Receiver Devin Veal makes a catch with running back Kaylan Butler right behind him during practice at Arizona Stadium on March 23.


Greg Brown has been on the Arizona Wildcats' coaching staff for three months, enough time to get a grasp of the team's defensive personnel, but not long enough to play favorites.

Every position battle is open. Brown, the UA's new co-defensive coordinator, said he likes it that way.

"There's a job application sign out, so to speak, every day for guys," he said. "It's like, 'Let's see what you got. Let's see if you can get the job.'"

Brown has helped institute a new look - and attitude - in the few months since he and Tim Kish were tapped to replace Mark Stoops. The UA is running more nickel and dime packages during spring drills and is tinkering with scheme changes. The Wildcats will unveil their revamped defense in Saturday's Spring Game at Arizona Stadium.

The Star talked to Brown, 52, about his first few months on Mike Stoops' staff - and what he sees in his new team:

Q: This is your first camp as a member of the Arizona Wildcats' staff. How's it been?

A: "Awesome. Everything I expected. It's a great deal here. I really enjoy going against this offense that we have. They're outstanding. They have personnel at all positions across the board. They've got experience. And they've got a tremendous scheme. It's a heck of a challenge going up against them every day."

Q: So far, the offense has been ahead in practices. Do you acknowledge that to the defensive players, because you have to replace so many starters, or do you fight it?

A: "Hey, we're competing every day. We go out and compete. It's us against them. That's how you have to look at it."

Q: Which defensive players have stood out so far?

A: "There's been a number of guys. Right now, I'm not going to single guys out. The guys that played last year and had some experience are going to be one-up on the guys who haven't. They stand out a little bit."

Q: Let's go through the positions a bit. The defensive line looks like it's a strength.

A: "The defensive line brings a big smile to everyone's face on the defensive staff. We've got guys with ability, guys with experience, guys who can rush the passer and also run-stop. It's a nice group."

Q: How about the linebackers? You're replacing all three starters.

A: "It's a young group, but athletic. They have some size on them. They're going to be good. It's just a matter of time."

Q: The secondary looks like a group that's evolving, although there are some players back there.

A: "No doubt. We're just like any other college in spring that graduated a couple full-time starters. We're looking for a couple more."

Q: When you were hired, you talked about the prospect of coaching with Mike Stoops. A month into camp, what's that experience been like?

A: "He's an outstanding defensive coach. He knows that beyond a shadow of a doubt. He sees everything. He misses nothing with his eyes in all phases of it - up front, at linebacker, and in the back. He doesn't miss a thing. It's tremendous being around him. I'm trying to get all that to rub off on myself."

Up next

• What: Spring Game

• Where: Arizona Stadium

• When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.