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Don Brown explains improvement he sees in crossing route defense

Michigan’s defensive coordinator sees improving results in one of the fanbase’s biggest pet peeves.

Rutgers v Michigan

Don Brown spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon to address the state of the Michigan defense and how the unit he is coordinating is progressing on that side of the ball. Naturally, the questions about how he decides to play things aggressively and how his team has defended the crossing routes that continue to plague them was a topic of interest, and he doubled down on his philosophy once again, as he has done from the start.

“I think we’ve done a pretty good job,” Brown said. “I think we’ve given up about 127 yards a game in the pass game. Wisconsin, it was probably the only bright spot we had, how we defended the pass. We’ve mixed in and we’re doing some things coverage-wise, but at the same time, we’re still maintaining our aggressive nature, which, I’m gonna say this again, so we’re all clear. The day that somebody tells me, ‘Jeez, you’ve got to tone down that aggressiveness,’ I’m out! I’m done! I’m just not gonna do it.”

Brown’s defenses have been burned time to time from offenses that have used that aggressiveness against them. Despite that, he says that the job is to find different ways to attack and that there is not just one set template for how to get the job done.

“If you find a way, and there’s several ways to be aggressive, and challenge offenses and put ‘em on their heels,” Brown said. “You sit back on that guy Saturday (Iowa QB Nate Stanley), he’ll carve you up. And try tackling him on the ground if you’re not sending bodies at that guy. It’s like Ben Roethlisberger’s brother! I’m joking, obviously.

“I think we’ve done some good things, package-wise. I really like the way our speed group’s playing. And we have two or three of those kinds of groups, and I like the way they’re playing. We just gotta keep improving.”

Brown says every week provides different challenges, citing that at one point this year the Wolverines saw four different offenses in four weeks of practice.

“The one thing that I think has changed over the years is, more than ever, it’s a week-to-week deal,” Brown said. “I mean, you see it. ‘How did that team beat that team? How does this team beat that team?’ Well, it just happens. You don’t know who’s injured, you don’t know who’s had a bad week.

“There’s just so many scenarios you have to deal with to get from one Saturday to the next. That’s what it’s all about. Every week’s a new week, and just try to put yourself in the best position possible.”