coaches ever in Coach Weis. He’s proven himself to be an outstanding head coach and outstanding quarterback coach. I’m going to be learning with the rest of these guys.
Q. With Coach Weis and Coach Vaas already around, how many opportunities or how much of an opportunity do you actually get to relate to the quarterbacks and to share some of your experiences having been in that position?
RON POWLUS: I had opportunities in my role. My role was academics, off the field things, different experiences they were having to deal with. I interacted with them as needed in my role.
Q. Following up on that, what’s your first piece of advice to Clausen, considering you were in the same position as him coming out?
RON POWLUS: Playing quarterback for Notre Dame for all of these guys, they’re all trying to do it. And playing quarterback at the University of Notre Dame, it’s a fun position to be in if you like to be part of the world of college football, if you like to compete. Every one of these guys has a chance to compete for a starting job. I had an outstanding quarterback for the last number of years. And somebody’s got to play that position.
All these guys have a great opportunity to compete for that job.
Q. Ron, when you guys first got here, you had the opportunity to coach a little bit at first, right, when Coach Cuttcliffe wasn’t able to be here. How much coaching were you able to do then and what was that like?
RON POWLUS: You can imagine the whirlwind it was for me. Getting the job as director of personnel development and moving my family and my wife was pregnant, and we’re trying to find a house. And then getting the opportunity to go on the field. It was a whirlwind. I took bits and pieces of that experience with Coach and the quarterbacks that I had an opportunity to be a part of that.
But it was good to be around. It was good to see the format, but it’s not going back to that experience, it was very short?lived. It was a crazy time and I was trying to learn bits and pieces as quickly as I could.
Sure, I’ll recall on that experience. But that’s not necessarily the foundation for how we’re going to move forward.
Q. I assume when you were doing your job the past few years this was in your mind. How much time have you done just studying the offense? I assumed you’re ahead of the game as far as if someone came in new that you know a lot of the offense already?
RON POWLUS: My job the last two years has not really been to study the offense. My job the last two years has been to work with our guys off the field and that’s really what I’ve been doing. You know, certainly look forward to getting into the intricacies of our offense as we move forward, and there’s a lot to learn.
And I’ve got a good teacher to teach me and I’ll help teach them and that’s how we’ll move forward.
Q. In the free time you weren’t looking at the play book or just imagining some day being in this position?
RON POWLUS: My schedule is certainly different than the coaches’, but not a whole lot of free time. So doing our job and doing what we do and that was my focus for the last two years.
Q. Could you describe a little bit what your job was, you mentioned off the field. What exactly were your responsibilities?
RON POWLUS: I got into a couple of different areas, and my main ?? the main thrust was really with our players and addressing and helping from an emotional standpoint, if you will, or mental standpoint, dealing with different issues that arose as far as on?campus issues or academic issues. Good or bad. Some different things where their time was being asked for and where I could help them manage some of their day with some of my experiences.
I dealt also with some of the NFL personnel that came in to view our guys and view practice and things like that. I had an opportunity to meet a lot of our parents through recruiting and worked with them during the years as far as events, what’s going on, the schedule. Those were really the side bar of next to kind of helping the administration of our recruiting. Obviously we have a head coach who is very involved in recruiting. We have a recruiting coordinator who is one of the best in the business, terrific recruiting coordinator.
And I helped organize and manage a lot of the on?campus things we did as far as recruiting goes.
Q. Being as highly recruited as you were, do you think that will help you now in your job as a recruiter?
RON POWLUS: Sure, you know, the world’s changed in recruiting from when I was recruited. But I think it’s comparable or it’s relative, I should say, in the amount of attention that’s received now and the way it was 15, 14, 15 years ago when I was being recruited. So, sure, I’ll be able to relate to a kid that’s getting recruited and recruited heavily.
Q. I know no one can say who the next quarterback is going to be here ??
RON POWLUS: That was going to be my last statement.
Q. Jimmy Clausen comes in, someone said earlier as the most highly recruited guy. And I’m sure there will be other guys coming in. What do you say to someone to get ready for the kind of whirlwind that they’re going to be coming into just coming in?
RON POWLUS: We have a few guys competing for this job. It will be a whirlwind for whoever winds up being the quarterback. It will be a whirlwind for all the guys competing for the quarterback job. And as I said earlier, it’s a fun job to be the quarterback at Notre Dame. And there’s a lot of attention.
People call it pressure. I call it attention. That’s part of the game. That’s part of what you buy into, and all the guys that come here expect to play and expect to be the starting quarterback of Notre Dame. If you don’t, we don’t want you on the team.
