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(Jackson State)...6'4'', 241...1st round draft pick, sixth overall, by the Oilers in 1975 NFL Draft ... Draft choice obtained in trade with Kansas City Chiefs that also included the acquisition of Hall of Fame defensive tackle Curley Culp … Held team record with 147 straight games played … Also started seven playoff games … Made instant impact on defense as a rookie and helped Houston to 10-4 record for first winning season in eight years … Earned Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors … Team leader that helped transform franchise highlighted by three straight playoff appearances, 1978-1980 … Helped Oilers to three consecutive 10-win seasons (10-6 in 1978, 11-5 in 1979, 11-5 in 1980) … Registered career-best 185 tackles (95 solo, 98 assisted) during 1978 season … Started at outside linebacker in back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances (1978-79) … Recorded nine tackles and one fumble recovery in 1978 AFC Championship Game … Spectacular pass rusher; recorded career-best 6.5 sacks in 1976 and 1980 … Career statistics include 13 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries … All-Pro five straight seasons, 1976-1980 ... Selected to seven Pro Bowls … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of 1970s … Born February 7, 1953 in Mobile, Alabama.
Robert Brazile was a preeminent linebacker in the NFL during a career that spanned from 1975 to 1984 with the Houston Oilers. A consensus All-American at Jackson State, he was drafted by the Oilers in the first round (sixth player overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. He lived up to the high expectations and was named to multiple All-Rookie teams and earned Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Noted for his size (6-4, 241 pounds) and speed (4.6 in the 40), Brazile had a reputation as a tremendous hitter and earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” by his peers.
He continued to dominate at the linebacker position and was a leading force on an Oilers defense that helped the team to three consecutive 10-win seasons (10-6 in 1978, 11-5 in 1979, 11-5 in 1980). Houston advanced to back-to-back AFC title game appearances in 1978 and 1979. Leading the way was Brazile who finished second on the team in tackles and was named by the NFLPA as the top linebacker in the AFC in each of those seasons. He recorded a career-best 185 tackles (95 solo, 98 assisted) during the 1978 season and had nine tackles and one fumble recovery in 1978 AFC Championship Game.
Brazile started every game of his 10-year career with the Oilers and his 147 consecutive games were the most in Oilers history at the time of his retirement in 1984. He had 13 career interceptions for 201 yards and made 14 fumble recoveries. He amassed 11 sacks during the last three years of his career (1982-84), once sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
Brazile was named first-team All-Pro five times (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980) and was elected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1977-1983). He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.
Additional Career Statistics: Sacks: 11.0
1978 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Houston Oilers 5
Brazile started at outside linebacker. He had nine tackles and one fumble recovery.
1979 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Houston Oilers 13
Brazile started at outside linebacker. He had three tackles and two assists.
All-Pro: 1976 (PFWA) · 1977 (NEA) · 1978 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW) · 1979 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW) · 1980 (PFWA, NEA, SN, PW)
All-Pro Second Team: 1976 (AP) · 1977 (AP) · 1980 (AP) · 1981 (AP)
All-AFC: 1976 (UPI, SN, PW) · 1978 (UPI, SN, PW) · 1979 (UPI, SN, PW) · 1980 (UPI, PW) · 1982 (UPI)
All-AFC Second Team: 1975 (UPI) · 1977 (UPI) · 1981 (UPI)
(7) – 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Oilers records held by Brazile
(Records through the 1984 season, Brazile’s final season with Houston)
Team Statistical Titles
Team Statistical Championships
Interceptions Titles: 1982
Awards and Honors
• 1975 Defensive Rookie of the Year (AP)
• 1970s All-Decade Team
Year-by-Year Team Records
1975 Houston Oilers.................. 10-4-0 (3rd)
1976 Houston Oilers.................... 5-9-0 (4th)
1977 Houston Oilers.................... 8-6-0 (2nd)
1978 Houston Oilers................. 10-6-0 (2nd)
1979 Houston Oilers................. 11-5-0 (2nd)
1980 Houston Oilers................. 11-5-0 (2nd)
1981 Houston Oilers.................... 7-9-0 (3rd)
1982 Houston Oilers.................... 1-8-0 (13th*)
1983 Houston Oilers.................. 2-14-0 (4th)
1984 Houston Oilers.................. 3-13-0 (4th)
* AFC regular season finish in strike-shortened season.
(Division Finish in Parentheses)
Full Name: Robert Lorenzo Brazile, Jr.
