ACC: Vincent Brown

Virginia coach Mike London made some significant changes to his staff this offseason. He also added one more responsibility to his own plate.

Not only did London move Vincent Brown over from linebackers coach to the defensive line, London became more involved with the line as well. Defensive end Jake Snyder said it was great to have his head coach helping out during spring practice, given how much experience London has with the big guys up front.

During his time as an assistant, London spent time as a defensive line coach at William & Mary, Boston College and with the Houston Texans. He also coached the UVa defensive line in two separate stints.

"He’s got a lot of knowledge of the game and of the position," Snyder said. "Any time he comes in there and helps out, it’s a learning experience for myself and the rest of the D-linemen. We really pay extra attention. For the most part, he’s coming up during drills in practice and giving us one little bit of advice and then he gets back to the big picture stuff. But having him out there and having him help out has been great."

Snyder also said it has been a smooth transition learning from Brown as well. Brown, who played linebacker for the Patriots between 1988-95, replaced defensive line coach Jeff Hanson, one of four assistants dismissed at the end of last season.

"He’s been very up front with us, we didn’t miss a beat," Snyder said. "We love playing for him. We’ve had a couple meals together, we’ll get together and hang out and just talk. He’s a great mentor having played in the NFL for so long, he can really relate with a lot of the guys who have those aspirations and tell them what not to do, which is an important thing for a coach."

2012 top Coastal Division assistants

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
11:00
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Now let's take a look at the top assistants in the Coastal Division.

Duke: Matt Lubick, receivers. This one is a slam dunk. Lubick was nominated for several assistant coach of the year awards, and it is easy to see why. He coached the only trio nationally with 60 or more receptions this season -– Jamison Crowder (70 receptions, 1,025 yards, 8 TDs), Desmond Scott (61-606-2) and Conner Vernon (75-955-7). Don't forget Scott moved from running back to receiver this year as well. And Vernon is the ACC’s all-time leader in both pass receptions (273) and receiving yardage (3,630).

Georgia Tech: Mike Sewak, offensive line. Well, not much went right for the defense this year, so this one goes to a coach on the offense. The Jackets were as steady as everybody expected up front, and Omoregie Uzzi earned first-team All-ACC honors at guard. The Jackets averaged 312.5 yards per game on the ground, only a few yards shy from their average a year ago.

Miami: Jedd Fisch, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks. I am giving Fisch the nod for his development of quarterback Stephen Morris, one of the more pleasant surprises in the ACC this season. It seems hard to believe Morris was locked in a quarterback competition during fall camp given the way he played this season. Morris had 3,415 yards of total offense, the most in the history of the program, just ahead of the 3,412 yards Bernie Kosar had in 1984. Morris’ season total of 3,345 passing yards ranks fifth in program history, while his 421 attempts and 245 completions rank first and second, respectively.

North Carolina: Chris Kapilovic, offensive line. Kapilovic had plenty of talent to work with, but remember that the Tar Heels implemented a completely different offensive style and blocking scheme, and the offensive line had to learn just as quickly as the skill players. So to see North Carolina only gave up 11 sacks all season -- on 441 pass attempts -- shows just how well this group played as a unit. Guard Jonathan Cooper became a unanimous All-American, and tackle James Hearst joined him on the All-ACC first team. Kapilovic also is the run game coordinator, and, well, the Tar Heels had terrific development of not only Giovani Bernard, but A.J. Blue and Romar Morris as well.

Virginia: Vincent Brown, linebackers. Brown had two players finish in the Top 8 in the ACC in tackles. Steve Greer had another outstanding year, earning first-team All-ACC honors from the media after finishing second in the league in tackles (122). Outside linebacker LaRoy Reynolds also had another productive season, with career highs in tackles tackles (90), tackles for loss (9.5) and passes defended (four).

Virginia Tech: Torrian Gray, secondary. There were not many bright spots for the Hokies this season, but I will give you one -- the secondary played pretty well. Virginia Tech had the No. 2 passing defense and pass efficiency defense in the ACC, holding opponents to roughly the same numbers as a season ago. Antone Exum moved from safety to cornerback and made the All-ACC second-team, leading the league in passes defended (19) while grabbing four interceptions.

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