It's been well established here and elsewhere that the Huskies' defense is arguably the best in the Big East, and they will play a big part in any success UConn has in 2011.
Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson spoke with ESPN.com Big East blogger Andrea Adelson recently. You can watch the video interview here, and we've transcribed the highlights below.
On defensive coordinator Don Brown's scheme. "We have a new system coming in, it's more aggressive, and we're just going to try to get after people. … Coach Brown … is teaching us to play close to people on the back end and up front use your hands to get home. If you can create chaos around (an offense) it makes it harder for them to execute."
On how Brown's system makes Wreh-Wilson's job easier. "If the quarterback doesn't have time he might throw me a lucky one."
(Brief aside: for more insight on what Brown brings to the program, the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner scribbled these notes from last weekend's practice:
"The man is clearly a perfectionist and if you're not perfect he has a collection of ways to let you know. They might be funny and entertaining to us on the sidelines but not to those on the field with him -- by any stretch.
"The good thing about Brown is that he strikes a nice balance and here's an example. The corners ran a drill, earlier in the practice, well, to perfection. After the horn sounded to switch stations Brown yelled: "Hey! Hey! Hey! That was a great job men; get some water, great job!")
On the perception that the Big East doesn't get much national respect. "We just compete. We just keep playing. In conference we beat each other up, but we have a lot of teams with good records at the end of the season so people are going to start to realize that. … People want to see a team come (out of the Big East) 12-0 and eventually over time there will be a team doing that and hopefully it'll be us this year."
Wreh-Wilson was forced into the lineup in 2009 after teammate Jasper Howard was murdered. Wreh-Wilson emerged as one of the Huskies' best defensive backs last season logging four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Adelson ranks him as the second best CB in the Big East after West Virginia's Keith Tandy, and she lists Wreh-Wilson teammate Dwayne Gratz fourth.
Unlike the Huskies' offense, where depth is an issue at the skill positions, the defensive depth chart is less about identifying starters and more about fine-tuning. It's a good problem to have if you're coach Brown.