Pro Football Hall of Famer and 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown joined Warren Sapp and Brian Jones this week for Episode 10 of the BetUS Unfiltered podcast, where the longtime Oakland Raiders’ wideout opened up about his path to success — one that ran through the University of Notre Dame.
“Probably the worst and best thing that ever happened to me was that I had a little success in football when I was in the 9th and 10th grade, and from that time on, I never wanted to fail,” Brown said of the work ethic that propelled him to a 17-year pro career. “I never wanted to be the guy on the other side of the field. You did whatever you had to do, and when it came to working out, that was a part of it.”
When asked about the players he looked up to and felt influenced by growing up, the Dallas native mentioned a couple of Cowboys legends.
“I grew up in the Cowboy era when you had Tony Dorsett and Drew Pearson,” Brown said. “My initials are TDB but I wanted to drop the B — I wanted to be Tony Dorsett, man. I was so enamored with him growing up, it was really crazy. It freaked me out. When I won the Heisman and walked into the room and he was in there, I had a hard time. I had a hard time believing my Heisman was the same Heisman as his Heisman.
“Drew was Mr. Clutch,” Brown added of Pearson, who played for the Cowboys from 1972-83. “Wasn’t the fastest guy, wasn’t the biggest guy but always came through. It looks like he’s going to get in the Hall of Fame in ‘21, and it’ll be awesome to have him sitting beside us in Canton.”
From there, the crew discussed Brown’s success against divisional opponents during his career before diving into a deep discussion about work ethic and fundamentals in today’s game — a topic that led Brown to say he believes “there’s no incentive to be great anymore.”
During the Unleashed segment, Brian, Warren, and Tim took a closer look at the Bill Belichick coaching tree, and why so many Belichick proteges — from Bill O’Brien to Matt Patricia, Josh McDaniels and more — have failed to succeed on their own.
“Belichick has a way in New England, up in Foxborough, to do what he does, and to come up to New England and go into Foxborough you have to conform,” Sapp said. “If you’re going to New England you have to know what you’re getting, but when I go to Cleveland, that’s something different. … I don’t think they leave with the same aura or respect from the players.”
“It’s ego,” Brown added. “You get in that situation and you think you have to be different.”
The guys also talked about this week’s rescheduled Steelers-Ravens game — airing during the time of recording — last week’s Broncos-Saints game featuring no true quarterbacks and whether the NFL is applying its own standards consistently with respect to COVID-19 safety.
“I get what the NFL is trying to do,” Brown said. “They’re trying to keep everything on schedule, trying to get these games in, trying to get to the Super Bowl and get through this year. But at some point, you’ve got to say, ‘Hold tight.’ “
During this week’s Huddle Up segment, the cast covered the Steelers’ red-hot start and this year’s MVP favorites, starting with Derrick Henry. But much of the focus turned to Brown and Sapp — a pair of Hall of Fame inductees — as they ran down the 2021 finalists, naming their locks for Canton and the reason guys like Torry Holt have faced challenges when it comes to induction.
“That’s the problem that’s happened with Torry,” Brown said.” You have all these guys coming up who have better numbers or maybe in someone’s eyes are ‘more explosive’ –”
“They were the bell-cow,” Sapp interjected. “That was the one thing that Torry never got the moniker for, but if you played him and you watched the tape, that boy was hell on wheels.”
Game of the Week
This week’s Game of the Week at BetUS features the Cleveland Browns on the road against the Tennessee Titans (-6) with an Over/Under of 54. And while many are buying the Browns’ 8-3 start, the legend Brown couldn’t find much to get excited about.
“I tried to watch all the Cleveland film, especially when OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.) was in there earlier in the year, just trying to get that feeling, and I just can’t find it, man,” Brown said. “I just don’t know what Baker (Mayfield) is going to do from play to play. Sometimes he’s up and sometimes he’s down.”
On the flip side, Brown beamed about Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill and star receiver A.J. Brown.
“A.J., he’s an after the catch guy,” Tim Brown said. “I know Tyreek Hill is, also, but I love A.J. Brown because … he’ll catch a 20-yard pass and turn it into a 60-yard touchdown, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Watch the entire show, which also features, Kenyon Rasheed, below: