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Friday, January 21, 2011

Thomas Brown discusses his new role

During his playing days, the 5-foot-8 Thomas Brown gained the unofficial status as being the pound-for-pound strongest player in Georgia football history.

So when the former Bulldog tailback expressed an interest last month in re-joining the program, it seemed natural to place him in the weight room. Georgia’s strength and conditioning staff was undergoing an overhaul, and the former Atlanta Falcon and Cleveland Brown was added as an assistant to new coordinator Joe Tereshinski.

“I want to see us get back on track,” Brown said Friday, when he met with a group of media members to discuss his new role. He’s been on the job a few weeks.

Being on the strength and conditioning staff was something that Brown said he “came around” to after his discussions with Richt. Being a former player, he said it was tough to watch the team struggle and wanted to do his part to help turn things around.

Brown said he didn’t want to compare Tereshinski and Dave Van Halanger, the latter of whom he described as a mentor. Van Halanger, who was the strength coordinator for the first 10 years of Richt's tenure, was shifted to an administrative role.

“I was a product of coach Van’s system, so obviously I don’t have anything negative to say about that,” Brown said. “We’re just getting back to preparing, getting ready to play football games, getting in better shape. I think the most important thing is getting guys buying into the system, believing in what we’re doing.”

Still, there was a reason Richt made the change. Brown agreed that there might have been some complacency in the weight room lately.

“That’s tough to say on the outside looking in,” he said. “I know personally one of my highest acclaims at Georgia was being known as pound-for-pound the strongest football players in program history. I broke the running back bench record, squat record and power lift record under coach Van. So he knows what he’s doing. He’s regarded as one of the greatest college strength coaches in history.

“But I think maybe the move had to do with guys getting too comfortable with him, and needed a change. And they weren’t responding to him as well as they needed to be.”

Some players, such as kicker Blair Walsh, have hinted that the team might have had a sense of entitlement, which contributed to its struggles. From afar, Brown agreed with that.

“I think you can solve most problems with more competition,” he said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s different from when I was here as a player (to) what’s here now. I came in as a highly-recruited, No. 1 running back in the state of Georgia, No. 2 or three in the nation, and came in I was No. 7 on the depth chart of eight running backs. And I had to compete.

“I think that kind of makes guys raise their level of expectations. I think it’s harder for guys to be motivated when they kind of know they’re guaranteed to play.”

I'll have more from Brown in a future story on the strength program.


WDH said...

Interesting comments from Brown, and well outside the range of normal coach-speak we're used to hearing.

That said, I'd note that Brown never looked as good (creative, evasive, hard to bring down) as he did when he was pushed by Moreno. The change between his junior and senior year was really remarkable. He also never looked like he was actually having fun out until his last year.

If you ever get a chance to follow-up, ask him about that.

Anonymous said...

So, how is it that King and Ealey just can't push each other?

And, how quickly will both of them disappear once Crowell signs on and learns how to pass block (sic)?

Sam, Dawg Fan said...

So, aside from being a former player with a great rep for being a workout horse, what are Brown's credentials to work in strength and conditioning?

Hate to break it to you, but there is a lot of solid science in this area. It is not like the old days where you get the old guy who yells and has the players move weights around.

If Joe T is going to design the training (what is HIS background?) and TB is going to supervise and be the "in your face"guy, then fine.