So every guy that walks in this door that plays the position of quarterback, I hope he expects to play. And that’s the mentality that they should have coming in and that’s the mentality of every one of the guys competing for that job, and we’ll help breed a competitive environment and let the best guy get on the field.
Q. Ron, obviously these next two months I would think would be pretty valuable for you before spring ball starts. Have you mapped out a plan what you’ll be doing now now that you’ve hit the ground running kind of?
RON POWLUS: Yes, it’s going to be ?? as I am involved in some of the recruiting activities we’re doing on campus and some of the administration of what we’re doing, it’s going to be easing out of my job. Right now we still have a lot going on with this recruiting class, and things that I’m involved in.
But certainly there’s a plan in place for the way we move forward from here until spring ball starts and beyond and certainly there’s a plan in place that we’ll look to follow.
Q. Maybe it’s too early to ask this. How much, when it comes to spring practice and whatnot, how much will be learning for you and how much will be coaching?
RON POWLUS: We’ll see. We have a long time between here and spring practice, see how much I learn. But so much of the coaching now ?? and you guys know this now ?? so much of the coaching is going to come from Coach Weis. I mean, he’s the master at doing this, and you know certainly looking forward to imparting what I know and what I can lend.
About you we’re all going to be learning from Coach Weis. Now none of these guys have been the starting quarterback at Notre Dame before. So somebody is going to have to learn it and somebody is going to have to execute it. We’re all going to learn it and one of them is going to win the job.
Q. You don’t want to talk about who is going to be the starter or whatever, but can you talk about the guys who were in the program this past year and what you saw in those three guys?
RON POWLUS: No.
No reason for me to sit up here and critique where our guys are or what I think. There’s a long time between now and the starting quarterback is named. You guys know the names in the program. You’ve all seen how much everybody has played and been at practice and you know where we are.
And no reason for me to sit up here do that now. It’s a long time before we put somebody in the pole position.
Q. Guys brought up Clausen’s name and told me you’ve established a relationship. What are some of the things you relayed to him in your talks with him?
RON POWLUS: Fortunately I’ve had an opportunity to establish a pretty good relationship with all the guys. He’s here already, and the other guys have been here, and he was here on his visit. So I’ve had an opportunity to talk to all those guys about what it’s like to be the quarterback of Notre Dame. There’s a lot of attention that comes with it. But it’s a lot of fun.
It’s a competitive world. And if you’re proud of what you’re doing, if you’re proud of yourself and you’re proud of your school, it’s a lot of fun to walk out there wearing a gold helmet and being the guy in the center. I’ve expressed that to all the quarterbacks here whether it was Jimmy through the recruiting or the other guys on campus that I had dealings with. But we have a nice group of quarterbacks here and it’s going to be a fun time getting to know these guys all better.
Q. Do you relate some of the tough times you had, too, when you have these conversations?
RON POWLUS: Yes, of course, they all have their unique experiences and I had my unique experience. My experience is not going to be exactly like any of theirs. Doesn’t matter how highly recruited any one of them was. Their experience is going to be different than mine, and all I can do is offer my stories, how I got through things, some of the people I leaned on and offer my help to all these guys.
Q. Ron, ten years ago you were a student here. Could you have ever imagined this right now and what did you see yourself doing?
RON POWLUS: No, you know, I never imagined this, no. Never imagined this day ten years ago. I don’t know what I expected. I don’t know. Race car driver, I don’t know. You know, enjoyed being a student here and knew ?? bottom line as a student at Notre Dame, you know, you knew you were setting a foundation for a successful future.
And I didn’t know which direction I would wind up going. I don’t know, I wanted to play football forever, right? But you knew that I was setting a foundation as a student and a graduate from the University of Notre Dame that was going to lead to successful things in my future. Didn’t know where it was going to be but felt very confident, and that’s a result of the kind of university we have here. Every kid on campus can feel that kind of confidence that they’re going to get a good degree, that they’re going to have opportunities for success in life and this is where, this is the path I’ve come full circle, I guess.
Q. Then as far as what you’ve done with recruiting, how has that prepared you for what you will be doing?
RON POWLUS: Coming into the world of college football the way I did a couple years ago, I didn’t know all the inside/out of what went on from this end of the recruiting. Obviously from this player I knew it. But from this end I didn’t know everything.
So I’ve had two years to learn. Again we have a head coach who is very involved in recruiting. We have an outstanding recruiting coordinator in Rob Ianello. Our coaching staff has been terrific, recruiters developing relationships, dealing with kids, managing high school coaches. There’s a lot to it.
