We wrote last week about what Huskies offensive coordinator George DeLeone had planned for the upcoming season. He came to Storrs with head coach Paul Pasqualoni, and knows better than anyone that UConn has issues in the backfield (both at quarterback and running back) and at wide receiver.
There are far fewer concerns on the other side of the ball. The Huskies' defense is among the best in the Big East, and will be relied upon to keep games close in the fall until the offense finds its footing. The man responsible for making sure that happens: defensive coordinator Don Brown. He comes to UConn from the University of Maryland, where he preferred an aggressive style, something that also fits his new players, even if it means they're learning an entirely new system in short order.
"I think the load going into [August] is tremendous to be quite honest, know what I mean? " Brown told the Hartford Courant's Desmond Connor. "What we've been doing here this summer is preparing the installs for each preseason practice and the film that accompanies it. You've got to get all that stuff organized and ready to go."
As for what stuff in particular, Brown elaborated.
"Well you're organizing your playbook for the players and coaches and then you're taking an actual good hard look at your first five opponents," said Brown, whose Terrapins were 38th in the country last year in scoring defense (22.2 points a game), 39th in total defense (352.3 yards a game). "Literally, right now, I have the first couple game plans good to go and work on two others is significantly done."
This should be of some concern to Fordham and Vanderbilt, the Huskies' first two opponents in 2011. But it should also offer some measure of relief to UConn's offense, a unit that will have a lot of unanswered questions, probably long after Pasqualoni names a starting quarterback.
"Defense wins championships" is a cliche, but there's also some truth to it. No one's expecting UConn to repeat as Big East champs, but one of the benefits to having a great defense is that you're never out of a game.