August 29, 2006
Brown looking to emerge in 2006
When the Texas Longhorns kick off their season on Saturday against North Texas, one of the players that will have a little bit of extra motivation going in is senior cornerback Tarell Brown. After breaking his arm in the fourth quarter of last year's Rose Bowl win over USC, Brown wants to prove to everyone that he's one of the nation's elite cornerbacks. Orangebloods.com sat down with Brown to get his thoughts on his return and a number of other key issues with the team.
Q: The big goal for the defense this season is to create more turnovers. In your heart of hearts to you know things will be better or do you hope they'll be better?
A: I know it will be better. This is our second year in the defense and we feel more confidence in the defense. We've always had trust in Coach (Gene) Chizik and the rest of our coaches, but this is our second year and we're learning a lot more. We're a lot more comfortable with it and its second nature to us. We're just working on the little small things. Every time the ball touches your hands, you want to get an interception. Every time the ball hits the ground, scoop up the ball. The little things that people don't notice, we've got to really focus on.
Q: Do you feel like you guys let too many opportunities go through your fingers last season?
A: Yeah, we really did miss a lot of opportunities. A lot of interceptions, we dropped. There were a lot of things that we should have done.
Q: Let's talk about your injury. You were having a great Rose Bowl before the injury in the fourth quarter. Talk about the confidence that you were gaining at the end of the year and just how much of a groove you were in the Rose Bowl.
A: I feel like I was in a real good groove. I was excited and I think we were all in a groove - the whole team was in a groove. We were playing real well. We had a couple of busts here and there, but it was a nice game. It was fun and I enjoyed it. I broke my arm, but it was worth it.
Q: You did drop a pick in that game though
A: I dropped a pick. Yeah, I did. I really did. That's the stuff I'm talking about - the small stuff like dropping picks. I've been working on a lot of those things and every ball that I drop, I do push-ups. Just the small thing - the little stuff. Even if a guy gets his hands on the ball, I should catch it.
Q: What do you see from Colt McCoy in practice? Is he easy to read?
A: Maturity. He's mature for a young guy. He's very confident. He's shy, but he's very confident. He has a lot of swagger about him and that's what I like. I mess with him every day about how many picks he's going to throw me and he talks trash back. I like that about him. He's a different quarterback than VY. Who is going to be a VY? Not many people come out like VY.
Q: How many picks has he thrown you in two-a-days?
A: He's thrown me a couple. I tell him all the time that he needs to keep throwing at me some more. I need to make sure that I catch them when they throw on me during the game.
Q: What does he say when he talks trash back?
A: He says he's going to burn me deep every time. He's going to do this and he's going to do that. It doesn't ever happen. The thing I really like about him is that he's always calm. We try to disguise our coverages and do different things to frustrate him because he's so young, but he's really calm. It seems like he's been here before. You know how someone has just been out there before? That's how it seems with him.
Q: Is there a sense of urgency for you with it being your senior year? If there was ever a time to open the eyes of the NFL scouts, this would be the time to do it.
A: I don't think it's a sense of urgency. I think it's more focus. I want to make more plays. You always want to do stuff like that. Every year you want to make more plays and grow more as a player. You've learned a lot more. You've watched more. You've learned a lot from guys like (Michael) Huff and Ced (Griffin). I think I just want us to be good together as a team. I want us to come together and bond together as a team like we did last year. We can never point fingers at each other. The small things that will help us get to the bigger goals.
Q: Who was the guy that really took you under his wing when you first came into the program?
A: Nate (Vasher) helped me a lot. Ced and Huff helped me a lot also. Those guys pretty much molded me into the player that I am today. They helped me with the off the field issues. They helped me learn how to watch film because there's a certain way that you watch film. At first I was just watching and thinking, "Ok, he's throwing the ball." But, there are certain things that you look for now that I'm seeing. I know the game a lot more from Coach Akina helping me and all of the rest of the coaches helping me, as far as growing as a player now and being more mature.
Q: So, you feel like you know what you're looking for when you're watching film these days?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Are you doing the same thing with the freshmen defensive backs from this year's class?
A: Yeah, I'm trying to help them out. They really don't understand it right now, but I'm trying to be an example to them. I want to lead by example for them, as far as leading by example. The small things that people really don't notice, behind close doors I'm trying to do with them. I just want to be able to help them with school. They have to be able to adjust with the school times and the practice times. Us three seniors have to be willing to help them out with all of those aspects.
Q: Who is the guy that's really emerged as a little brother for you?
A: Chykie (Brown). No relation. He's going to be great.
Q: Is he better than you were when you were a freshman?
A: (Laughs) No, definitely not. Now we're taking that a little too far. All of those freshmen are going to be great.
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