I’ve had an opportunity to be around people who care about recruiting, who care about finding the best kids in the country that can read and write and get them here to the University of Notre Dame. And so it’s been very beneficial to be in this world in the role I was in getting ready to have this opportunity now.
MODERATOR: Let’s see if we have any questions from any of the callers.
Q. Ron, it seems these kids these days, the recruits coming out have a heightened sense of entitlement, even more than when you played. I wondered what you thought about that, and did things ever go to your head the way you were recruited and built up at Notre Dame in your time there?
RON POWLUS: You know, I was very fortunate to have ?? that sounded awful, didn’t it. I’m fortunate to have outstanding parents and an outstanding high school coach who helped me manage the whole recruiting process. Kept me very grounded. It’s an adjustment now. Small town in PA and having an opportunity to get the attention I was getting in the recruiting process. Sure it’s flattering, absolutely.
But I kept very grounded by my coach and my parents. And I gotta thank them for that.
Q. How did you deal with it once you were on campus and were the man?
RON POWLUS: You know, I don’t know when it started or when it became a reality in my mind, but the attention you receive as the quarterback of Notre Dame is part of the job.
And I think I had that mind set from the day I walked on campus. I never came on campus not to play. Came to campus to play and part of the job is the attention you received.
I don’t know if that mind set started the day I walked on campus or before I got here or what. But you deal with it. You go to class and sign autographs and you take pictures coming out of 7?Eleven. I mean, that’s life being a Notre Dame quarterback.
So it was really never ?? it never really threw me too much for a loop.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Ron. We’ll bring Coach Weis back to the table.
COACH WEIS: We’ll go to part two now, part one and part two were connected, because as I’m approaching going into this off season, whether it be February, March, April, replacing Brady Quinn with Ron taking over as the quarterback coach, I obviously intend to spend a whole bunch of time training Ron and coaching the quarterbacks in this spring’s camp, as I feel as one of the most critical factors on the success of this upcoming season will be the development of the young players that we have on both sides of the ball, but obviously no greater ?? no greater one than trying to decide who is going to be taking snaps at quarterback for us.
So the second part came to the fact that I felt I needed to be able to turn the defense over in the spring to somebody who I was familiar with and whose familiarity in the system that I was brought up in made the most sense.
So what did I do? Rather than try to figure this out on my own, I used some of the resources that I have available. I called up Coach Parcells. I called up Coach Belichick. I called up Coach Crennel and called up Coach Groh. All guys who had been the key leaders. Hey, my first year in the league in the NFL in 1990, the head coach was Bill Parcells. The defensive coordinator was Bill Belichick. Linebacker coach was Al Groh and defensive line coach was Romeo Crennel. What did I do? I called all of them and I said, What do I do?
And they came up with one name. They said you should hire Corwin Brown. So I called up Eric Mangini and I asked for permission to talk to Corwin, which he didn’t have to grant if he didn’t want to. But he granted permission for me to talk to Corwin, and we got together and I have known Corwin since 1993.
I mean, obviously the downside is he went to Michigan. But I’ve known him since 1993. We drafted him in the fourth round to the Patriots. He played for us for four years there. Went on to the Jets, went and brought him over to the Jets and obviously played for us for half a dozen years and then coached for three years under Al and three years for the Jets, the last year with Eric.
And what I do know is I don’t have to ?? I won’t have to concern myself with knowing what we’re doing, because I know what we’ll be doing. Because it’s a system that I was grown up in as I started on the defensive side of the ball my first year. And all I know is if I can get recommendations, ringing recommendations with one name from Parcells and Belichick and Crennel and Groh and they all give you the same person, then I must be on the right track.
So with no further ado, our new defensive coordinator, Corwin Brown.
CORWIN BROWN: Thanks, Coach. First and foremost, I would like to thank President Father John, athletic director Kevin White, and of course Coach Charlie Weis. I’d also like to thank the owner of the Jets, Woody Johnson of the New York Jets football club. General manager Mike Tanenbaum and the head coach Eric Mangini.
I’m a man of few words, but I think sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due, and I was raised a certain way. I learned football a certain way, and that started at an early age. I was around Julian High School growing up in the public league on the south side of Chicago and we had a legendary coach, JW Smith, and he had an assistant, Will Smith, who was my position coach. There was a foundation set back then. I went on to go to play for University of Michigan, recruited by Bo Schembeckler, who has passed.
