Notre Dame Football

INTEL: Wimbush, Brown Linked Through QB Coach

September 13, 2017
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Madei Williams will be in Chestnut Hill on Saturday afternoon for the Notre Dame-Boston College game, but he probably won’t be pulling for one team over the other. Instead, he’ll likely be rooting for offense.

The quarterback guru out of New Jersey will be watching two of his pupils go head-to-head in Brandon Wimbush and Boston College signal-caller Anthony Brown.

“If you’re ever around the both of them, they’re very, very similar in terms of personality, naturally quiet guys, but are very charismatic and everyone around them is naturally drawn to their spirit,” Williams said of the two.

“Their connection is through me and they’ve worked out with each other in the offseason periodically, so there is a friendship and a bond that’s been created.”

Their similarities extend onto the football field as well.

“In terms of physical attributes, very similar style of play,” Williams added. “Both of these guys are gifted throwers, gifted passers. They’re still young and still inexperienced, but they have the athletic ability to be just as gifted as any athlete on the field.”

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Brown is a redshirt freshman out of St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, N.J. After earning the starting job over senior Darius Wade out of training camp, Brown was benched for Wade in the third quarter of last week’s loss to Wake Forest after throwing his third interception.

“Just getting acclimated with the speed of the game, going through the process of preparing for your opponent week in and week out and understanding there’s so much to learn from each experience,” Williams said of the challenges of starting as a young player.

“That’s what we communicated earlier this week. He had a solid game in game one, but not so good this past week against Wake Forest. He threw some costly picks and he didn’t get an opportunity to finish the game as he would have preferred.”

Brown’s body of work to this point has earned him another chance, but Williams knows those chances aren’t unlimited.

“He has to understand the leash is only going to be but for so long,” the quarterback coach said. “His level of play and production and being able to take care of the football, he has to be able to do a better job of that. He fully understands the sense of urgency is now and the level of focus and concentration is definitely heightened.”

Williams, who also helps his quarterbacks with the mental side of the game, should serve as a help in understanding that urgency without trying to prove himself on each and every play.

“He just has to trust the process,” said Williams. “Don’t press, understand each play is its own individual play. I don’t really believe he has to look over his shoulder. It’s about believing in himself and trusting in his abilities. As long as he’s able to do that and not allow the negative moments to stack up and compound on each other, he’ll be fine.

“Playing this position, you have to have a short memory. You can’t allow yourself to dwell on the negative. If you do, you’re definitely not going to be the one out there on a consistent basis. He understands that.”

Irish Sports Daily Williams and Wimbush

Williams has seen some good and bad from Wimbush in his two starts this season.

“I see him still trying to get settled,” said Williams. “He’s still feeling things out. He’s still trying to find his rhythm. He played well enough to get that win against Temple. This past week, I think he did play well enough for them to beat Georgia. He missed some throws, he missed some reads, but that’s just going to come with experience.”

Williams played quarterback for three seasons at Syracuse as one of the guys tasked with replacing Donovan McNabb. He understands the adjustment Wimbush had to deal with going from facing Temple to Georgia. In 1999, the Orange played Central Michigan in Week 2 and turned around played Michigan in Week 3.

“There was a huge difference,” he chuckled. “You just have to respond accordingly.”

Coming into the game, he said, quarterbacks are aware of the increase of speed and talent on the other side of the ball.

“But when you’re actually out there, you’re not really thinking about it,” he continued. “You’re just trying to be out there and compete. When it’s all said and done and the game is over, you have an opportunity to reflect, you can definitely compare and contrast Georgia and Temple. Obviously, there was a noticeable difference.

“You have to be able to rise to that level of play. The sense of urgency has to be high. The way you read and react and respond to what you see and what’s going on around you has to be elevated.”

Williams is confident the arrow is pointing straight up for Wimbush.

“You can see where the potential is. It’s just a matter of him continuing to get these game reps. You’re going to see a different quarterback two or three games from now. Even this weekend, you’re going to see a different kid from game one and two. As each week goes by, you’re going to see his level of maturity definitely increase.”

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