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December 28, 2016

Don Brown

Miami Gardens, Florida

DON BROWN: I think there's a lot you can take. I'll tell you what now; playing against Jameis Winston was always a challenge, and we knew we had our hands full, and you had to go about your business in different ways. I just was talking about it, I think Coach Fisher does an unbelievable job getting those guys to throw the ball to the right guy based on what coverage you're in and based on what the quarterback is getting.

You're not going to fool him. Then it comes down to your techniques and your fundamentals and your philosophy of how you go about doing your business. Obviously Dalvin Cook has just made it a very difficult challenge in trying to have that balancing act between how you're going to go about stopping the run game and then being solid in the throw game, as well, and then I'm one of those guys, I'm not afraid to pressure anybody. I mean, that's just the way I am.

But you've got to be smart about how you go about doing it, and so all those things go into making up a game plan. But let me tell you something: Every time 4 has his hands on the ball, I can't breathe. I'm 61 years old, and I just (inhales), and then we get him on the ground and you move on to the next play and start breathing again. But he's a very, very good player. I would say if he's not the best, he's one of the top three players that we've played against, will have played against all year, and I have great respect for his toughness, as well.

I think Francois is a really good quarterback, can make all the throws. I mentioned Coach does a great job of getting him to throw the ball to the right guys. Obviously he's got tremendous skill around him. I like the tight end, 81. I'm not great with names. I know he's from Jersey.

I think he does a nice job of fitting in the run game and fitting into pass protections and getting out. He doesn't have an overabundance of catches, but the ones he seems to put his hands on are important, but that's not an issue because they have enough guys they can throw the ball to that are interchangeable.

But I like our guys. We have a style that we play. You know, and the whole key for us, been on the film for 12 weeks now, there's going to be no easy throws. Every throw you make, you're going to have to earn it, because we're going to play the game right here with those guys. Don't think we're some slow Midwest team that's coming in here to play now. Our guys can play. We'll play with tremendous technique and fundamentals. Our front four is playing at a high level, and our linebackers, led by Jabrill Peppers and Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray, we've been able to piece that together so that those guys complement the front and back end.

Our guys have been in the soup a little bit and know how to play.

Q. It sounds like you guys (inaudible)?
DON BROWN: You know, we deal with that in preseason. The way Coach runs things, I mean, it's all about the football. Our guys get a lot of football from the preseason period, the spring period. I mean, the amount of repetition that we give our guys and the amount of concept that we present to our guys, and Coach will say it all the time, more is more. So when you have more, you have answers. So you're just trying to give your guys the opportunity that somewhere along in the game we've got to make an adjustment, we've got answers, and it's not like, well, I guess we're done. We have enough answers. So that's kind of what we're looking for.

But our guys adjust really well to that. I'm not even sure that it's an issue, but we do take that approach, there's no question about it.

Q. I know you said you're not afraid of pressure. (Inaudible.)
DON BROWN: It's critical. That position, played by, in my opinion, the best player in college football, we can have that discussion all day. But it's huge because I can put him in the rush, I can put him on -- substitute him to be on any guy that I want him on, or he can be part of the coverage equation that we employ when we have four or five concepts where he's aligned on different guys. It's huge. And the nice part about it is you don't have to substitute to get it done, you just kind of make the call, and then all of a sudden he's over there or he's over there. So that's the flexibility that he gives you is the ability to kind of play multiple positions, but he's not leaving the field, so it's not like the offense can say, oh, they just subbed Peppers and they subbed this guy, so this means he'll be here. We do a lot of different stuff with him. As I alluded to, sometimes it's criminal because there's a lot of concept this guy has to learn, and he just handles it with ease.

Q. I want to ask you also about (Inaudible.)
DON BROWN: Really happy. Devin Bush has been a solid number two guy from the day he virtually got on campus. I kind of threw him in there. Unfortunately for him, he's playing behind Mike McCray, and Mike has played all year, with the exception of maybe 20, 25 snaps, of which Devin has played. But he's in a position where this spring he'll be in a starting role, and he's off and running.

Devin Gil, you know, I think we've kind of found out who he is, and he'll have a chance to be in that two deep, as well, moving forward this spring, and this Josh Metellus now, we're really excited about him because he can play safety and he can kind of do -- he can kind of be the poor man's Jabrill Peppers, too. We've got to get him a little bigger maybe, but he can do a lot of the things that we ask Jabrill to do. Like I said, I'm not saying he's Jabrill Peppers, I'm just saying he's the poor man's Jabrill Peppers.

But we're excited about him. I think he can play either safety position, really an intelligent, understands concept guy, and really we just threw three guys arbitrarily from Flanagan, right. The nice thing is the guys that are older than him have kind of helped those guys. That's just kind of the way it goes at Michigan. You don't know how that's going to go. I'm just a new guy coming in and I'm fighting for my life trying to install something. But our older guys do a great job of being role models for our guys both on and off the field.

Q. When Jabrill leaves, who will fill that spot next year?
DON BROWN: That's a good question. I'm not there yet.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DON BROWN: Well, here's what would happen. If the game is played today, Jabrill is playing. If we get into those big personnel groups, I can insert Noah. If we were to go and Jabrill got hurt, then Josh Metellus would eat up some of those plays. Now, we're also fooling around with this guy -- do you know the Glasgow family? This Jordan Glasgow, I think we've found this guy a home. I think we have. You know, we've kind of fooled with him in it. So what kind of -- we're going to be different at the safety position, so I don't know if I want to take Josh and pull him out of there full time and turn him into the viper, but boy, wouldn't it be wonderful if this guy just continues to mature, because he's a different guy, but he kind of has those qualities. But the beauty is we still have Noah, who can really -- and really has practiced extremely well over the last six, seven weeks, and will have that viper guy that can help him out. That's just how it's going to be based on the spread offenses and so forth and what people are going to try to do to us. We've got to be able to counteract that.

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