Chip Patterson on CBSSportsLine.com referring to a report in the OC Register is saying that Steve Brown could become UCLA's very DC very soon. Rumors are running rampant on BruinGold.com that "Brown is the guy" and could be announced this weekend.
Brown has only been DC for three years now. Kentucky's SEC position in total defense (admittedly a deceptive statistic) has improved every single one of those years. The problem for Brown has been rushing defense, where UK has languished near the bottom of the league every year he has been DC. In the SEC, if you can't defend the run, winning is really hard, and since Brown, a former DB, took over, the run has been the biggest defensive bugaboo. Obviously, one reason our pass defense is so good is because teams rarely have to throw against us.
As you may know, Ky has been at the bottom of the SEC for years. Before Brooks and Brown came, we tried to play with 2* players with an occasional 3*+ mixed in. Most were slow and small for their position but with big hearts. An upset was a big deal. Against the big boys, 70-6, 49-3, 56-10 were the norm. Now we are at least competitive and Brown has had a big part in that. He's somewhat conservative with his sets but our talent may have dictated that. Two plays this year and Auburn wouldn't be National Champion. It would be interesting to see what he could do with a loaded defense. His leaving seems to be a result of our new coach wanting his own people in. Instant gratification is all the rage now but it takes time and lots of it to rebuild a football team. We are on the way and Brown has been a part of it.
We will wait for the announcement to offer more perspective on Brown but I will offer some quick early thoughts.
I personally like the idea of a guy like Brown who wants to prove himself as opposed to a guy like Randy Shannon who has been a head coach and will be applying for head coaching jobs the whole time he has the job. If nothing else, Brown has been in the SEC -- he's seen a lot of the tough offenses. It's impossible to really know how good he is off the KY experience, KY always has a talent gap against the other teams in that league and if anything they are more of an offensive minded team themselves.
The responsibility ultimately lies with Rick to get the program back on track next season. If he thinks Brown is the guy, I am ok with it and would give him that shot. This is different from Rocky Seto situation who raised clear red flags.