Hall of Famer and Yazoo City great Willie Brown, 78, passes away


01 May 2015: NFL Hall of Famer and former Oakland Raider Willie Brown during round 2 of the 2015. The NFL Draft is being held at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV, MSHOF) — Yazoo City great and Hall of Famer Willie Brown passed away Tuesday at the age of 78.

Brown played college football for Grambling under the legendary Eddie Robinson. A SWAC all-conference performer in both track and football Brown went undrafted following graduation. He signed with the AFL’s Houston Oilers but was cut and then signed with the Denver Broncos and started his Hall of Fame career.

Brown was named All-Pro for an amazing 12 consecutive years, first with the Broncos and then with the Oakland Raiders. In Super Bowl XI he returned an intercepted pass from the Vikings’ Fran Tarkenton a record 75 yards for a touchdown. He totaled 54 interceptions during the regular seasons and was named to the All-time AFL team and to the 1970’s NFL Team of the Decade.

Brown was a member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 1996 and was 78 years of age when he passed. Also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Brown was credited with popularizing “Bump and Run” coverage during his playing days. After his playing days, Brown won two more Super Bowl rings as a Raiders defensive backs coach. He worked as the Raiders Director of Staff Development until his death.

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