Larry Brown (running back)

Lawrence Brown Jr. (born September 19, 1947) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who played running back for the Washington Redskins from 1969 to 1976.

Raised in nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Schenley High School, his original interest being in baseball. He later developed an overriding interest in football and played college football in Kansas at Dodge City Community College and Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Larry Brown
refer to caption
Brown in 1973
No. 43
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:September 19, 1947 (age 71)
Clairton, Pennsylvania
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Pittsburgh (PA) Schenley
College:Kansas State
NFL Draft:1969 / Round: 8 / Pick: 191
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:5,875
Yards per carry:3.8
Rushing touchdowns:35
Player stats at

Professional career

Brown's eight-year professional career was spent exclusively with the Washington Redskins. The team had selected him as an afterthought, in the eighth round of the 1969 NFL/AFL draft in January. Though Washington was primarily a passing team, starring All-Pro quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, and in 1967, they had the NFL's first (Charley Taylor), second (tight end Jerry Smith) and fourth ranked receivers in passes caught, they needed a productive rusher. Brown was an unlikely candidate, having served as a blocking back for Cornelius Davis at Kansas State,[1] where the sophomore quarterback, Lynn Dickey, broke all school passing records. Brown had not been widely recruited in high school. His strongest feeler came from Howard University in Washington, D.C., but upon visiting its campus, he noted the lopsided football scores against the university's teams posted on past schedules in the school's athletic building.

In 1969, newly arrived Redskins head coach Vince Lombardi noticed Brown, a talented but underperforming running back. He made the 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 195-pound (88 kg) rookie his starter, but noticed Brown was starting slightly late behind the snap of the ball. Tests ordered by Lombardi determined that Brown was hearing-impaired in one ear,[2] and that he was watching for the lineman to move rather than listening to the quarterback's snap count. After getting approval from the league Commissioner's office, Lombardi had Brown's helmet fitted with an ear-piece that relayed quarterback Sonny Jurgensen's snap counts, improving Brown's responsiveness, thus allowing him to hit the hole very quickly. Brown's other rookie obstacle was his training camp propensity to fumble. Lombardi ordered Brown to carry a football everywhere he went at the team's training camp in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.[3]

Brown had an impressive rookie season during which Brown was largely the reason Washington posted a record of 7-5-2, their first winning record since 1955. He had rushed for 888 yards, a team record. Lombardi died of cancer during the preseason of Brown's second year. Brown went to four consecutive Pro Bowls during his first four seasons and led the Redskins to their Super Bowl VII appearance against the "perfect season" Miami Dolphins in January 1973. Brown was the National Football League's Most Valuable Player in 1972.[1][4] He was noted for his courageous running style despite his relatively small size, courage he attributed to having been raised on the tough streets of Pittsburgh's Hill District, and playing tackle football in those streets. He was also noted for his abilities to break tackles, and gain yardage after contact, which announcers called "second effort".

He finished in the top five of the league for rushes five times, rushing yards three times, yards from scrimmage three times and total touchdowns twice. Brown was the first Redskins running back to gain more than 1,000 yards in a single season. He achieved that feat twice in a career that ran from 1969 to 1976. In an eight-year career, Brown was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. He has been voted one of the 70 Greatest Redskins of All Time. He was selected as the Washington, DC Touchdown Club Player of the Year in 1972.

Brown carried the ball 1,530 times in his career gaining 5,875 yards. His best seasons were in 1972 when he gained 1,216 yards and in 1970 when he gained 1,125 yards. He rushed for 100 yards or more 21 times and rushed for 100 yards or more in six games in 1970 and six games in 1972. He also scored four rushing touchdowns in one game against the Eagles on December 16, 1973. . On October 29, 1972, he ran for 190 yards in a game against the New York Giants.[5] Brown wrote an autobiography entitled "I'll Always Get Up".

Brown's career was cut short due to numerous injuries, and his jersey number, 43, while not officially retired, has not been issued to any other Redskins player since his retirement.

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Brown to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2014 [6]

Post-football career

Brown is currently a Vice President of NAI Michael Commercial Real Estate Services.[7] After retiring from football in 1976, he was employed at E.F. Hutton as a Personal Financial Management Advisor. [8]

For 12 years, Brown was employed by Xerox Corporation with responsibilities for business and community relations.

He has served on the Board of Directors of Mellon Bank (MD), the Board of Visitors of George Mason University, the Board of Associates of Gallaudet University the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington, D.C. Sports Authority, and a Delegate to Japan with the American Council of Young Political Leaders.[7]

Charitable activities

Brown has been active over many years in charitable activities for the Redskins and other non-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area, including the Prince George's County Special Olympics the National Council on Disability, Friends of the National Zoo Advisory Committee, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Capital Children's Museum, and the Washington Redskins Charity Golf Classic.[9]

He makes regular appearances at Redskins alumni events.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Larry Brown doesn't like comparisons with others". Observer-Reporter. Washington, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. January 5, 1973. p. B4.
  2. ^ Stellino, Vito (January 3, 1973). "Lombardi shaped Larry Brown's career". Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania. UPI. p. D3.
  3. ^ "Redskins' Larry Brown runs scared". Southeast Missourian. Cape Girardeau. Associated Press. October 25, 1972. p. 13.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Ralph (December 15, 1972). "Redskins' Larry Brown is presented Bert Bell Award as top gridder of the year". Gettysburg Times. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. p. 15.
  5. ^ [1] Archived September 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Professional Researchers Association Hall of Very Good Class of 2014". Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Lanham, MD - Commercial Real Estate Services > Home". Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "Full Service Sports Marketing Agency". Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  9. ^ [2] Archived July 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Matt Terl. "The Redskins Blog | Bruce Allen's Speech From The Return To Glory Event". Retrieved April 25, 2015.

