Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown talked to reporters Friday after arriving in Paris. Angelique S. Chengelis, Detroit News
Paris — Think about this for a minute — Michigan’s high-octane, uber-energized defensive coordinator Don Brown on an espresso high.
Brown, who along with the Michigan team and staff arrived Friday in Paris for a week-long sightseeing trip, is making his second trip to France. Asked if he was looking forward to any special foods or tours, he shared a story from his last trip to Paris.
“I had a bad experience,” Brown said, smiling. “I was having a hard time finding coffee and I got a bunch of espressos and put them in a big glass.
“Oh my God, I thought I was having the big one.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is not ruling out the Wolverines ever playing a regular-season or bowl game overseas.
But there are certain qualifications.
“I think it’s a possibility,” Harbaugh said Friday in Paris. “We’d never give up a home game. We’d never give up a chance to play in Michigan Stadium. But to do an away game here, sure. That would be the possibility or a bowl game.”
Football in Europe
Harbaugh and his staff will participate Saturday in a coaching clinic with the American-style football French Football Federation, which is among the highlights for the Michigan coaches.
“Really excited about the connection we make over here in football,” Harbaugh said. “We did last year and this year, looking forward to our camp clinic. It’s neat when the ball comes out. The language barriers and the cultural barriers seem to come down. It’s neat to be part of that again.”
In a country where American football isn’t king, the coaches find it rewarding sharing the game with those who are passionate about it.
“You’re just trying to do the best you can to be ambassadors to the game of football around the world,” Brown said. “It’s what it’s all about. That’s why you’re in this profession. If you don’t feel strongly about furthering the game, I don’t know what you’re in it for.”’
On the rise
Brown thinks the American game is picking up steam in Europe.
“I think so. I think if you go back, too, and look, the NFL is pretty sharp,” Brown said. “They know what they’re doing. They’re making sure they’re playing a game or two every year now over here. I think it’s making in-roads. Will it ever be as big as soccer? I don’t know that, and I don’t really care. It’s just nice to have our game, which is so big in the States, leaving an imprint around the world.”