Roger Brown, who terrorized a generation of pro and college football players as one of the most prolific defensive tackles in history, has died at age 84. No cause of death was given by his family, which confirmed his death.
A six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Brown played seven seasons for the Detroit Lions, then was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in 1967. He replaced Rosey Grier as part of the legendary “Fearsome Foursome” on the Rams, a defensive line that featured Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen. He made an instant impact and again became a Pro Bowler with the Rams.
Brown was drafted by the Lions out of Maryland Eastern Shore in the fourth round in the 1960 draft. He made the Pro Bowl every year from 1962 to 1966. He most notably had seven sacks of Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr in one game, including one for a safety.
Brown was one of the first NFL players to have a playing weight over 300 pounds, using his size and speed to dominate.
“Roger Brown will always hold a special place in our team’s history,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. “A member of the Lions’ esteemed ‘Fearsome Foursome’ of the 1960s with Alex Karras, Darris McCord, and Sam Williams, Roger’s career accomplishments solidify his legacy alongside some of the all-time greats of our game. We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Kay, and the entire Brown family.”
Brown was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
After his football career, Brown was a successful businessman and restaurateur in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia
He is survived by his wife, Kay.