Derrick Brown finally feels like 'real' QB
August, 22, 2012
By Mason Kelley | ESPN.com
Jesse Beals/Icon SMIRedshirt freshman signal-caller Derrick Brown is more 'seasoned' in his second year at Washington.SEATTLE -- There were moments last season when Derrick Brown felt like he was deciphering a lost language.
“I was like, man, I’m never going to get this,” the quarterback said.
While watching film, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian would ask the freshman to identify a defensive coverage. He was forced to admit, “I don’t know.”
An all-around talent coming out of Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta, Brown felt like an athlete trying to play quarterback. Now, after a redshirt year spent buried in the Huskies’ playbook, Brown feels comfortable. When Sarkisian asks him to dissect a defense, he has an answer.
“This year, I’m more seasoned,” he said. “I feel like a real quarterback now.”
More than two weeks into fall camp, comfort has produced confidence. That belief in his ability has produced productive performances.
“Derrick, progressively, has gotten better and better and better,” Sarkisian said. “He’s throwing the ball with more conviction. The belief in what he’s seeing, what he’s reading is there and [he’s] trusting it. In turn, he’s playing more confidently.”
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound redshirt freshman fired a pass Monday that traveled about 60 yards in the air before landing in the cradled arms of receiver Cody Bruns. One day later he found freshman Kendyl Taylor on a deep route.
He has shown how far he’s come by making plays in practice.
“Things are getting better,” Brown said. “I’m feeling better. I’m feeling more comfortable with the guys. I’m feeling more comfortable with the offense. I know my stuff now.”
Brown has been getting a bulk of the snaps with the second-team offense recently, but he knows he needs to continue earning opportunities if he wants to be Keith Price’s backup.
“Nothing is really set in stone,” Brown said. “I’m not the No. 2 guy for sure. I’m just trying to come out here and work hard every day and earn that spot.”
As the Huskies prepare for their season opener against San Diego State on Sept. 1 at CenturyLink Field, Brown said consistency is key for him to take the next step in his development.
“Some days, I come out here and have a great day,” he said. “Some days, I’ll come out here and have not so good of a day. I’ve just got to be consistent each and every day. And not just each and every day, but each and every period -- whatever I’m doing, just be consistent.”
At the start of fall camp, a lot of the conversation surrounded highly-touted freshmen Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo./Mullen) and Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island). That didn’t bother Brown.
“I knew they were coming in highly touted guys,” he said. “I didn’t really pay too much attention to that. I just try to do me, get better each and every day.”
While Washington wants to keep Price on the field for the full season, Brown is prepared to play if needed.
“If something were to happen, I just want to go in there, not lose a step and help my team win any way possible,” Brown said.
Until his name is called, “I’m just looking up, not looking down,” Brown said.