Skip to content

Volunteers TE redefines position

Volunteers TE redefines position

By: By Beth Rucker, Associated Press Writer

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe paid Chris Brown the best compliment the tight end said he’d ever heard.
Cutcliffe said the senior has changed the position of tight end for the No. 20 Volunteers in a way that he’d like to see more of.
“He can play the backfield, he can play outside, he can play inside, he can play on the line, he can play tight end,” Cutcliffe said. “That’s a position we’re going to recruit to and try to bring in a bunch of guys that can play that way for us.”
Brown is one of the Vols most versatile players, able to fit into any of Tennessee’s offensive schemes as a tight end, fullback or wide receiver.
His five touchdown receptions lead the team in that category, and his 21 receptions for the year make him the fourth most productive receiver for UT.
“To have coach Cut sit there and say they’re looking for a Chris Brown guy to come here, it’s just, it’s an honor in itself,” Brown said with a grin. “I never expected that much.”
Heading into his senior season with 36 career games and 25 starts, Brown knew he’d be playing a bigger role in the Vols offense.
He and fellow senior tight end Brad Cottam were to make up for what was at the time an inexperienced receiver corps.
That was before Cottam and backup tight end David Holbert were injured in the preseason.
“When David Holbert and Brad Cottam got hurt, I knew my role would grow that much more. I’ve accepted that responsibility. I’ve accepted that role of just being the go-to guy out on the field,” Brown said.
Both Cutcliffe and coach Phillip Fulmer acknowledged that Brown had some growing to do in eliminating simple mistakes and stepping forth as a leader.
Fulmer said Brown has developed into the leader that he wanted Brown to be.
Brown will serve as a game captain when Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) visits Alabama (5-2, 3-1) on Saturday.
Brown was part of the same recruiting class that brought quarterback Erik Ainge to campus. Both Vols have been four-year players and that’s led to a strong bond which has served them well on the field, especially now that the offense runs a no-huddle scheme.
Brown said he and Ainge can anticipate each others’ moves. Ainge said he can depend on Brown as a go-to guy.
“Chris Brown is kind of the guy now that whenever we need to adjust, whenever we need to do something, we just say, ‘Tell Chris to do it,’” Ainge said. “He can kind of do everything.”


Leave a Comment