Ryan's Place

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sad Day For Seattle: Dave Brown Passes Away



From Seahawks.com:

The Seattle Seahawks family and the Ring of Honor suffered a severe shock Tuesday afternoon when former All-Pro defensive back Dave Brown died suddenly of an apparent heart attack while playing basketball with his son in Lubbock, Texas.

He was 52.

Brown has been the cornerbacks coach for Texas Tech the past five seasons, taking a three-year layoff from football after serving as a cornerbacks coach for the Seahawks until 1998. He played in the NFL from 1975-89 – 11 of those seasons with the Seahawks – and retired in 1990 before joining the Seahawks coaching staff. He is Seattle’s all-time leader with 50 interceptions, five returned for touchdowns, and 643 yards.

Brown, a two-time All-American from Michigan and a native of Akron, Ohio, is survived by his wife Rhonda and sons Aaron and Sterling.

The news comes just four days before Brown and the other members of the Seahawks Ring of Honor were to be recognized before Saturday’s Divisional Playoff game with the Washington Redskins.

"The Seahawks are very saddened by the news today,” Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke said. “This Saturday, 68,000 Seahawks fans will observe a moment of silence to reflect upon not only a great football player, but also a great man."

It comes as an unexpected blow to all who knew him as this bright, vibrant and athletic man. He was an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and held weekly bible study groups for Texas Tech student-athletes.

Nonetheless, it’s hard to fathom for those who have known him for years, particularly Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, who was a teammate in the 1970s.

“I just talked to him while he was on the recruiting trail for Texas Tech, and obviously there were no signs of anything that would go wrong,” Zorn said. “We just lost a really good friend. He’s got a great family in Rhonda, Sterling and Aaron. Rhonda is a very strong woman, and I can imagine she is handling this very well. Whatever well would mean in this case, but I know she is a strong woman.”

Brown, who wore No. 22 for the Seahawks, started all 159 games in which he played for Seattle after coming over from the Pittsburgh Steelers in the expansion draft one year after the Steelers drafted him out of Michigan, and he earned a ring when the Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X.

At 6-1, 197 pounds, he began his career with the Seahawks as a safety, but moved to cornerback and stayed there for the next 10 seasons in Seattle. He was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 1992 while he was an assistant coach.

“The memories that pop up on the practice field were just competing against him every single day,” Jim Zorn said. “Steve (Largent) and I would go against him every single day because he was the best cover corner. He gave us the best work. He liked to go against Steve because he was the best. We just all made each other better. We trash talked often about who actually did what.

“Just his character and deep faith was always at the forefront. He never compromised his relationship with Christ in any of the dealings he had on and off of the field. I think that will speak louder to people as they get to know him better through this particular tragedy, our tragedy. In his mind, I’m sure it’s not his tragedy because of his faith.”

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