Birthdate: February 7, 1953
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama
High School: C.F. Vigor (Prichard, AL)
Pro Career: 10 seasons, 147 games
Drafted: 1st round (6th player overall) in 1975 by Houston
When I told my wife, Brenda, I didn't know how to start this speech, she looked at me and said, "I don't think starting the speech is going to be your problem."
By now, all of us know how important knocks and telephone calls can be to a football player. For me, I experienced them both ‑‑ the knocks and the phone calls.
To this day, one of the knocks that still sticks in my mind is that man right there knocking on the bathroom door: "Boys, y'all have been in that tub too long." The funny thing is my mother, Ola Mae, only made about an inch of bath Tide water for both me and my brothers, Vic and Joe, to use.
I'm joking, because my home was nothing but love and support.
In fact, my first coach was my mother, Ola Mae. But it was her brother, Odell Randall, that kept after my parents: "Y'all better let that boy play ball."
Back then, everyone thought it was funny when they saw my homemade jersey. I used my dad's black electrical tape to make a big number 63 or 51 on an old T‑shirt so I could be Willie Lanier or Dick Butkus. I should say everyone but my dad thought it was funny, because he could never find that tape.
I'll bet you right about now my kids are all probably saying, oh, no, which phone call he's going to tell everybody about. Well, let's see. No, I just want to tell all of them that I'm so glad that you trusted me enough to call me for anything.
So, Sherrie, Katrinda, Trey, Deanna, your husband Matt, and Blaine, Nathan, your wife Marleny and my grandson Daniel, Lyndsay, your husband Andres and my two granddaughters, never stop calling me because I love y'all so much.
One of the best telephone calls I ever got was when I was at Jackson State in Michigan. At that time, Walter Payton was bringing scouts from all over to our practices.
This turned out to be great for Walter and me because we was making history: Two first‑round draft picks from a historical black college and university.
And off of that same team, telephone calls came to Ricky Young, John Tate, Vernon Perry, Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, Leon Gray, Rodney Phillips, Walter's brother Eddie, Emanuel Zanders, and Don Reese, all got phone calls that we'll be playing in the NFL.
The '75 draft phone call was also important because it brought me in contact with Bud Adams and his family. It gave me a second father in Bum Phillips. Bum's philosophy in life and in football was: Every man get a man, and every man get ‑‑ you're right ‑‑ two.
The draft phone call gave me great assistant coaches and teammates that became my brother. The draft phone call gave me John McClain, whose campaign to get me here today would never, never be forgotten by me nor my family.
In 1985, the Houston Oilers was right here in Canton. We were to play the New York Giants in the Hall of Fame game. But after ten Iron Man seasons, never missing a game and starting every game, I got that knock on the door.
It was an assistant coach telling me that the head coach wanted to see me. This would be one of the most difficult knocks that I would ever hear in my life. The head coach told me that I was not going to start. They had decided to go with the younger ball players, the ones I had mentored that whole summer.
This knock destroyed me. I fell out of love with football for the first time in my life. This knock sent me and my son, Trey, back to Whistler, Alabama, where my family, my community, and my church welcomed me home.
Soon after I came home, I started working at my alma mater, Vigor High School, in Prichard, Alabama. At Vigor, there was some other great legends that have once walked the halls. We'll all play for the Vigor Wolves ‑‑ Paul Crane with the New York Jets, Scott Hunter with the Green Bay Packers, Don Reese with the Miami Dolphins, and Ricky Young with the Minnesota Vikings.
All of us from the same high school. And it's important to mention that over the next 20 years more than a dozen young athletes from Vigor would get their phone call telling them that they would be playing in the NFL. That's why people from Mobile say there's got to be something in that water down there.
After coming home, it would be phone calls from people like Bum, Debbie Phillips, Amy Adams‑Strunk, Eddie Biles, my quarterback Dan Pastorini, Kelleyne, Rob Lynch, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Greg Bingham, Duane Benson, my man Vernon Perry, and other teammates that would bring back this love I once had for football.
You see, all of these phone calls was important because they kept the "Luv you Blue" family together.
Back in August when the phone call came from Dave Baker, the Senior Hall of Fame Committee and a few Hall of Famers, I began to hope and pray that football might be ready to love me back.
So, Mr. Hall of Famer Kenny Houston, Earl Campbell, Elvin Bethea, Curley Culp, Munchak, Jackie Slater, Lem Barney, Warren Moon, Ricky Jackson, my man, Lawrence Taylor, and my Class of 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame, when Dave knocked on my door, all of my dreams came true. And after all these years, I'm at home.
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Posted on 15 Feb
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