Don Brown: When in Rome, I'll be studying our Week 3 opponent

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday April 17, 2017

Michigan heads to Italy later this month for a few final practices and some fun activities in the country. Defensive coordinator Don Brown is excited, but he’s also worried about Air Force’s triple-option in Week 3.

Even on a mini-vacation, a coach is a coach.

“What a great opportunity for our players to have that opportunity,” Brown said after Michigan’s spring game. “They’re the only ones in college football that are gonna get that opportunity this year, so you don’t take that for granted.

“For me, we got three more practices over there. We got one next week. I gotta think about getting ready for Air Force and the triple option, so that’s gonna be the majority of my time, but I’m looking forward to going to Rome. Coach has really got a tremendous plan for our players to experience that culture, so pretty excited.”

Air Force is coming off a 10-win season, and Troy Calhoun’s unique triple-option attack always gives fits to non-conference opponents.

Jim Harbaugh didn’t make himself available to local reporters at all during spring. It was Brown and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno who spoke after the spring game.

The Wolverines will practice at the facilities of professional soccer team AS Roma, visit historical landmarks, orphanages and more.

“I’m really excited,” Drevno said. “I think to be able to take the players over there and my wife’s gonna come, and I know Coach’s wife is gonna come, and just to experience that as a team, what a great team bonding. And to share with the Italian people in Italy, just the American game of football and take our players different places and see the great history of Europe and Italy — there’s nothing better than that, than guys getting on a plane and going to stay together and practice over there.

“It’s going to be a phenomenal experience, so I’m really, really, really excited about it. I think it’s gonna be fun.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to