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Oklahoma DC Alex Grinch: New Seahawks CB Tre Brown has knack for showing up in big moments

Tre Brown made game-winning interceptions in Oklahoma's two biggest wins in 2020. (Getty)

Before the Seahawks made cornerback Tre Brown their fourth-round NFL Draft selection last weekend, he was somebody Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch got used to relying upon in crunch time.

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During an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Tuesday, Grinch – who locals may remember from his successful run as Washington State’s DC and secondary coach from 2015 to 2017 – provided a scouting report on a player who starred in his defense for the past two seasons. And what Grinch said stands out above all when it comes to Brown is his ability to make the biggest play of the game when his team needs it.

“The first thing that comes to mind are some big-time plays at one of the premier college football programs in the country,” Grinch said about Brown. “… You’re talking about some of the biggest stages in our sport.”

He had specific game-winning plays to point to from last season, as well. First was in an interception in the end zone of an absolute classic Red River Shootout between the Sooners and bitter rival Texas that clinched a 53-45 Oklahoma win in the fourth overtime (watch here). Then there was Brown’s pick that sealed a victory over Iowa State with just over a minute to go in the Big 12 Championship.

“To play in a rivalry game against Texas and you make an interception in the fourth overtime, somebody had to make a play to win the game and Tre Brown did,” Grinch said. “Then you fast-forward a couple weeks to a championship game in the Big 12 down in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium, and a two-minute drive for an opponent (where) it’s thumbs up or thumbs down for us as a team – you’re champions or you’re not at the end of that drive, and Tre Brown makes a play to win the football game.

“Those two (plays) highlight what he’s been for us. He has a knack to be around the ball and a knack to show up in those big moments, and certainly there will be some tremendous championship moments for him in Seattle.”

Brown’s game is more than speed

As a smaller cornerback (5 foot 10, 185 pounds) who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, it’s fair to label Brown as a speedy player. But Grinch wants to make sure that label doesn’t override something else he features in his game.

“(He’s) also a physical football player,” Grinch said. “The ability to put pads on people. Sometimes when you get pegged a speed guy, it doesn’t always come with the physical element of things, but you’ll see that (he has that) in coverage as well as in the run game, so I think those are two feathers in his cap.”

That being said, Brown’s speed is pretty valuable, too.

“Speed is real and it’s not just in the 40-yard dash, which is obviously a critical evaluation tool, but he plays that speed. The film will kind of echo that he has an ability to run with wideouts,” Grinch said. “… So much of what we did here was put him in one-on-one, single-coverage situations and so from an evaluation standpoint, there’s no hiding when you’re out there on an island. You’re going to see that whatever flaws, the bulk of the film he’s going to show positive that way.”

For more of Grinch’s scouting report on Brown, including what he thinks will be his biggest hurdle in the pros with the Seahawks, listen to the full interview in the player below. The segment begins around the 13-minute mark.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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Jake & Stacy