Hall of Famer Willie Brown dead at 78

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The NFL announced that former Raiders great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown has died at the age of 78.

Brown was responsible for one of the most famous highlights in NFL history during the Raiders’ Super Bowl XI win when he stepped in front a pass by Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown with the camera zoomed in on his face as he made his way down the field.

Brown produced plenty of other highlights during his career. He was named to the NFL’s All-1970s team, a first-team All-Pro in the NFL twice and a the All-AFL team three times on his way to being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. Brown began his career with the Oilers in 1963 as an undrafted free agent, but got cut and landed with the Broncos.

Brown would be traded to the Raiders in 1967 and spent the rest of his career with the team before retiring after the 1978 season. His 54 career interceptions are tied for 21st in NFL history.

After retiring, Brown took a job coaching the Raiders’ defensive backs and was part of two more Super Bowl winners in that capacity. Brown spent the last 24 years as an administrator with the team.

Our condolences go out to Brown’s family and loved ones on their loss.

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