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Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 3:35 p.m.

Michigan linebacker/safety Stevie Brown understands why teams use the spread

By Michael Rothstein

One of the topics most brought up at Big Ten media days - besides Joe Paterno and his Twittledo, Twittledee and the Ohio State dominance - has been the spread offense. ESPN ran this massive package on it earlier this month and it's no surprise to Stevie Brown, who has seen both a traditional offense and a spread in his time at Michigan, why teams like to run some sort or spread offense.

"Football is a game based on speed and everything like that," Brown said. "With the spread offense, that's the sign of the spread, you get people out in space and get to use your speed and things like that.

"It doesn't shock me at all that people use it."

When Brown arrived at Michigan, he faced a two-running back, tight end type of offense with Lloyd Carr. Then, Rich Rodriguez arrived and everything changed. So he's seen both, played against both and prepared for both.

And even when he played under Carr, he still saw a bunch of spread.

"It's just different for practice reasons, seeing the spread every day versus a traditional offense," Brown said. "But whenever you go out to the Big Ten to play, the Minnesotas and Northwesterns and Michigan States, what they run is different from what we've seen (with the spread)."

So because of the coaching switch, he's now practiced daily against both offensive philosophies and in the big scheme of things, it'll probably help.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558 or at



Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 8:11 a.m.

I have wished for a new scheme for Michigan football for years, and thank you Rich Rod.... Of course we had a horrible year last year but wasn't everyone warned about that?? I seem to remember everyone blogging last year before the season and everyone talking in the media about how exciting it was going to be but don't expect too much the next couple of years. This is a BIG change and it will not perfect overnight. It seemed that most were understanding of that but when the season actually proved to be what everyone in the back of their heads expected everyone freaked! What??? Kinda confused. If if if we ever want to compete with the ACC, SEC's of the world then we needed to change and NOT just be satisfied being big ten champs. Sure it is great to be the leaders of the big ten conference but I personally am past that. I would like to be the leaders of the nation and I am willing to take a few bumps and bruises along the way to get there.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 7:53 a.m.

OSUbebetter, I have to be honest and say you do have a good point about how effective the spread can be in November and can the offense get it done when it's cold. It's a concern of mine as well. But, on the same token, RR wants Michigan to compete on the national stage in the years to come and you have to have the speed to do this. How well has it worked out for the Big 10 on the national stage (most notably OSU) as of late with our conferences "fat linemen, tight ends and power running attack?" The conference has gotten spanked in bowl games lately. But, we need to get back to the national stage first!!


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 7:31 p.m.

Every school uses the spread, at least every successful program has spread formations. RR's problem is that hes trying to instill a spread only offense and doesnt have the torque needed to be competitive in the fourth quarter after being pummeled for 50 mins by bigger guys. you can only run around the opposing defense for so long. linemen shuld be, have been, and will continue to be huge bellied fat guys. you know why? because over the past hundred years it has worked. Good luck with the spread, and im really glad you dont have a backup plan. I have 2 questions concerning the spread, A) how well does the spread work in the ice wind and rain of the big ten? B) when your on the fifteen yard line and are limited by the boundaries of the field, how is the spread supposed to work? You need fat linemen, you need tight ends, and you need power running, otherwise your just a gimmick and not a balanced attack.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 5:53 p.m.

Let's hope Stevie redeems himself by having a great senior year.