LEXINGTON¿— Steve Brown doesn’t mind sharing his role as defensive coordinator.
Brown, Kentucky’s defensive coordinator since 2007, will share the role with former University of Cincinnati coach Rick Minter. Brown’s primary emphasis will be the secondary, a natural fit for Brown, considering his playing and coaching background. When he arrived at Kentucky, Brown coached the team’s defensive backfield before taking over as coordinator four years ago.
“I’ve been a part of the secondary all of my life,” Brown said with a smile.
Brown and Minter will be responsible for trying to elevate the team’s defense to another level. Kentucky coach Joker Phillips has made it no secret that he wants his defense to dominate in all phases of the game, especially in takeaways. The Kentucky coach also wants to see the defense play a role in the scoring department, too. Brown would like to see the Wildcats become “relentless” on a consistent basis.
“It’s a fast, attacking and aggressive defense,” Brown said.
Going into fall workouts, Brown has gotten closer with Minter and has enjoyed developing a bond with his newest coaching colleague during the off-season. Brown said the pair are on the same page when it comes the team’s goals on the defensive end.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “The No. 1 thing we’re trying to do is to make this a great defense. We both want to contribute to make this a great team.”
Minter’s hiring brought a switch in formation from the 4-3 alignment to a 3-4 scheme. Brown said there will be “some similarities,” but with more tweaks.
“There will be a lot more to it,” he said. “It will be more multiple in the sense that we could change what do during the course of a play and have two or three plays called, based on (the other team’s) formation. It’s something our guys have to be comfortable with, but they’re working at it. They started in the spring. It will be different.”
Brown said that “regardless of the defense and schemes” the bottom line is getting production from top to bottom.
“You want your guys to play fast and aggressive and always be attacking,” he said. “Attacking has nothing to do with the scheme. Now, with that being said, the scheme that you’ve played, whether it’s been the past four years or the one now, the most important thing is to play hard, play to win and get takeaways. It’s just playing hard and knowing what to do and that’s our job to make sure they know what to do.”
The veteran coach added that winning is the top priority.
“We want to do everything we can to win the game,” he said. “One way is by takeaways and by giving our offense more opportunities to (score). There are just a lof of different ways (to score). You always want to be real aggressive and doing what we can to keep points off the board.”
To go along with the new defensive alignment, Brown would like to see the Cats improve in the tackling department.
“Regardless of the scheme, you’ve got to have a bunch of guys flying to the football and tackling,” he said. “We don’t want to give (the opposing) defense something cheap. If we tackle real well, we’ll be better.”