Former Pats coach Brown shoots self, hospitalized

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Former Pats coach Brown shoots self, hospitalized

GRANGER, Ind. -- Former Notre Dame football defensive coordinator and NFL player Corwin Brown was taken from his home Friday night with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a nearly seven-hour standoff, police said.

St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett said Friday night he did not know whether Brown's injuries were life-threatening.

Police say they heard gunshots inside the home shortly after they arrived about 1 p.m. in response to a reported domestic dispute. Brown's wife and children exited the house sometime later and police say they began trying to talk him out using cellphones and a bullhorn.

Police said Brown, who was a tri-captain of the Michigan football team in 1992, asked to talk to several friends during the standoff. Shortly before it ended, someone could be heard saying through the bullhorn: "Be a Michigan man today. Step up to your obligation."

Several seconds later the person said: "Please don't let me down. Please!"

Moments later a fire truck and ambulance rushed to the front of the house. The ambulance left moments later.

Police would not identify the person who had been talking to Brown.

Police said Brown's wife, Melissa, had a bruise on her head when she left the house earlier in the day. Their children were not hurt.

Police could be heard urging Brown, 41, throughout the day to give up or to give them a call. "We'd appreciate it if you'd let us know you're OK," one officer said through the bullhorn.

Sgt. Matt Blank, a St. Joseph County police spokesman, said Brown came out of the house several times during the standoff only to go back inside.

"Just calm down and put your hands in the air," a police officer said when he came out about 4:45 p.m. Several moments later, Brown could be spotted inside in a window closing the blinds.

Blank said no shots were fired by police during the standoff.

Officers blocked off entrances to the subdivision about 10 miles northwest of the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, and blocked access to the Brown home from about three houses away. Police at one point provided an escort as a family left their home next door.

Brown was drafted in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL draft out of the University of Michigan, where he was co-captain and all-Big Ten his senior year. Brown played eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive back with the Patriots, Jets and Detroit Lions, from 1993-2000.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Brown was an assistant with the New York Jets and at the University of Virginia.

He was Notre Dame's defensive coordinator from 2007 to 2009. He was fired along with most of the rest of the staff when Charlie Weis was fired. He coached defensive backs with the New England Patriots last season but was not retained.

David Harris gets Jerod Mayo's old No. 51 with Patriots

David Harris gets Jerod Mayo's old No. 51 with Patriots

If you're hoping to help lead the Patriots defense from the middle of the field, No. 51 wouldn't be a bad jersey to wear in that pursuit.

Those are the digits that were worn by longtime Patriots captain (and Quick Slants co-host) Jerod Mayo during his run with the team from 2008-15. Taking the torch from linebackers like Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau and Mike Vrabel, Mayo was the defensive signal-caller and quarterback of the Patriots defense for the better part of a decade, eventually handing the reins to his understudy Dont'a Hightower. 

With Harris now in the mix, the defense will still be led by Hightower, who was a captain for the first time in 2016. But Harris figures to serve as a leader in his own right for the Patriots. The 33-year-old 'backer has been one of the game's most durable players at his position while with the Jets, and over time he established himself as a savvy communicator at the second level. 

Comparing Harris to Mayo comes easily because of their reputations as coach-on-the-field types. Back in 2014 when Darrelle Revis called New England home, he explained that what Mayo did for the Patriots defense reminded him of what Harris did in New York.

Now Harris has Mayo's old number, and in training camp he'll make a play for some of the duties Mayo held later in his career. How Harris will handle his new role, and how he may help his teammates take their games to new heights, is something we touched upon in this space earlier today

Harris wore No. 52 during his 10 years with the Jets. That number has belonged to Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts since he came into the league last season as a rookie, and it looks like Roberts will hold onto it for the foreseeable future.

No. 51 has bounced around to a couple of different Patriots since Mayo's retirement. Last year it was claimed by Barkevious Mingo, who has since moved on to Indianapolis as a free agent. Through this year's spring workouts No. 51 was worn by undrafted rookie linebacker Brooks Ellis, who now shares No. 47 with fullback Glenn Gronkowski.

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

David Harris is expected to be a savvy middle linebacker who will line up his teammates when they help. He's expected to provide some level of leadership, even in his first year in New England, as an accomplished-but-hungry 33-year-old who has not yet reached a Super Bowl. 

What Harris is not expected to do is improve the Patriots pass rush. He was in on one sack in 900 snaps last season.  

But in a roundabout way he might. 

MORE: How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

There are dominos to fall now that Harris has been added to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's defense. How much will Harris play, and whose playing time will he cut into? Those questions don't yet have answers, but one of the more intriguing elements of the Harris acquisition is how he will benefit Dont'a Hightower's game.

If Harris can pick up the Patriots defense quickly -- and all indications are that there should be few issues there -- he could take some of the all-important communication responsibilities off of Hightower's shoulders. 

Ever since taking the reins from Jerod Mayo as the team's signal-caller, Hightower has had to be on top of all requisite pre-snap checks and last-second alignment changes. It's a critical role, and one that Hightower performs well, but those duties place some added stress on the player wearing the green dot. Perhaps if part of that load can be heaped onto Harris' plate, that might allow Hightower to feel as though he's been freed up to focus on his individual assignments.

Harris' presence might also impact where on the field Hightower is used. Hightower may be the most versatile piece on a Patriots defense loaded with them, but with Harris in the middle, Hightower could end up playing more on the edge, where he's proven he can make a major impact (see: Super Bowl LI).

For Belichick and his staff, having the ability to use one of their best pass-rushers -- and one of the most efficient rushers league-wide, per Pro Football Focus -- on the edge more frequently has to be an enticing byproduct of the move to sign Harris. Especially since there are some question marks among the team's end-of-the-line defenders behind Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich. 

We'll have to wait for training camp before we have an idea of how exactly Harris fits in with the Patriots defense. But the effect he'll have on his new teammates, and Hightower in particular, will be fascinating to track.