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Stevie Brown (thanx fringe - duhh) - Starter


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Stevie Smith is getting his first NFL chance to be a starter today as he fills in for injured Phillips. Found this great article on Inside Football ( http://insidefootbal...g/archives/5290 )


Very good read:


Stevie Brown Ready for Increased Role


Published 10/07/2012 | By Patricia Traina


It has been an interesting journey for Giants safety Stevie Brown, a three-year veteran who will make his first start for the Giants this weekend in place of the injured Kenny Phillips.


Brown, a 24-year old former standout at the University of Michigan, began his NFL odyssey as a seventh-round draft pick for the Oakland Raiders in 2010. He played in 15 games with one start for Oakland, who waived him the following year.


He was picked up briefly by Carolina, who after a day, reconsidered. Somewhat dejected, but still not ready to give up on his dream of having a multi-year career in the NFL, the 5-11, 221 lb. safety packed up and headed for his father’s home in Indianapolis, where he spent about a week waiting to see what twist his career would next take.


As luck would have it, he got a call from the Colts, with whom Brown spent all the 2011 season. However, he was only active for eight games, as a quadriceps injury landed him on injured reserve.


After the 2011 season, Brown thought he might get another chance to return to the Colts, but that ended when the Colts shook up their front office, relieving general manager Bill Polian of his duties.


While the new regime told Brown that while they weren’t against bringing him back, they also advised him to explore his options.


That’s precisely what Brown did, as he visited a small handful of teams. When he came to New York, he knew that he had found a place to call home.


“When I first came in and met the coaches and upper management, you could really tell that it’s a genuine family atmosphere around here,” he said. “Everyone cared about the players and about each other, and it was an organization that you could just tell that everyone was in it for the right reasons, that they all wanted to win championships.”


Brown smiled as he recalled an event that took place during one of his first practices with his new teammates.


“The first day, we were running, one of the guys bends over and put his hands on his knees,” he said. “Some of the other guys came over to him and said, ‘Nah, don’t bend over; lean on me, I got ya.’ And that’s when I just knew that this place was something special.”


It also didn’t hurt that the Giants are the current defending Super Bowl champions and that they go about their daily business in a way that Brown can appreciate.


“Everyone here has that win-first mentality,” he said. “Everyone recognizes that no matter who you are, you’re a part of that, which is something I love.”


He also loves the approach the coaches take with the players. While some teams are rigid in their structure and refuse to bend too much to accommodate the talents of the players, the Giants work with their players in figuring out what their strengths are, and how best to capitalize on those strengths in the weekly game plans.


“They allow the safeties to do multiple things based on their athletic ability,” Brown said, his eyes growing wider with excitement. “For me coming in, I felt like I am athletic enough to go back and cover, and come up in the box and make tackles. I can also cover the slot and tight ends. So the coaches put things into the game plan that play into my strengths, and that makes it easy for me to pick up and execute this defense.”

That’s a large reason Brown, who came in last week against the Eagles after Phillips left with a knee injury, believes he was able not to miss a beat.


He wasn’t the only one who noticed that fact. “I thought Stevie came in and did a nice job,” said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who said that he didn’t have to alter his plan that much once Brown came in. “To be put in that position and that type of situation, he really didn’t have any major errors. He came in and he tackled well.”


With Phillips week to week, Brown will hold down the fort, a challenge that he’s looking forward to carrying out. Yet while he’s excited for the chance to contribute more, Brown said this past week was all about business as usual for him as far as his preparation went.


Well, there was one thing he said he would have to change this week now that he’s in the starting lineup.


“My voice,” he said, laughing. “You hear this voice?”


He was referring to his soft-spoken vocals which he knows he can’t use when he’s out there on the field in front of thousands of fans, a lesson he learned in college.


“When I first got to college, my coach said, ‘You bring that voice to the big house in front of 110,000 people, no one’s going to hear you and you’re going to be standing on the sideline next to me, ” Brown said.


“So I learned to project my voice, and I learned to be loud and be forceful with the calls (in the defensive backfield) because you have to be able to communicate and make sure my teammates can hear me, and I can hear them.”


Still, it’s his play in his expanded role that Brown hopes makes the loudest statement of all.


“I like to say I am pretty fast and I have pretty good ball skills,” he said of what he hopes people will see when he takes the field this weekend. “I tell people all the time (about my speed). They tell me, ‘Stevie, you look like a linebacker,’ and I remind them that I did get drafted by Al Davis, who liked speed.”


While he hopes people will take note of his ability to play ball with the starters, at the same time, he was quick to reassure that he would prepare so that he didn’t stand out for the wrong reasons.

“I never want to be the one out there who looks out-of-place,” he said.


That might seem like a tall order given that this will be his first full game working with the starters, but Brown expressed confidence that the communication will be where it needs to be in order for the defensive backfield to enjoy success.


“We might not be all out there physically together, but mentally we talk in the meetings, and if we ever have a problem where someone messes up, we come to the sideline and talk so we’re all able to get back on the same page,” he said.

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