The Wolverine

November 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Stevie Brown Emerging As A Potential Star F BY CHRIS BALAS reer as a journeyman, playing primar- ily on special teams in Oakland and Indianapolis before being released by Carolina in the offseason — after one day. Brown never quit on himself, how- ormer Michigan safety/linebacker Stevie Brown started his NFL ca- ever, and he found an opportunity with the defending Super Bowl cham- pion New York Giants. When start- ing strong safety Kenny Phillips went down with a September injury, Brown filled his shoes better than anyone in the organization could have hoped. He is now second in the NFL in in- terceptions (five through Oct. 30) and will be hard to replace, even when Phillips is healthy. "There is just a motto around here," Brown told the New York Post. "If somebody goes down, you have to fill in, and you can't have a let-off. And that's how everybody thinks around here." of the team's bigger plays of the sea- son, kicking a 46-yard field goal 6:31 into overtime to win the game for the Cardinals. • Former U-M safety and Heisman Tro- Feely made up for his miscue with one phy winner Charles Woodson plans to be back earlier than the six weeks ex- pected after breaking his collarbone in an Oct. 21 win over St. Louis. Head coach Mike McCarthy said the team had no plans to put him on injured reserve, adding the injury wasn't as severe as the one that knocked the All-Pro out of the Super Bowl two years ago. "That's the hope," McCarthy said of expecting Woodson back before sea- son's end. "We're going to give him that opportunity, for sure. " Through the first eight weeks of the NFL season, Brown ranked second in the league in interceptions with five. PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK GIANTS Just like Michigan's "the expecta- tion is for the position." Brown's heroics have helped bol- ster the Giants' defense, and he was never better in an Oct. 28 win at Dal- las. He notched his first of two in- terceptions 5:37 into the first quarter when he picked off a Tony Romo pass and returned it 37 yards to the Cow- boys' 27-yard-line. Brown jumped on a fourth-quarter fumble to help preserve a 29-24 Giants lead and in- tercepted Romo a second time on the next drive, a fourth-down pass in the red zone. Though the Giants remain the 26th-worst team in the NFL against the pass with 273.5 passing yards per game against, it's not because of Brown. He's a big reason for New York's 6-2 record. "He has really come through for us in a big way," Coughlin said after a 27-23 October victory over the Red- skins. "Stevie finds the ball or the ball finds him, one way or the other. "From the first day he was here, he showed speed and power. He worked hard, had a good attitude, started on special teams and helped us on spe- cial teams. He's just gotten better." Brown said he never lost confidence in his ability; nor is he surprised at his success. Brown said. "I just knew once I got on the field, I was going to try to not come off. "I always knew I could play," "I'd say I've done my job. I haven't caused the team any harm or put us in any positions to lose. As long as I don't do that, then I feel like I'm doing my job." "Everybody seemed genuine, and everybody had each other's back and everybody had one goal, and that was to win," Brown said of his decision to join New York. "That's why I wanted to come here." The Giants are happy to have him, head coach Tom Coughlin said. 118 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2012 isn't the typical kicker. He's built more like a safety with a linebacker's mental- ity. He proved it when he racked up a late hit out of bounds in a 24-21 win over Miami Sept. 30, one that drew a $7,875 fine, according to the Associ- ated Press. • Former Michigan standout Jay Feely NFL NOTES from 2005-07), WR, Free Agent: Suf- fered a knee injury in New Orleans' camp, made the roster but was released before the first game … Spent his first four years with the Saints, but played sparingly due in part to injuries. • Jason Avant (2002-05), WR, Phil- adelphia Eagles: Has notched 20 catches for 228 yards through seven games (two starts) for the 3-4 Eagles. • David Baas (2001-04), C, New York • Adrian Arrington (Played at U-M NFL PLAYER UPDATES Through games of Oct. 29 Giants: Has started all eight games for 6-2 New York. • Jeff Backus (1997-2000), OT, De- troit Lions: Has started 183 straight regular-season games, including all seven games this year for the 3-4 Lions. • Tom Brady (1997-99), QB, New England Patriots: Has connected on 209 of 320 passes for 2,408 yards with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions … Has also rushed for two scores this season for the 5-3 Patriots … Ranks sixth in the NFL in passer rating (100.6), first in passing yards and fifth in touch- down passes … Has thrown a TD pass in 40 consecutive games, the third longest streak in NFL history and surpassed by only Drew Brees with 50 (ongoing) and former great Johnny Unitas with 47=. • Alan Branch (2004-06), DT, Seattle Seahawks: Has recorded five solo tack- les, one sack, one tackle for loss, seven assists, one pass broken up and five quarterback hurries in eight starts for 4-4 Seattle. • Steve Breaston (2003-06), WR, Kansas City Chiefs Has caught four passes for 44 yards and returned one punt 21 yards in seven games (three

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