Bob Brown Philadelphia Eagles & Los Angeles Rams & Oakland Raiders
"Yes, football is a sport, but it is a business too…The only commodity I have is my body. I want to make it the best at its task. I want to be sure the people who come out to see me get their money’s worth.”
Voted college football’s Lineman of the Year in 1963 by the Washington, D.C. Touchdown Club, Bob "The Boomer" Brown, an All-America guard at Nebraska, was drafted in the first round in 1964 by both the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos of the then-rival American Football League. Choosing the senior circuit, Brown began his impressive pro football career in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Brown, however, never demonstrated any “brotherly love” for opponents on a football field. He once described himself as being “about as subtle as a 16-pound sledgehammer.” Defensive linemen, who almost always came away with their ribs aching from the punishment he delivered, agreed.
Not known as one who would use finesse too often in his blocking technique, Brown’s philosophy was simple. “I beat on people from the opening kickoff. I want to see results in the fourth quarter,” he explained. “I don’t want them to have as much left. I want them to not be sure they want to keep coming. I try to take a toll on them.”
An aggressive blocker, the 6-4, 280-pound Brown used his size and strength to neutralize hard-charging pass rushers. He exploded off the ball and into the oncoming defensive player. As one coach explained, “to do what Brown does requires great quickness, great strength, and great self-confidence. Few men have such a combination of assets. Bob Brown does.”
Although a knee injury suffered in 1967 bothered him through much of the rest of his career, Brown continued to excel. He was named All-NFL seven of his 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1964-68), Los Angeles Rams (1969-70), and Oakland Raiders (1971-73). Two of the three years he did not make the All-NFL team, he was named second-team All-NFL. Named the NFL/NFC offensive lineman of the year three times, Brown was also chosen to play in six Pro Bowls – three with the Eagles, two with the Rams, and one final time with the Raiders.
In 1969, after five consecutive all-league seasons with the Eagles, the behemoth lineman was traded to Los Angeles. That year, the Rams offensive line set an NFL record for protecting the passer. “At his best, no one was better than big Bob Brown,” then-Rams’ coach and future Hall of Famer George Allen remarked. Former teammate and Hall of Fame lineman Ron Mix had equally high praise for Brown. “Everything about Brown is bigger than life – his size, his talent, his intelligence, his sensitivity,” he once offered. “He’s one of a kind.”