The Buffalo Bills signed former Clemson defensive end Kourtnei Brown in April following an open tryout. During his collegiate career with the Tigers, Brown made the most of his limited snaps as a backup, recording 63 tackles, nine of which came for a loss, and three sacks, despite sitting behind high draft picks such as Da’Quan Bowers and Andre Branch on the depth chart.
Brown, who has a long frame at 6’6” and 255 pounds, is making the transition to the stand-up outside linebacker position in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s “hybrid” defensive scheme.
He was kind enough to answer a few questions for the fans in this week’s BillsMafia.com Q&A. As always, be sure to follow Kourtnei on Twitter (@Brown_2_theBone), as he’s always interacting with fans!
You were a defensive end at Clemson, but are making the switch to linebacker with the Bills. How do you think the position switch will work out, and what are your first impressions of Coach Pettine?
I think outside linebacker is a great position for me. Going from defensive end to outside linebacker will really showcase my athleticism, which can hopefully help the team out, and I’m all about helping the team any way I can. Coach Pettine is funny and smart; he really knows his stuff. One of the biggest things that I like about him is just how he interacts with all the players.
You were a rotational defensive end with the Tigers, playing behind guys like Andre Branch and Da’Quan Bowers, but still managed to produce whenever you were on the field. How did you deal with being a backup when you were clearly making plays whenever given the opportunity?
Being a backup wasn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you feel like you’re capable of bringing more to the table. I just had to wait for my opportunity and help my team out whenever my name got called.
Who do you model your game after as a pass rusher?
I try to model my game after Julius Peppers. I grew up watching him do work in Chapel Hill and the Carolina Panthers. With me living and growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, I got to see a lot of him, and tried to mimic everything he did on the field. My favorite player is Michael Vick, though!
Aside from football, what are some things you like to do off the field?
Off the field, I’m low key. I like to relax. I love movies, mostly superhero movies, haha! Music also, so most likely I’m going to be doing one or the other.
The Bills have had a problem getting after quarterbacks for years, and there’s no clear pecking order at the rush linebacker position. What is one thing you want to show the new coaching staff?
I just want to go out and show the coaches that I can rush the passer and I’m willing to help contribute to the team in any way possible!
There’s quite a few Clemson alumni on the Bills right now in CJ Spiller, Chris Hairston, Jonathan Meeks, etc. How is your relationship with those guys, and do you think it’ll help having some guys you’re familiar with on the team?
I’m happy to be on a team with other Tigers! It makes me feel like I’m back at home and in college again. We can communicate much better with each other, and help each other out, by giving advice and whatnot.
It’s gameday and you have one song to listen to before running through the tunnel. What is it?
This is a hard question because I love all kinds of music! But if my game was tomorrow, I’d have to choose Real Estate by Wiz Khalifa.