The Dolphins are not the only team in search of a pass rushing outside linebacker who can also hold the edge of the defense, which is one reason Cody Brown has been traveling the country the past few weeks, working out for New England, Denver and Carolina as the NFL draft draws closer.
Brown, a University of Connecticut defensive end, is one of the top pass-rushers available in the coming draft based on his 10 sacks and 16.5 tackles for losses in 2008. That's why he's in demand now and will be coming off the board on the first day of the selection process.
On Monday, Brown added to his list of teams visited by working out for the New York Giants. But the day of interest to Dolphins fans is April 10 when Brown gets a chance to reaquaint himself with the Dolphins. Brown, 6-2 and 244, is scheduled to be among the local players the Dolphins will bring to camp on Good Friday as part of their locals visits.
"It's been working out good,'' Brown said after his workout for the Giants Monday. "A lot of teams didn't know I could drop into coverage and do all that but I feel like I've been dropping pretty good. All the teams I've been working out for have told me I've been doing a real good job."
Brown has not worked out for the Dolphins but they have kept close tabs on him dating back to the regular-season when they studied him on film. The study was significant enough that Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland recognized Brown when he showed up to one of their practices with his friend Donald Thomas, a former U-Conn teammate and current Miami guard.
"I was just chillin' with him and he told me he was going to go to one of the practices," Brown said. "I went out there to one of the practices with him and I watched the guys out there and I met Parcells and I met the GM, Jeff Ireland. And they were saying they've been watching me on film and that they wanted me to show what I could do, show more at the Senior Bowl. Pretty much they said they liked me as a player."
Pretty much the talk on the field moved inside the team's training facility, where the talk with Parcells started to take on the feel of a job interview.
"Yes, because like certain questions I answered he was talking to me like it was a job," Brown said. "He was going into the detail of everything that we were talking about."
Brown says his tour to various pass-rush hungry teams has been routine. They all want to see if he is capable of making the transition from a college defensive end to an NFL OLB.
"Pretty much you get down there at whatever time they want you," Brown said in going through the typical itinerary. "You warm up for a little bit. Some teams want to start you off with drills and other teams want to go over plays and stuff. Most teams do the drills first. And after you're done with the drills you go into a meeting room and they sit you down and you talk about football. You talk about family and they see what you're like as a person. That's pretty much it."
The Patriots stuck out for Brown because they got a little more in-depth.
"The Patriots showed me their defensive scheme and showed me how I would play in their scheme and how I would fit in," Brown said. "And then they compared it to what you did in college. So if I had a defense I could compare to it, they would help me out with learning the names and stuff like that."
Brown, obviously, would be happy to play for whichever team picks him. But he admits playing for Miami would be special because, after all, South Florida is his home.
"I would love that," he said. "I'm from the area. Most of my family members are Dolphins fans. So it would be a tremendous thing to happen for me."
And what type of player would the Dolphins be getting if Cody Brown ends up on their draft selection card April 25?
"A very versatile player. A smart player," Brown said. "A player who plays with intensity. I feel like I can pass rush really good as well as drop into the coverage very good. That's something most people can't really do."
Watch this quickie video of Brown against Buffalo in the International Bowl, a game in which Brown has six tackles, including a sack: