Josh Uche will go from one experienced defensive mind to another.
The Michigan product, who played under well-respected Wolverine defensive coordinator Don Brown, will now begin his NFL career with the New England Patriots, where he’s expected to fill multiple defensive needs.
It’s Uche’s versatility that likely led Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to trade up and draft the defensive end/linebacker hybrid at No. 60 overall in 2020. And it’s that same versatility which led Uche to have extensive success under Brown, the former defensive coordinator at Boston College, during his days in Ann Arbor.
“We had him in every package known to mankind,” Brown told The Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan. “There’s a ton of learning with that package stuff. We demand a lot from our players, and I thought he handled it really well.
“He’s a football junkie. He wanted to know everything he could possibly know,” Brown added. “Our strength coach did a really good job developing his hand quickness, and really, I thought was instrumental in helping us out. But Josh, he’ll do exactly what you tell him to do … and you know, some pass rushers they think they can win it all. He’ll do exactly what he’s supposed to do.”
Brown isn’t the only one who thinks Uche will fit Belichick’s schemes, where one player can be used in multiple facets. Uche himself believes he’s the “perfect fit” for the Patriots defense as well.
After losing fellow hybrid linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, who established a level of success due to their inside-outside versatility, Uche could be among the Patriots’ most-impact rookies during the 2020 season.
And it’s safe to say Brown, for one, wouldn’t be all that surprised.