Legendary Raiders receiver Tim Brown got his gold jacket Thursday night. He’ll be formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.
It was pretty clear 18 years ago that Brown would end up enshrined in Canton, Ohio some day. That was when Charles Woodson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Raiders, shortly after the fifth of nine consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for Brown.
Brown was the savvy veteran on a decent team coming off a bad year, proving the need for a shut-down defensive back. The pair matched up often in practice, and Woodson had instant respect for the man lining up across from him.
“He was a pro, a seasoned vet, by the time I came in,” Woodson said after Friday’s training camp practice. “He had played the game for a while. He knew what it was about. He had already established himself as a player. He had gone through the time period of being a young guy coming into the league to being a veteran, so he knew what it was all about to be a pro. That was him every day.
You could look at Tim Brown when you walk in the locker room and you were going to get consistency with him as a person and as a player. It’s always great for a young guy to have those examples, even though you may not follow them right away. But it’s great to have those guys in the locker room that you can look up to and see the right way to go about your business.”
Brown was an example of how to act like a professional. He knew how to play like one, too. Brown proved that with 1,012 receiving yards and nine touchdowns when Woodson was a rookie. The defensive back had five interceptions and two forced fumbles that year. While he was NFL ready out of college, he could learn from how Brown went about getting open.
“He was one of those crafty guys,” Woodson said. “He just knew how to work your leverage, knew how to work you as a defender and get separation. They liked to move him around a lot in the slot, and when he came off the ball he didn’t always come off fast, but he’d kind of put you to sleep and then take off and he’d find himself getting where he needed to be and catching the ball and either turning it up or making it a touchdown or whatever it was. He was crafty in that regard.
“He knew how to work you, knew how to work the defense and make a lot of catches. He made a lot of catches over his career. Touchdown Timmy was special, man, and big congratulations to him on making it to the Hall of Fame.”