I had good coaches there. William Harris, Larry Carr who was the defensive coordinator at the time. From there I went on to New England. I was drafted. Coach Parcells was my head coach. Belichick was my position coach and D coordinator, and Coach Groh who was the linebackers coach and sometimes he was the coordinator there also, he was there. And then we go on to New York, like Coach Weis said, and had the same staff and Eric Mangini was my position coach. And then also I would like to give thanks and show some credit to Herman Edwards who gave me my first professional job, and Donnie Henderson, who was the coordinator for the Jets my first two years there.
I think there was a foundation set. There was a way that I learned how to play football and there was a way that I, you know, came up thinking that this is how football should be played. This is how it should be taught. I tried to pay attention to those guys as best possible. And that’s what I did.
And I’ve been around some good coaches. And I used to always say to myself, if I could be half as good as all of those guys, if I could be half as good, I’ll be okay.
And I think that having the support of all those guys and those guys as mentors, I would like to think that I’ve learned something along the way. Being here at Notre Dame is a tremendous opportunity.
Talking with the players here this morning and, you know, Ron talked about earlier, you know a lot of words come to mind when you talk about Notre Dame. And it is a tremendous opportunity. It’s an honor.
But what a lot of people say is they talk about pressure. And there is some pressure here, but the one thing that we talked about with our players is pressure really defines you. It defines who you are and it shows really what you’re about.
And when I was in high school, George Streeter who played here at Notre Dame, I remember the first time he came back and he had a leather jacket on and how he walked around the school. He was proud, and he had a lot of confidence. It was just a certain air about him that I had been around George while we were in high school. But there was a certain air about him when he came back. And I really believed that it was spending time here at this place.
As Coach Weis said, I played at Michigan and you really get to know your rivals and your competition.
And the one thing that you always knew is you knew that there was a special fighting spirit that was going to come out of Notre Dame. When you lined up to play on Saturday, and my last time I played against Notre Dame, it was a 17?17 tie here, it was just a special spirit that they had.
And I would jump to be a part of it because I think it is special. It’s a tremendous opportunity. And I would like to open it up for questions.
Q. You talked about learning football and the way it should be played. What is your style as a coach and can you expound on what you’ve picked up over your career as a player and as a coach and your system of your style of defense, what you want to bring to Notre Dame?
CORWIN BROWN: Well, the thing that I would like to say is there’s a lot of ways to skin a cat. No one way is better than the other. But the way that like I said that I’ve learned and that I believe in is I think fundamentally you have to be sound.
I think you have to have a foundation in place. You have to give your players the best opportunity to win, whatever that is. And if the offense calls for you to put more pressure on them, then maybe you should put more pressure on them. If it calls for you to play more coverage and then you gotta play more coverage.
If they’re an offense that says that maybe you should gear up on the run, then you gotta gear up on the run.
So I think it’s one that you have to have a foundation. You have to get after it. I believe in being aggressive. You have to hit. You have to run. And you’ve got to play hard. And that’s what I believe in. You have to hit and run and you gotta play hard and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be tough.
Q. Coach Weis talks a lot about how he’s a game playing coach as opposed to a system coach. Do you feel like you’re cut from that same cloth, where you do what the game dictates as opposed to coming in with kind of preconceived notions about a system?
CORWIN BROWN: I am. We have a system in place and within that system we should be able to address different matters that will come up within a game and I feel personally that you have to, sometimes you have to dictate what the game is going to, how the game is going to unfold. Sometimes you have to be the aggressor.
So within our system we will have the ability to play a good style of play.
Q. You said you talked to the players a little bit today. What are some of your earlier impressions of them and what are your early impressions of the roster you’ll be inheriting this spring?
CORWIN BROWN: It’s all about players. I’ve really not been here long enough to really comment on the players. But the one thing I know just by all these guys being here is that they welcome the pressure. These guys are going to be confident and they’re going to be aggressive and they’re Notre Dame. So that’s what you know about our players right now. And believe me, it’s all about our players.
Q. Corwin, you said you’re kind of a man of few words. What is your personality as a coach once you get going on practice and game days?
CORWIN BROWN: I coach like I played. It’s fast and hard. I also believe that you have to know your players, and you gotta respond to them. So some players they need harder coaching. Some players they need more explanation. So that’s what I do.
I don’t believe in just approaching everyone the same way. And that’s how I do it.
Q. Is there anything you can take from your more recent experience in the NFL, what do you want to bring now to the college level? Is there an adjustment there, switching gears like that?
CORWIN BROWN: I think there is an adjustment, because they’re younger and also these guys are students so you don’t have them all day. But at the same time at the end of the day it’s still football. And it comes down to two things. Blocking and tackling and how you play and getting after the guy with the ball.
