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Bob Brown, Hall of Fame offensive lineman in pro and collegiate football, dies at 81

<i>David Maxwell/Getty Images</i><br/>Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bob Brown
David Maxwell/Getty Images
Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bob Brown

By Homero De la Fuente, CNN

(CNN) — Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bob Brown, known for his aggressive and intimidating style of play in the 1960s and early 70s, died on Friday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced.

“Bob Brown demonstrated different personalities on and off the field,” Hall president Jim Porter said in a statement Saturday. “On the field, he was as fierce an opponent as any defensive linemen or linebacker ever faced. He used every tactic and technique – and sometimes brute force – to crush the will of the person across the line from him. And took great pride in doing so.

“Yet off the field, he demonstrated a quiet, soft-spoken and caring nature that his son, Robert Jr., captured eloquently when he presented his dad for enshrinement in 2004. The Hall extends its thoughts and prayers to CeCe and Robert Jr. for their loss,” Porter said.

An All-American at the University of Nebraska, Brown led the Cornhuskers to a conference title in his final season in 1963. He would be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Once called “the most aggressive lineman that ever played” by the legendary John Madden, Brown was selected with the No. 2 pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1964 NFL Draft. The towering 6-foot-4 and 280 pound lineman made an immediate impact with the Eagles, where he made three All-Pro teams in his five years with the team.

After requesting a trade ahead of the 1969 season, Brown was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams, where he continued his success by earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl recognition in his two years with the team. During his first year with the Rams, the team allowed only 17 sacks in 416 pass attempts.

Following his stint with the Rams, Brown was traded to the then-Oakland Raiders in 1971, now known as the Las Vegas Raiders, where he played under Madden. Recurring knee injuries would force Brown to retire in 1973.

“Bob was the most intimidating player I’ve ever seen. I had opponents come up to me during games and say, ‘Gene, tell Bob to stop hitting me,’” Hall of Fame guard and Raiders teammate Gene Upshaw said of Brown, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In his 10 seasons in the NFL, Brown played in 126 regular season games and was selected to six Pro Bowls and five All-Pro first teams.

Brown was selected as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1960s and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

“The Raiders Family mourns the passing of Hall of Fame tackle Bob Brown,” the Raiders said in a statement.

“A five-time All-Pro first team selection in 10 NFL seasons, Brown was among the toughest and most intimidating linemen in football history. He played his final three seasons with the Silver and Black and earned his sixth-career Pro Bowl nod with the Raiders in 1971. He was enshrined in Canton in 2004. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with the Brown Family at this time.”

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