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Titans Coaches, Scout on LB Brown

Posted Apr 27, 2012

SCOUT COLE PROCTOR

(opening statement)

Zach Brown, North Carolina, linebacker.  He has been there four years, a great athlete, undefeated heavyweight wrestler, 27-0, with 17 pins coming out of high school.  He won the 100-meter, 200-meter champion and he was also on the 4x100 state championship team.  He is just a great athlete that is very versatile and covers the field, sideline-to-sideline.  He had five sacks this year and seven career interceptions.  He is just a fine athlete.  I think he is going to do a great job for us.  He is a willing special teams player and I think the coaches will be looking forward to having him here and training him.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JERRY GRAY

(on how he fits into the defensive scheme)

He will come in and get a chance to play Will linebacker and get a chance to play in space.  He has athletic ability.  He can make plays in space and get a chance to blitz off the open side, which will be good for us.  We know he can run, so he will be able to get into the nickel package, which is our sub package.  Again he can play in space, cover guys.  He has all athletic ability and the speed we are looking for.

SCOUT COLE PROCTOR

(on if there is a current linebacker he reminds him of)

No, he has the speed.  He has those things that I haven’t seen.  I just think he is an individual and I’m looking forward to having him here.

(on if the speed is unusual for a linebacker)

Yes, yes. (laughing)

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on the competition at the linebacker position)

He will definitely bring that.  We thought we needed someone a little different like we said.  We thought that was kind of a need of ours going into the draft.  A lot of our linebackers are more special-team oriented.  A lot of the guys we have, Tim Shaw, Patrick Bailey, Kevin Malast—they’re really special teams guy, not necessarily linebackers that can get us out of a game.  I think like Jerry (Gray) was saying we got a guy who we think is versatile who can play the weakside backer.  We like to bring that linebacker, he has good rush skills, he had five sacks this year as an outside linebacker and that’s something that we really haven’t had from that position.  The fact that he can cover and run the way he has with the people we have to cover in our division, with these tight ends these days.  There are a lot of things he offers.  Playing the sub package is another thing that allows us to move Akeem (Ayers) to do something else on third down that we think he could be better at, so it gives us a lot of options.  We were looking for someone like him in the draft, we went into the draft thinking we’d like to fill this need and we were able to do it with our second round pick.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JERRY GRAY

(on if playing four years at UNC will help him adjust to the NFL)

When you look at him on tape, he is at a lot of places and what we will get a chance to do with Frank’s (Frank Bush) assistance, is to put him in a situation where he is comfortable. Now you are comfortable at will, learn what you are supposed to do. He has experience because he has been there four years, this will just be that much better for him because he doesn’t have to line up in five or six different places. Here is where I am supposed to line up and I can go from there.

(on people saying that he is ‘allergic to contact’)

I would say that when he was in high school four years ago that so called expert wouldn’t get in the wrestling ring with him. They said he was 27-0. If you are allergic to contact, then I don’t think you are a wrestler.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JERRY GRAY

(on if he is known more for his speed than for his tackling)

To me, that is the package that they are using him in.  A lot of times you can be put in a position where they let you go run and chase, and that becomes who you are, so they kind of put that tag on you.  I think if they were running lead downhill and told him to go take on the fullback; I bet he would have done that—if that was his role.  I think his role at North Carolina was to go run and chase.  All their guys are really fast; they’re strong and athletic so he fit right along with what the guys at North Carolina were doing.

LINEBACKERS COACH FRANK BUSH

(on what they like about Zach Brown)

The obvious thing is the speed.  He’s a big, fast athlete.  We like a lot of things that way.  Spending time with the kid, we found a kid who was passionate about the game.  He had been there for four years, he had played in a lot of different positions and quite frankly he wants to get honed in and learn one particular thing to do so he can do it even better.  One thing I can’t coach is speed, and he’s got it.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JERRY GRAY

(on if the Titans could be too young at linebacker if he were to win the starting position)

No, I think young guys generally make a lot of plays.  They’ve got a lot more athletic ability, can run a little bit longer—hopefully, if he does do that then that will be a plus for us because he has to beat out some experienced guys in ‘Spoon (Will Witherspoon) and McRath (Gerald McRath) and guys like that.  He’s going to have to work in order to get up there with those cats and really do what he’s supposed to do.  If he comes out of camp as our starter that means he really, really worked his tail off to play.

(on if the Will starting linebacker position is open for competition going into camp)

He’s going to be competing and the best guy is going to get the job.

SCOUT COLE PROCTOR

(on how all the off the field issues surrounding the North Carolina football program the last couple years impacted Zach Brown)

He wasn’t suspended, he wasn’t involved, his name wasn’t brought up in any of that stuff and I think that is a credit to his character.

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on if they considered drafting Wisconsin offensive lineman Peter Konz)

Of course, like Ruston (Webster) talked the last couple days we had three or four guys—we had some of the linebackers, a little group of guys when we were six or seven picks away just to cover all the what ifs and what may happen.  So, he was definitely a guy we were considering, but like I said we were leaning to the defensive side of the ball and when we had one of the linebackers available that we felt could fit our need as we discussed earlier that made the decision easy to make.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JERRY GRAY

(on if Zach Brown could be used in some of the nickel packages)

Yeah, when he comes in the building he will probably be one of the three or four fastest guys on the defense—and Tommie Campbell can run.  This guy can really, really run.  He has the speed, and now let’s focus him in on what his job is, and I think he will become a lot better football player when he doesn’t have to do everything.  Just mesh into your deal and I think he’ll be Ok.

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on if they have any players targeted with their upcoming third round selection)

It’s still too early.  So much happens between the one pick and the next.  Like I said, we were two picks out and it changed dramatically with who was available, so we’ll just wait and see what our options are two hours from now.

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