So at the end of the day I would like to think that the guys that we got, those 11 guys they’re going to play together. They’re going to play hard and they’re going to play tough. That’s what I feel.
Q. Corwin, over here, maybe this is getting too much into game planning, is there a style you feel more comfortable with being a four?three or a three?four, or is that going to be dictated by the spring?
CORWIN BROWN: I have a background in both, both the three?four and the four?three, and what we’ll do is look at our personnel. When we get into the game plan, we will see what’s the best way for us to be successful as a defense and as a team and we’re going to go from there.
Q. Corwin, I guess you’ve been out recruiting a little bit.
CORWIN BROWN: Not yet.
Q. Not yet. Chicago, talk a little bit about that. I don’t know what your area will be or whatever, but obviously you have ties to that city. Talk a little bit about recruiting there and what you hope to bring?
CORWIN BROWN: Well, I have a very strong base. I’m from Chicago. A lot of my friends are coaching there now, especially in the public league. And I would like to think that by me being here, but also this university, without me, this university, like Coach Powlus talked about, it gives you an opportunity to move on in life, regardless of football. You take football out of the equation, which at some point every young man will have to do, whether he plays long or not.
What you have to do is you have to see what’s going to give you the best opportunity to succeed in life. And I think University of Notre Dame does that. So that’s something that I will be able to relay to those guys. Not only in Chicago but also across the country, because I play in college. Played in the NFL and I can tell those guys, hey, this is what I did. These are some of the things that you may experience. This is what Notre Dame has to offer, and I would think that would be very, it would be very inviting to any young man.
Q. You definitely want to have a big hand in the Chicago recruiting?
CORWIN BROWN: I want to have a big hand anywhere I go that will help the school, yes, I do, especially Chicago.
Q. Coach, how comfortable or confident are you in making the transition from position coach to coordinator? Obviously you’ve been deep in any kind of conversations about coordinating the defense. But now that you’re actually making those decisions, how comfortable are you with that?
CORWIN BROWN: Well, I’m comfortable just like anything else, you know, you gain, you get comfortable at what you do. And there are decisions that I had to make as a secondary coach, putting the game plan together.
There are decisions that I had to make when I was at Virginia, as a special teams coach, and this is the same deal but it’s just ?? it’s a little different. Instead of now just coordinating the passing game or coordinating six guys, seven guys or the linebackers, now you’re coordinating the whole defense. It’s a good situation. It’s a good opportunity. And I feel good about it.
Q. Will you coach the linebackers? Has that been determined?
CORWIN BROWN: Well, the thing that I’ve done through the past years is I’ve worked with the skilled positions, the safeties and corners and linebackers on occasion, so the thing that we’re going to do here is I’m going to be able to work with all of the skilled positions, the linebackers and the corners and safeties, but I will also have an opportunity to visit with the D line at times and to move as we see fit as a staff.
MODERATOR: Any questions from anybody on the telephone at this point?
Q. Hey, Coach, congratulations.
CORWIN BROWN: Thank you.
Q. Quick question. I know your history with Charlie as far as being in the same place is well documented. But being on different sides of the ball, how did you guys cross paths and how did you build this relationship and this trust that you have that allows you to make the leap and allowed him to want you hear?
CORWIN BROWN: Well, the one thing that I did when I went to New England is I tried to be a sponge and if you are going to work on defense, what you want to do is talk to as many guys as possible. There was times I would talk with Coach Weis. I remember there were times when I came to the Combine back in 1997. We had dinner, I think it was at St. Elmo’s, you had a chance to talk about football, talk about scheme, talk about philosophy. We talked about other things. We talked about our schools and life in general and what you want to do later in life.
And so I think that’s where a bond was set or a communication, a level of communication. And that’s how it went. But you really want to talk to the guys on offense more than the guys on defense because those are the guys that are trying to beat you.
Q. And did you always know even if you were a player in the league that some day you hoped to transition into coaching?
CORWIN BROWN: Yeah, I did. I knew it a couple of times. My dad, he was a coach. He was my coach. He was my basketball coach. He coached also at my high school and you know my dad had a certain mannerism when he was on the floor. And also you know kind of as a player, whenever the coach would call something that you didn’t want them to call I would say I want to do it different.
Back then I knew I wanted to be a coach. But as a player right off the bat I knew that this is something that I wanted to do and so I tried to prepare myself in such a manner.
Q. Coach, are you being entrusted to put together a defensive staff also, or are you set with who is on staff now?
CORWIN BROWN: Yes, we have a staff in place.