Michigan DC Don Brown unhappy with targeting penalties, the direction of the game
Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown is just like the rest of us. That is, he’s having a hard time trying to understand the targeting rules in college football.
Brown joined the Jamie and Stoney Show on 97.1 The Ticket to talk about his defensive philosophy and Michigan’s development early in the season. It didn’t take long for the issue of targeting to come up.
The Wolverines have been called for three targeting penalties, including two on Khaleke Hudson in back-to-back games. Brown says he’s still trying to navigate through some of the gray area when he’s teaching players how to tackle.
“Something that we’re all dealing with,” Brown said. “We’ve gone from no targeting penalties a year ago to all of a sudden it’s a concern for us. You’ve got to take care of your business. We hawk tackle every Tuesday, Wednesday. It’s all, lead with the shoulder, not with the head. Obviously, now it’s not just the head. It’s wherever you make contact you’d better be doing it with the shoulder.”
Hudson was penalized and ejected for helmet-to-helmet contact in the second half of Michigan’s Week 3 matchup against SMU, a call that head coach Jim Harbaugh disagreed with. A week later, Hudson was ejected again for targeting again last week against Nebraska.
Brown was asked if he believes there’s a problem with the direction the game is being officiated, primarily with targeting penalties and roughing the passer calls.
“I’m having a hard time with it,” Brown said. “I’m glad I’m at the end of it, to be quite honest with you. It’s a very difficult, fine line. We had a big debate on this in staff. Things happen like this. You snap your fingers, that play is made on way or the other. Obviously, it’s an adjustment we have to go through, but I don’t think it’s an easy adjustment, I really don’t.”
Despite the rule changes, Brown says he has no plans to change his coaching approach. He will continue to preach an aggressive, physical style of defense.
Hudson will miss the first half of Michigan’s game against Northwestern on Saturday due to the targeting penalty last week.