Mike Brown (safety)
|Date of birth:February 13, 1978|
|Place of birth: Scottsdale, Arizona|
|NFL Draft: 2000 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39|
|Debuted in 2000 for the Chicago Bears|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Mike Brown (born February 13, 1978) is a former American football safety who played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected with the eighth pick of the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of Nebraska by the Chicago Bears. Brown was ranked #49 in ESPN Chicago's "50 Greatest Bears" poll in 2012.
High school career
Mike Brown graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1996, where he starred in both football and baseball. He is best remembered for taking a knee and kissing the sky after scoring the game winning touchdown in the state championship in 1995.
In football he was an All-State choice and ranked the top defensive back prospect in the country by SuperPrep, and named Arizona Player-of-the-Year by every major publication. Mike Brown was named the state's top running back and defensive back by The Arizona Republic, which was the first time in 10 years a player received both awards. Mike rushed for 2,036 yards (9.6 avg.) and 31 touchdowns as a senior.
Brown enjoyed a stellar college career and is still considered by many fans and experts of Nebraska football to be the greatest strong safety in the modern history of the school. Brown played cornerback as a freshman before playing both safety positions in final three seasons. As a junior, he set Nebraska single-season record for tackles by a defensive back with a career-high 102 and was named to all-Big 12 first-team. Brown enjoyed his greatest season as senior in which he was first-team all-America selection by Associated Press and Football Writers Association and a unanimous all-Big Twelve first-team pick and academic all-American. He started every game and finished the year leading the Huskers with 96 tackles while adding two sacks, one fumble recovery, six forced fumbles and five interceptions, five passes defended.
The Chicago Bears drafted Brown as 39th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Brown was the only rookie to play in the 2000 season’s opener, eventually becoming the team’s starting free safety for all sixteen games of the season. He recorded the second most tackles on the team that year and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. He received accolades from Pro Football Weekly, Football News and Football Digest, but lost the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award to teammate Brian Urlacher. The following year, he had two memorable performances, during which he returned two interceptions for two consecutive overtime wins, making him the first player in league history to accomplish the feat. The 2001 Bears finished the season with a 13-3 record and one of the league’s most prominent defenses. Brown recorded a team leading five interceptions including 2 in overtime that were returned for touchdowns that year. However, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the team in the postseason’s second round.
Brown recorded three interceptions and 111 tackles in 2002, despite sustaining a hand injury during the off season. One of his most notable performances came when he returned a fumble for a 68-yard touchdown, following a fumble and lateral pass from Rosevelt Colvin. In addition to the return he had forced three fumbles that season. However, Brown only intercepted two passes during the 2003 season, and tied for third among tackles on the team.
After sustaining an Achilles injury in 2004, which forced him to miss the last 14 games, and a calf-injury in 2005 which made him miss the last four games of 2005, the Bears defense was noticeably less effective. Brown tried to play in a January 2006 Divisional Playoff game for the Bears against the Carolina Panthers, but had to leave the game in the first quarter. The Panthers would go on to win the game, 29-21. During week six of the 2006 Chicago Bears season, Brown suffered a Lisfranc fracture. The ailment forced him to undergo surgery, and sent him to Bears' injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
Brown is also noted by teammates and coaches for his on-field coaching ability. He made the NFL transitions much easier for his fellow safeties Chris Harris and Danieal Manning by making sure they were in the correct positions. Brian Urlacher often referred to him as the actual leader of the defense. Brown returned to the field during the 2007 season's mini-camp, making a recovery much earlier than expected. Brown recorded an interception during the 2007 season's opener against the San Diego Chargers. However, he sustained a knee injury after Lorenzo Neal horse-collar tackled him. Brown returned to the locker room, and emotionally stated that something in his knee did not feel right. Further medical examination confirmed that Brown would miss the remainder of the season.
Neal, who knew he was at fault immediately after the play, apologized to Brown and the media. Brian Urlacher, one of Brown’s longtime teammates and friends, stated he was unsure whether Brown would attempt another comeback. The Bears reached an agreement with Brown on a restructured contract on May 20, 2008. This deal protects Chicago if Brown gets hurt for the fourth time in his career. He will still make his annual $2.44 million, but only $950,000 of it is guaranteed for being on the Week 1 roster. The rest of the money can be based on playing time. If Brown gets injured in preseason, he gets just $320,000. Brown sustained a calf injury during the Bears' second-to-last game of the 2008 season, and was subsequently placed on the injury reserve. Brown was just one game away from completing his first full season in more than four years.
On February 14, 2009, the Chicago Bears announced that they would not offer a contract to Mike Brown. He then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on June 24. Brown started in all 16 games for the Chiefs, recording three interceptions and 79 tackles.
He is currently a free agent.
- "Roster". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Chicagobears.com, Roster – 30 – Mike Brown Retrieved on April 12, 2007.
- NFL.com, Mike Brown – Defensive Stats Retrieved on April 12, 2007.
- Bearshistory.com, 2001 Chicago Bears Retrieved on April 12, 2007
- Mayer, Larry (2013-01-08). "Mike Brown impressed with Bears' starting safeties". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- "Without Brown, foes find the holes", Chicago Tribune, November 17, 2006
- Yahoo! Sports, NFC team reports: Camp work intensifies, Retrieved on May 29, 2007
- Markbreit, Jerry (2007-09-11). "The former NFL referee answers reader questions each week on ChicagoSports.com". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- McClure, Vaughn (2007-09-09). "Mike Brown: 'It doesn't look too good'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
- Schefter, Adam (2007-09-10). "Bears safety, defensive tackle out for season". NFL.com. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
- Strohl, Rahula (2007-09-09). "Mike Brown, star-crossed safety". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- Mayer, Larry (2007-09-11). "Did Chargers punt hit camera wires over field?". chicagobears.com. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- Mayer, Larry (2007-09-13). "Urlacher feels injured teammate Brown's pain". chicagobears.com. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- Bears restructure Mike Brown's contract, get protection vs. injury
- "Bears put Brown on IR, re-sign Worrell". Chicago Bears.com. 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Chiefs sign UFA S Mike Brown". Kansas City Chiefs. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25.[dead link]