When the Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists were named today (Friday), I check to see if any former Lions were on the list. Nose tackle Curley Culp, who ended his career with the Lions (1980-81), is one of two senior nominees.
I was looking for Roger Brown and he was not there, even though I think he belongs as does Hall of Famer Joe Schmidt.
Before the Lions played the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving in 2011, Lions beat writers had a chance to talk to a few of the Lions who had been on the 1962 Detroit team that had upset the undefeated Packers on Thanksgiving 1962. The Lions won 26-14, but held a 26-0 lead until the Packers scored twice in the fourth quarter.
It was the game when the Lions sacked Bart Starr 11 times and intercepted him twice.
Brown had six of those sacks, including one for a safety.
“Roger should be in the Hall of Fame, but for some reason he’s not. That particular day he was throwing those people around like toys,’’ Schmidt said that day.
Schmidt and Brown still keep up with the Lions whose defensive line is a strength of the team.
“Roger had the same attributes as the gentlemen playing today,’’ Schmidt said. “To be honest I don’t think they’re as good.’’
Brown played with the fearsome foursome with Alex Karras, Sam Williams and Darris McCord. He was the first NFL player to tip the scales over 300 pounds and was named the outstanding defensive lineman in the league in 1962. After he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in 1967, he played on another fearsome foursome unit with Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen. Jones and Olsen are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Lions history is rich with players like Schmidt and Brown.