Willie Brown...

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Brown Set the Standard

July 18, 2006

As legendary Raiders head coach John Madden prepares to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, August 5th, we present a look back at the 16 proud members of the Silver and Black who have previously earned such distinction. We continue with Raiders CB Willie Brown, who was enshrined in 1984.

In 1967, The Oakland Raiders acquired cornerback Willie Brown in a trade with the Denver Broncos. Over the next 12 seasons, Brown became one of the greatest defensive backs to ever play the game and made his mark in the history books by becoming an All-Pro seven times, playing in four NFL Pro Bowls, sharing the Raiders all-time interceptions record (39), and by being named to the American Football League All-Time team at cornerback.

Not only did Brown make his mark individually, he helped the Raiders earn their way to three AFL and six AFC championship games, as well as two Super Bowls (II, XI). And it was in Super Bowl XI, that Brown returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, to seal the Raiders first ever Super Bowl win, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 32-14. He was a member of the famed "Soul Patrol," which included fellow defensive backs George Atkinson, Skip Thomas and Jack Tatum.

In Brown's career, he totaled 54 interceptions, with 472 return yards and two touchdowns, tied a NFL record with four interceptions against the N.Y. Jets on November 15, 1964, played in 205 league games, led as captain of the Raiders for 10 years, and was MVP of the AFL All-Star game in 1965. Brown was also the winner of the 1968 Gorman Award as the "Player Who Best Exemplifies the Pride and Spirit of the Raiders."

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's web site, Brown's speed, mobility, aggressiveness, determination and keen football sense made him a key figure in the Raiders success and he was widely acclaimed as one of the premier cornerbacks of all-time.

Brown retired from the Raiders after the 1978 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 28, 1984, in his first year of eligibility, making him the third Raider player to ever receive such an honor. His pride and spirit led him to become a member, at cornerback, of the All-Time AFL-NFL 25-year All-Star team.

After Brown's success as a player in Oakland, he stayed with the team as the defensive backs coach from 1979-88, and later became the head football coach at Long Beach State in 1991. He also received the honor of being inducted in to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

He has had many successes over the years and is currently with the Silver and Black as an assistant coach and the director of squad development.
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