According to senior safety Dymonte Thomas, new Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown is less of a yeller than his predecessor, DJ Durkin.
That doesn’t mean that Brown brings less energy, however.
“He’s really out there on the field with us, yelling and screaming and having fun, jumping around with us,” Thomas said. “He’s a really great coach.”
Added defensive tackle Bryan Mone: “Coach Brown is the man. Like I said, he has the juice and he brings it out of us sometimes too. … He just brings the juice and then everyone is just like, ‘C’mon man, let’s get it!’ ”
With that kind of energy combined with Brown’s affinity for blitzing, the most experienced of offenses would be thrown off.
For Michigan’s, which has been able to line up across from Brown’s group since the start of fall camp on Aug. 8, it took a while. But by Friday, the offense had buckled down and figured it out.
“Our offense is pretty steady and calm,” Thomas said. “Our quarterbacks handle everything pretty well. Our line has done a great job of picking up our blitzes. So today they were picking up all of our blitzes. They know where we’re blitzing and they call out our blitzes before we even call it out, so it’s really funny because we always say, ‘The only reason why you’re blocking us is because you know who we’re blitzing and where we’re blitzing at now.’ It took them a while to get it but they’ve got it. They’re doing a really good job of picking up our scheme.”
Though the Michigan faithful is anxious to see the progression of quarterbacks Wilton Speight, John O’Korn and Shane Morris, Thomas says that he doesn’t notice much of a difference between the three. When Thomas is in the backfield, he claims he doesn’t even pay attention to who’s under center. Though the competition is tight, each quarterback seems to handle the pressure from the defense well.
Considering Brown will choose to blitz regardless of where they are on the field, that’s surprising.
“We blitz no matter where we are on the field and what down it is, which is really awesome, because when you blitz like that, you get the opportunity to get your hands on the ball and everything,” Thomas said. “Coach Brown is not scared to pressure a quarterback and (by) creating pressure throughout the game, that quarterback is pretty soon going to get tired and he’s just going to continue to throw the ball up.”
Though that’s the theory against other offenses, its effectiveness against the Wolverines has lessened. With 15 days until an opponent gets to truly see it for the first time, practicing against their own squad will have to do, and while the offense has more to worry about considering its ongoing quarterback battle, the defensive personnel hasn’t undergone any drastic changes.
Both units are impressed with the other’s progress, which is a good place to be more than halfway through camp.
“We’re kind of on the same page,” Thomas said.