Tarell Brown on trying to cover Manningham: “It’s like playing basketball.”

SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Tarell Brown spoke after Mario Manningham in the media tent this morning. He talked about what it was like to finally become a starter, what he expects from opposing offenses this year and what Manningham brings to the Niners. Here’s a transcript.

Q: When you came in to training camp last season were you planning on winning a starting cornerback job?

BROWN: Yeah, I definitely did. I think that’s in every player’s mind – when you come to training camp you’re fighting for your position, just like this year. Me and Carlos (Rogers) feel like we’re still battling – we’re still batting against each other and against the young guys.

Q: What was the hardest part about taking your game to the next level?

BROWN: Just being patient. Patience in this league is a lot harder when you’re used to being the guy. Coming from a big university you’re known for being that guy, and in the NFL a lot of times you have to wait your turn.

Q: Are you guys preparing and expecting an onslaught of teams coming at your defense through the air this season?

BROWN: We expect it. When you have a front that can dominate all across the board like we have, and two great linebackers like we have, we expect them to throw the ball. Not too many teams would like to run against that front. For us, we’ve just got to big-boy our pads up and get ready. The secondary does a lot of conditioning together, we do a lot of ball drills, we do a lot of things to get ourself prepared because we know when the season comes around they’ll be throwing the ball up and down the field.

Q: You got to see Manningham twice last season. What does he bring to this team?

BROWN: Quickness, explosiveness – a very polished receiver. He’s very swift in and out of his breaks. The things he does as far as getting off of the press is really good. It’s like playing basketball against him. It’s like he’s crossing you over. You really have to be patient. He makes you a patient player guarding him every day.

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