You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 5:11 a.m.

Patience pays off for Michigan tailback Carlos Brown

By Jeff Arnold

Carlos Brown arrived at Michigan in 2006 as a talented tailback hoping to become a household name in a program that has produced its share of NFL talent.

When he didn't find himself playing as much as he hoped, Brown prepared to move to greener backfields.


But just when Brown thought he had made up his mind, Lloyd Carr's voice kept creeping into his head. And the same message kept rising to the surface.

Just wait.

Brown and Carr had talked on multiple occasions about patience - a trait Brown has never mastered. Carr often reminded Brown he wasn't the first player to come to Michigan looking for instant statistical gratification.

Brown elected to stay, hoping his decision would pay off in the long run.

"I saw that it was about just more than me," Brown said Monday.

Two years ago, he made his first appearance as a spot starter when Mike Hart was injured. When an injury kept Brandon Minor out of last week's 31-7 victory over Western Michigan, Brown again started at tailback.

Brown rushed for 54 yards on 10 carries Saturday. He also demonstrated pass-protecting ability, allowing freshmen quarterbacks Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson to succeed in their inaugural outings.

For a running back who once believed success came through individual production, learning to become a more complete player had helped Brown's stock rise.

"He made some nice runs," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday. "There were a few missed reads, but we thought he ran well, he caught the ball well and he protected well.

"He's worked really hard on protection and blocking and you could see the difference with Carlos and our other backs."

With Minor still on the mend, Brown senses he'll keep getting opportunities to show how far he has come since he elected to stay at Michigan. Like with any opportunity, Brown keeps everything in perspective.

"There's always something you can improve on," Brown said. "There's a lot of times you look back and say, 'I wish I could change that', but you can't.

"I just want to play better than I did last week and I just want to be able to contribute to my team and do anything possible that's going to help us win this weekend."

In an offense full of big-play producers, Brown has learned over time to be content with the chances he is given. The change of perspective hasn't come overnight, but through patience, it has rewarded Brown for his decision to stay.

"As long as the offense is clicking, I'm happy," Brown said. "If I get one carry or I get 20 carries, as long as the offense is doing good and we're putting points up on the board, then I'm happy."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2554 or


Matt Van Auker

Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 10:26 a.m.

I dunno. Maybe too short, and maybe too small? But, y'know, whatever, Go Blue!!!


Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 9:44 a.m.

Had good game against the mighty Broncos but fact is Carlos is a part part timer.Always has been.Always will be.He probably belongs in the MAC or a conference like it.


Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 8:18 a.m.

I think Jeff inadvertantly found something that Carr did better than RR does: talking players buried on the depth chart into staying for a shot at playing during their senior year. Once RR fills his roster with his kind of players, I wonder if he will display this talent, too?


Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 7:36 a.m.

Thanks to myself, Carlos Brown, jimtrashel, tater, willievrine, umthicknthin, and uminks, we will enjoy a victory over Notre Dame at 3:30 and (I ALMOST like this better) an osu drubbing at the hands of Southern Cal at 8:00. Close your eyes, Dorothy, and repeat after me: "There's no place like Trojans 41 spucks 20 Trojans 41 spucks 20 Trojans 41 spucks 20..." We will be 7-0 heading into the Penn St. game.