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Throwback Thursday: Eddie Brown: George Allen 'Knew More About Me Than My Mother'


For today's Throwback Thursday moment presented by 

Early in the 1975 season, Redskins safety Ken Stone suffered an injury that prompted the need for a nickel back and kick returner.

Legendary Redskins head coach George Allen wasted no time finding a replacement. The defensive and special teams mastermind claimed safety Eddie Brown off waivers for $100. Brown had played his 1974 rookie season and the first three games of 1975 in Cleveland, before being cut. 


Brown immediately witnessed Allen's meticulous approach to details.

 "I met Coach Allen at 7 a.m. on a Wednesday," Brown said. "He knew more about me than my mother. You think that's funny, but he had everything laid out: This is what I expect out of you. This is what we want you to do. He had a plan.

Brown added: "I was in my second year in pro ball, and nobody had a plan. It was sort of helter-skelter. The coach in Cleveland was a disaster. They never told you really what was expected. Allen just laid it out and gave me a playbook that was about three inches thick. He said, `Now, you just have to know this by Sunday.' That was about an inch and a half of it."

In the discussion, Brown learned that the Redskins considered drafting him in 1974. He played his college ball at Tennessee.

"Allen told me that the Redskins looked at me in college and liked what they saw," Brown said. "So he already had a lot of information about me. George had good scouts. It wasn't nearly as many as the teams have today. But he knew players."

Brown played with the Redskins through the 1977 season. He produced a series of highlights with clutch interceptions and one of the most breathtaking plays in Redskins special teams history.

In a Monday night game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 25, 1976, Brown sloshed 71 yards through the mud and downpour at RFK Stadium and into the end zone. His ability to keep his balance in such treacherous elements and eventually score lifted the Redskins to a 20-10 win. They stayed in the thick of the NFC East race in a season that ended with a wild card playoff appearance.

Brown showed an abundance of heart on the play – a characteristic that Allen had to see in his players – in his refusal to give up.

"He had a way of detecting heart," Brown said. "He didn't want anybody that didn't have heart. He just had a way of knowing if you'd ever quit, and he wouldn't have anybody on his team who would ever quit. If you ever looked at it back then, we fought right to the end on everything.  He just had a way of looking inside you and seeing what was in there.

"The only players he had around were people who could think, were smart, and had a lot of heart."

In addition to Washington, Brown played for Allen when he briefly coached the Los Angeles Rams in 1978 and when he coached in the United States Football League. In the USFL, Allen coached the Chicago Blitz in 1983 and the Arizona Wranglers in 1984. He never suffered a losing season in his 14 years of coaching in the pros, 12 in the NFL and two in the USFL.

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