LAFB Exclusive – Former UCLA Bruins RB Talks DeShaun Foster Hire and Life in the NFL

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Nicholas Buenavidez of the LA Football Network got the opportunity to sit down with former UCLA Bruins and current Las Vegas Raiders running back Brittain Brown. Here is his exclusive interview.

Brown carved out a solid role for himself in UCLA’s backfield during his two seasons with the Bruins. Over 25 games, he rushed for 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns on 184 carries, averaging over 6 yards per carry. He also displayed some receiving ability, catching 24 passes for 213 yards and another touchdown. Brown was drafted in the 7th round by the Raiders in 2022.

LAFB: You obviously had a close relationship with New UCLA Head Coach DeShaun Foster. We saw the reactions of current players seeing him be named head coach. What was your initial reaction and thoughts now?

Brown: My initial reaction was, it was kind of crazy, because at first, he was coming to Vegas to be a running back coach. So you know, we had a little convo about that. And I was super excited to have him over here and just be reunited kind of thing. And then I got the news like a day later. And it was like, Okay, Coach Foss is now the head coach at UCLA after Chip Kelly had left for Ohio State.

I was happy for him. And I think it was the right move for him. I think that’s what he really wants to do. Him being our position coach, I can see him as a head coach, and he just loves the game. He loves all the guys at UCLA. All the guys love him. So it’s a perfect fit.

What qualities make him an effective leader and how do you think he will shape the future of UCLA football?

NCAA Football: UCLA Bruins at Washington
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He’s just confident and everything that he coaches us with comes from the experience that he has in college and in the league, his knowledge of the game, and then just the staff that he builds around him as well. And the fact that the players are going to want to play hard, and Coach is going to want to do good for their first year with the Big 10.

They’re gonna have an uphill battle, the Big 10 is just gonna be different than like, flying over there. And I know people might not realize that as much. Besides that, I think UCLA gonna be ready. He knows how much transition it is to this new field of play with all these different teams. I think they’ll be pretty successful this year.

What advice would you give to the current UCLA Bruins players?

Just listen to Coach Foss. They’ve already popped off a little bit. Like I said before, just be consistent with your work. And if you stay on track you’ll get to the league just like the last ones.

The last couple of years for UCLA football has just seen an influx of players coming into the NFL. Have you guys all stayed in contact?

We stay in contact every now and then. Obviously guys like Joshua Kelley, Demetric Felton. A couple of those guys that I played with, Felt and Zach Charbonnet I’m probably closest with, but I’m just bouncing ideas off of each other and just knowing that we’re all competitive guys so we want to see who’s going to be the best in the league and who’s gonna show up and keep UCLA on the map.

Last season, you faced an injury that cut your time short. Can you share your recovery process and how you’ve prepared for the upcoming season?

Yeah, it was a tough one last year. Just being out a whole year from anything is a long time. Mentally, I was out of it for a little bit. But the past six months of me getting back and everything has been really good. So physically and mentally, I’m a lot better now. And I think it just imbued me with a lot more energy to be motivated for this upcoming season. And I think people are gonna really see how much better I got just in the offseason. I can’t wait to get on that field again, man, it’s gonna be crazy.

How integral is film study to your preparation? What specific aspects do you focus on when reviewing game tape?

NFL: New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders
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It’s been big time because we got a new offense. You’ve got to push your brain on this multi-level processing where you’re thinking about the offense and your job with the defense as well. But you don’t want to be stuck on what the play is just deep diving into the playbook and making it part of the routine just training-wise, but the end the playbook, as well during summertime, so I can just play bass just react to not be thinking too much.

With the Raiders’ competitive backfield, how do you envision your role this season? What are you focusing on to make a significant impact?

Same thing I did when my rookie year, you know. I can only be me. It’s a stacked running back room. I like to think of myself as an every-down back. I can do anything be out wide as a wide receiver, slot back, or backfield, protecting the quarterback Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew. Just being that every down back is gonna separate me from the rest of the guys.

Who have been the key mentors for you within the Raiders organization? How have they helped you adapt to the professional level?

I think it’s really been, it was coach KP (Kennedy Polamalu). When he was here, he was that old head coach that was just on 24/7. All the time. He was really cool to have as a coach and I learned a lot from him. And it’s been the guys in my class. Learning along with him, with Zamir White, Sincere McCormick.

Ameer Abdullah is a really knowledgeable guy, been in the league for 10 years. We’re in the same agency. So I’m always asking him things. Just seeing how he prepares himself. Every time being like, calm old man, he’s 30 years old 31 right now, he got all the wisdom. So just always getting knowledge from him. And when Josh (Jacobs) was here, it was learned a lot from Josh as well.

How do you balance your football career with your personal life, and what activities do you enjoy outside of football?

NFL: New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been I’ve been doing a lot, man. I just got back into gaming. And I’m about to get this COD tournament probably tomorrow, I just got hit up about so I’m really excited about that. Knowledge-wise, I’ve been reading a lot because I just started my own company, LLC. Real Estate. I want to get really knowledgeable about that. And then just just diving into different things. Because, I mean, we have a pretty good amount of time during the day like I get a workout in probably before noon, like at least a lot of time to do stuff like this talk to you, and to just study.

Fan Question: Yo, I’m a UCLA fan. Love watching him and Charbonnet tear it up. Ask him about playing with Zach and if they’re still in touch and how that compares to working with Zamir and company in the NFL.

Yeah, I’d say comparing Zamir and Zach is actually a pretty good comparison. They’re both just naturally talented, big, strong dudes. Run you over in a heartbeat, great running backs. And they’re both just like a couple years younger than me. But I definitely still talk to Zach all the time. And we were just on a vacation with each other over in the springtime. So I mean, that’s my boy, probably one of my closest friends too. So we definitely keep in touch. I got to call them soon I got to see what he got going on. We can hang out again. But yeah, compared to Zamir and Zach they’re very complementary to each other.