External links

1969 NFL/AFL draft

The 1969 National Football League draft was part of the common draft, the third and final year in which the NFL and American Football League (AFL) held a joint draft of college players. The draft took place January 28–29, 1969.The draft began with first overall pick of O. J. Simpson, the Heisman Trophy-winning running back from USC, by the American Football League's Buffalo Bills; ending with, the twenty-sixth pick in Round 17, number 442 overall, of Fred Zirkie Defensive Tackle from Duke University by the AFL's NY Jets.

1969 Washington Redskins season

The 1969 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 38th season in the National Football League. The team improved on their 5–9 record from 1968, by hiring legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. Sam Huff (a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame) came out of retirement specifically to play for Lombardi and finished with a record of 7–5–2.

1972 NFL season

The 1972 NFL season was the 53rd regular season of the National Football League. The Miami Dolphins became the first (and to date the only) NFL team to finish a championship season undefeated and untied when they beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award

The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award is presented annually by the Associated Press (AP) to a player in the National Football League (NFL) deemed to have been the "most valuable" in that year's regular season. While there have been many selectors of NFL MVPs in the past, today the MVP award presented by the AP is considered the de facto official NFL MVP award and the most prestigious. Since 2011, the NFL has held the annual NFL Honors ceremony to recognize the winner of each year's AP MVP award, along with other AP awards, such as the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year and AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The current AP NFL MVP is quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who won the award for the first time after the 2018 NFL season, after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his first full year as a starter.The AP has presented an award recognizing the NFL's top player since 1957. The award is voted upon by a panel of 50 sportswriters at the end of the regular season, before the playoffs, though the results are not announced to the public until the day before the Super Bowl. The sportswriters chosen regularly follow the NFL, and remain mostly consistent from year to year. They are chosen based on expertise and are independent of the league itself. Voters for the award have included Troy Aikman of Fox Sports; Cris Collinsworth and Tony Dungy of NBC Sports; and Herm Edwards of ESPN. The only player to be voted unanimously is Brady, who received all 50 votes for the 2010 season's award.Due to voters' tendency to favor offensive positions, the award has been overwhelmingly dominated by offensive players; of the 57 undisputed winners, 54 played an offensive position: 38 quarterbacks and 16 running backs. Two defensive players have won the award: Alan Page in 1971 as a defensive tackle, and Lawrence Taylor as a linebacker in 1986. The sole special teams player to be named AP NFL MVP was Mark Moseley, who won as a placekicker in 1982.Thirteen awardees also won the Super Bowl (or NFL Championship Game prior to 1966) in the same season. However, this has not occurred since 1999, when MVP Kurt Warner won Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams. Since then, nine AP NFL MVPs have led their team to the Super Bowl and were defeated each time. This has led to claims in recent years that there is a "curse" preventing the awardee's team from winning the Super Bowl.Eight NFL franchises have not produced an MVP, the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts have had the most overall winners with seven and the most unique winners with four different players winning the award.

Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award

The Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award is given annually by the Associated Press (AP) to the offensive player in the National Football League (NFL) deemed to have had the most outstanding season. The winner is chosen by votes from a nationwide panel of sportswriters who regularly follow the NFL. Multiple-time awardees include Marshall Faulk and Earl Campbell, both of whom won the award three times, each consecutively. Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Tom Brady, Terrell Davis, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning have each won the award twice. The award is currently held by quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who received it for the 2018 NFL season after leading the league with 5,381 passing yards and 50 touchdowns.Every winner of the award has been either a running back or a quarterback, with the exception of Rice, who won twice as a wide receiver. Running backs have been awarded 26 times, followed by quarterbacks, with 20 awards. Of the 47 winners, 28 were also named the AP NFL Most Valuable Player in the same season. Since 2011, both awards have been given out at the annual NFL Honors ceremony along with other AP awards, including the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and AP NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year Awards.Players are often awarded after record-breaking or near-record-breaking offensive seasons. Running back O. J. Simpson won the award for 1973 after rushing for a record 2,003 yards, becoming the first NFL player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. When his record was broken by Eric Dickerson in 1984, Dickerson placed second in voting behind quarterback Dan Marino, who that year was the first to pass for 5,000 yards in a season. Marino's 5,084 yards stood as the record for 27 years before being broken by Drew Brees in 2011, who won that season's award. In turn, 2013 winner Peyton Manning set league single-season records for passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55).

Bert Bell Award

The Bert Bell Award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club to the player of the year in the National Football League (NFL). The award is named in honor of Bert Bell (1895–1959), commissioner of the NFL and founder of the Maxwell Club. Voters for the Pro Awards are NFL owners, football personnel, head and assistant coaches as well as members of the Maxwell Football Club, national media, and local media. The award consists of a trophy in the form of a statue in the likeness of Bell. The award is presented at the club's annual football banquet.

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