Don Brown is one member of Michigan’s coaching staff you can depend on bringing energy to his interviews, along with some entertaining comments. He understands what this young defense is capable of accomplishing this season, a group that’s eager to develop and learn as the season goes on.
During his media session Wednesday, Brown was asked about younger players getting better, especially freshman Aubrey Solomon who made his first career start last Saturday. He also previewed the upcoming game against Minnesota and knows what kind of test they’ll bring Saturday night.
Brown complimented Minnesota’s offense, knowing they will primarily run the ball.
“(Minnesota’s) gonna run the rock, they're big and strong, (the) best offensive line we've played at this point in terms of run blocking.”
With cold and rainy weather in Saturday’s forecast, the Gophers will probably rely on their run game — a 4-to-1 run/pass ratio currently in their play calling — to keep it competitive.
Brown was also asked about the quick success on defense overall and what contributed the most based on the coaching staff and players learning.
“It's all (the players),” Brown said. “I coach the best group of young people in the country, I say that all the time. It's a great group to coach.
“The last two weeks of practice have been unbelievably good. If we go much harder, someone's going to get hurt.”
Brown switched gears when asked about Solomon and how he’s improved to earn the opportunity of starting against Rutgers.
“Just a big boy growing up, learning the system, minimizing errors and solidifying himself as a solid guy we can depend on a three down basis,” Brown said. “On third down, we'll do whatever we want to do anyway to get off the field. He's a tremendous run and pass defender.”
Solomon admitted to the media this week he has lost 25 pounds since coming to Michigan. He met and worked with a nutritionist who knew he had to make some changes. He now sticks to mainly eating pasta and vegetables, but Solomon says he is fine with it knowing how it’s helping his game improve.
“Not only do I feel more flexible, I'm more alive, and don't feel as sluggish,” Solomon said.
Michigan is currently the ranked No. 4 overall defense in the country. Brown mentioned the total yards allowed so far speaks for itself.
“280 yards or less in seven of eight games is a lot. I mean that's a good sample size and it's just a bunch of guys learning as we go, no expectations reduced and we're getting better.”
Michigan fans understand how valuable a coach like Don Brown is to the team’s success. He’s proven he can develop players, especially younger guys, and with a brand new defense with only one returning starter, and has turned them into one of the best defenses in the country.