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Meet the Rookies - DL Kareem Brown

Their conversations went much deeper than football.

"We spoke a lot about life," Kareem Brown replied when asked to recall his initial talks with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

The Pats' fourth-round draft choice first met his future boss several months ago. Belichick was visiting Miami to meet with another eventual Patriot draftee, safety Brandon Meriweather, and other Hurricane draft prospects.

"We just talked about life in general," Brown continued. "We spoke a little bit about football and I asked him a couple of questions about the team and how [the Patriots] always draft players that have graduated and they are real big on character."

That last subject undoubtedly came up often in Brown's heart-to-hearts with Belichick.

Last season, Brown's Miami teammates were involved in one of the ugliest incidents in college football history. But during that on-field fracas with players from Florida International, which made headlines nationwide, Brown played peacemaker.

"That was an unfortunate incident," he lamented. "I was just trying to do my best to pull people back."

Belichick apparently liked what he heard from the 6-4, 290-pound defensive lineman. That comes as no surprise to Miami's Sports Information Director.

"Kareem…he's a fun guy in the locker room. Everybody liked him," said Rick Korch. "Belichick did a good job checking [Meriweather and Brown] out."

And though Brown didn't start at "The U" until he was a senior, Korch thinks he knows why New England was interested in him.

"Kareem really, really cares about how he plays. When he started piling up sacks this past season, he took an interest in his stats, but not in an egotistical way," Korch explained. "He wanted to be better, he was curious…He was benchmarking himself."

Another reason Brown bloomed late in Coral Gables was the Hurricane's depth chart. Brown backed up a number of future NFL linemen during his career, including Vince Wilfork, now a starter in the Patriots' front seven.

"We played together for two years. You couldn't help but learn from someone of his ability," remarked Brown.

Because of Brown's experience at Miami, Korch believes he is more motivated than most players to succeed in the NFL.

"He'd come by my office to talk, and I started seeing a different side of him…he feels he was an underachiever here [in Miami]. But he's got a ton of talent and can do a heck of a job up there [in New England]."

Korch concluded, "We could always see the talent in him. Kareem's going to take it to another level."

Brown agrees.

"Yes, I can [play nose tackle]. When we went to our 3-4, I played end. This is my dream…I will play whatever the Patriots ask me to play."

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