Sunday, March 18, 2007

Carlos Brown makes the switch to CB

Super sophmore-to-be Carlos Brown did not see the field as much as expected last season as a running back and it has been widely speculated that he may switch to the defensive backfield in 2007. At the Pre-Spring Football Press Conference on March 14, 2007, Coach Carr confirmed that Carlos Brown was indeed making the switch to cornerback for 2007. Coach Carr stated, "Carlos Brown came in to see me after the bowl game and has an interest in moving to cornerback. That's going to be a great move for us. We will still work him some as a tailback, but Carlos, because of our situation a year ago at quarterback with Antonio Bass being out, Carlos' development as a tailback was limited because during the course of the season, we prepared him to play a role at quarterback if we had so needed. Jason (Forcier) had some problems, and we weren't sure he'd be able to hold up. Carlos played quarterback in high school. He has handled a difficult first year extremely well. I'm really excited about what I've seen from him this winter and his potential to develop over there."

Coach Carr also stated that Brown is one of three top candidates (along with Stevie Brown and Greg Mathews) to handle kick return duties next season. As for seeing any time at quarterback in 2007, Coach Carr said, "He had an unbelievable number of repetitions last fall for a couple of reasons. Antonio Bass probably would have been our backup quarterback a year ago. We also needed to prepare our defense against some spread teams. What we decided was to create an offense with a limited number of plays where we could utilize some of the things Carlos can do. He's not going to play any quarterback at least in my plans this spring, but to say that he never would – I can't say that." With Ryan Mallett available this season, the need for Brown to play quarterback has diminished to almost nil. Thus, Brown will most likely be seen in his new roles on defense and (possibly) special teams kick returner.

Spring practice will be very important to Brown because he is at a "new" position. However, he did play in the defensive secondary in high school and performed very well as he amassed 203 tackles, 11 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries, and 25 pass break-ups during his prep career. Nonetheless, the college game is different and he will have much to learn in the way of techniques. Fortunately, his position coach will be Vance Bedford who is a fabulous instructor and was 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson's position coach. Brown's progress at cornerback will be reviewed at the conclusion of Spring Practice in April. Coach Carr stated, "We'll look at these position changes after the second week and at the end of the second week, I'll call these guys in and ask, 'How do you like it? How do you feel like you're doing? Do you want to stay there?' Or, 'This is what I think. I like what you're doing. You may not feel you're where you want to be right now, but I see progress. I think you've got great potential there." As for Carlos Brown's position switch to cornerback, Coach Carr seems very excited about it and Brown has an excellent shot at starting if he works hard to learn the position. It all starts with Spring Practice. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Carlos Brown (#23) from 2006 Michigan Football Media Day by John T. Greilick/The Detroit News

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