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Roger Brown (1937–2021), NFL star with the Los Angeles Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome”

by Linnea Crowther

Roger Brown was a defensive tackle and six-time Pro Bowler with the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams in the 1960s.

Football career

Brown played college football at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where he was a two-time NAIA All-American. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. After graduating, he was a fourth-round pick in the 1960 NFL Draft for the Detroit Lions. He went on to play for the Lions until 1966, going to the Pro Bowl five times. In the 1962 “Thanksgiving Day Massacre” game against the Green Bay Packers, Brown famously sacked quarterback Bart Starr (1934–2019) seven times. He was inducted into the Pride of the Lions in 2018, and in 2019, the Detroit Free Press ranked him No. 19 among the Lions’ top 100 players of all time.

Brown was traded to the Rams in 1967, where he became part of the formidable “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line along with Deacon Jones (1938–2013), Lamar Lundy (1935–2007), and Merlin Olsen (1940–2010). With the Rams, he went to the Pro Bowl again in 1967 before his retirement in 1969. After his playing career, Brown became a restaurateur, first in Chicago and later in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

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Notable quote

“In my 10 years with the Lions and the Rams, I never missed a game. I had broken hands and broken bones. But probably not as many as I caused. I had 12 operations.” —from a 2015 interview for the Virginian Pilot

Tributes to Roger Brown

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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