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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The Brown Files: An insider’s look into Oregon State

Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats opened Pacific 10 Conference play against the University of California on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats rallied from a six-point deficit and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final two minutes to edge the Golden Bears 10-9.

No single Arizona player has the power to stifle Oregon State’s lethal offense Saturday night. There is, however, a certain Wildcats defensive coordinator with a small window into the Beavers’ offensive schemes.  

Enter Greg Brown.

The 15-year NFL coaching veteran worked with both OSU head coach Mike Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf on the New Orleans Saints’ staff in the early 2000s.

“”They’re outstanding people as well as outstanding coaches,”” said Brown, who served as the Saints’ defensive assistant for quality control in 2002, and defensive assistant and cornerbacks coach from 2003 to 2005. “”Whoever gets them, you’re going to get all you want for 60 minutes because they will be well-prepared, well-trained and ready to go.””

Riley spent only the 2002 season with the Saints as an assistant, but Brown coached with Langsdorf for three seasons in New Orleans. The Beavers’ offensive mastermind worked as the Saints’ offensive assistant for quality control in 2002 and the assistant-wide receivers and special teams coach for the next two seasons.

Needless to say, Brown knows the brains behind Oregon State’s offensive operation, and has a good grasp of what the Beavers like to do.

“”They design the intricacies of their offense to try to get you to take one false step and really get you back where they want you to be as far as both the pass and the run,”” Brown said.””It’s a well-thought out, well-conceived plan of attack, both in the running and the throwing game. It’s going to be an absolute dogfight down to the last minute.””

Rodgers brothers

Oregon State’s offense goes as far as the brother duo James and Jacquizz Rodgers will take it.

Junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers and senior wide receiver James Rodgers are the engines to the Beavers’ offense, and have combined for over 40 percent of the team’s total yards and over 50 percent of its touchdowns.

“”They play off of each other,”” said sophomore linebacker Jake Fischer. “”If you bite on one, the other one’s going to get the ball and is going to make a big play.””

Although 5-foot-7, 191-pound Jacquizz Rodgers is the team’s premier back, and 5-foot-7, 188-pound James Rodgers is OSU’s No. 1 receiver, they’re both extremely versatile.

James Rodgers, who missed last week’s 31-28 win over ASU with a concussion and is probable this week, has seven carries for 36 yards to go along with his team-leading nine receptions for 113 yards and a score.

He finished 2009 with 1,337 yards on the ground and in the air, and is the Beavers’ all-time leader with 5,360 all-purpose yards.

Jacquizz Rodgers has racked up six rushing touchdowns and 398 yards through four games, but also has eight grabs for 38 yards and a score. He’s been consistently one of the conference’s best backs, totaling 1,500-plus yards receiving and rushing during the last two seasons, including 1,962 in 2009 to go along with 22 touchdowns.

“”They got great change of direction, great body control,”” Brown said. “”They’re big-time athletes and they’ve been that way for a number of years. Our guys have a tremendous challenge this week trying to match up with them.””

The versatility of the Rodgers brothers gives Riley and Langsdorf a world of options offensively.

“”They just like getting the ball to their playmakers and they do a really good job of it, whether they disguise a formation, whether they shift, whether they do it in motion with the fly sweep, whatever it may be they do a really good job of getting the ball in the playmakers hands,”” Fischer said.

“”They’ll fake it to one of them and give the ball to the other one and vice versa,”” Brown said. “”Then they’re both outstanding in the passing game, they both have soft hands.””

The Wildcats’ defense has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season, and comes in at the No. 2 defense in the nation. Arizona is also tops in the conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense.

But Arizona has faced more power-type backs in its last two games against Iowa and Cal, so it still remains to be seen how it will handle the speedster Jacquizz Rodgers.

“”Sometimes if you’re smaller you have better body control, you’re lower to the ground,”” Brown said. “”You have better control of your movement skills and both of those guys play those to the utmost.””

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