Aug. 16, 2006
Athens, Ohio - The Ohio football team continued practice Tuesday in preparation for the season opener on September 2 against Tennessee-Martin. The session was the 13th official practice of the season.
This year's Bobcats have a few players changing positions, including sophomore Michael Brown and red-shirt freshman Chris Rodgers. Brown is shifting from safety to linebacker while Rodgers is moving from tight end to offensive line.
"I feel like it's been going great," Brown said. "It's a change I've always kind of wanted to do. I always thought I would be able to grow into a linebacker spot and be able to utilize my speed as much as possible."
Brown played in 10 games last season, recording 18 tackles and an interception. He is one of three players switching from defensive back to linebacker this season, joining sophomore Chris Hall and red-shirt freshman Lee Renfro.
Sophomore Linebacker Michael Brown
On how playing safety benefited him during the transition to linebacker
"Playing strong safety last year enables me to pick up the defense that much more. It's always helpful to know what everybody else on the defense is doing as well as your responsibility. In that aspect it's going really well."
On the difference between the positions and how to adjust
"I'm just trying to learn how to use my hands and read the offensive line schemes a little better. It's a little different once you get in the box and you got 300-pound guys coming down on you right away. Just being able to adjust and know what the offense is going to do before they even do it and being able to use your hands is going to make me that much better."
Ross Els, Linebacker Coach
On the adjustments a safety switching to linebacker must make
"We knew they'd be great when they're split out covering wide receivers. Now they have to learn how to fit things when they're inside the box, in with the tight ends and running backs and linemen and taking on big blocks and things like that. We're getting better at that."
Chris Rodgers, Freshman Offensive Lineman
On the transition from tight end to offensive line
"So far so good. I'm picking up different aspects of the plays and everything and learning how to do the different techniques that you didn't have to do as a tight end."
On the biggest difference between the two positions
"The biggest difference is a lot more techinque. It focuses more on it because every play if you mess up slightly it's noticeable a lot more because you're so much more into the blocking scheme."