Crazy Canton Cuts: Robert Brazile

JW NixSenior Writer IIMarch 15, 2009

Robert Brazile

6'4", 244lbs


Houston Oilers

1975 - 1984

10 Seasons

147 Games Played

13 Interceptions

7 Pro Bowls

Robert Lorenzo Brazile, Jr. was a first round pick by the Houston Oilers in 1975. He was the sixth player picked overall. Picked just before him was his college teammate Walter Payton.

Brazile was rated as the premier collegiate linebacker in 1974 while playing at Jackson State. He started his collegiate football career as a tight end, but switched to linebacker during his sophomore year.

Brazile was called "Mr. Versatile", a moniker he earned because of his ability to excel at either the inside or outside linebacker slot. He helped lead Jackson State to two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 1972 and 1973.

Brazile is a member of the Jackson State Sports Hall of Fame, the SWAC Hall of Fame, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Brazile was part a deal former Oilers coach Sid Gillman had made at the end of 1973. The Oilers acquired Kansas City's 1975 first round selection, along with Nose Tackle Curley Culp, for Defensive End John Matuszak.

New head coach/general manager Bum Phillips switched Houston's base defense from the from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Brazile is credited by many to be most important in making the 3-4 popular by his ability to rush the quarterback from his outside linebacking position.

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Brazile was the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1975. He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons. Brazile was a key member of Oilers teams that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games in 1978 and 1979.

In 1984, Brazile's wife died in a car wreck. He retired immediately from the NFL. Brazile was chosen on the 1970's NFL All-Decade Team. He is the only linebacker from that team not in Canton.

Many may remember his moniker in the NFL. Brazile was nicknamed "Dr. Doom" by his team mates after being tossed out of a game in his rookie year for hitting Washington Redskin Quarterback Billy Kilmer in the head.

Some may recall the time he bulldogged Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame Running Back Tony Dorsett by the facemask. Brazile was a vicious hitter. He was equally excellent is pass coverage and run support as he was rushing the passer.

He didn't always play on good teams, so he wasn't given the nation wide notice, during that era, he deserved. Since the NFL did not record sacks as a statistic until 1982, his impact on the game may not be fully realized by newer fans.

Those who saw Brazile play knew he was always one of the better defensive players in the NFL in his era year in and year out. Robert Brazile deserves to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Ask his peers.

Notable Players Drafted In 1975 (* Denotes Canton Inductee)

1. Steve Bartkowski, QB, Atlanta

2. Randy White, MLB, Dallas *

4. Walter Payton, RB, Chicago *

8. Gary Johnson, DT, San Diego

11. Dennis Harrah, OT, LA Rams

16. Russ Francis, TE, New England

17. Louis Wright DB, Denver

18. Tom Henderson, LB, Dallas

20. Doug France, OT, LA Rams

22. Mike Williams, DB, San Diego

26. Dave Brown, DB, Pittsburgh

28. Monte Jackson, DB, LA Rams

30. Louis Kelcher, DT, San Diego

31. Mike Hartenstein, DE, Chicago

33. Fred Dean, DE, San Diego *

36. Fred Solomon, WR, Miami

53. Mike Washington, DB, Baltimore

70. Bob Breunig, LB, Dallas

82. Tony Peters, DB, Cleveland

85. Cleveland Elam, DE, San Francisco

95. Rich Upchurch, WR, Denver

105. Roosevelt Leaks, RB, Baltimore

108. Mike Thomas, RB, Washington

116. Steve Grogan, QB, New England

120. Pat McInally, WR, Cincinnati

121. Rubin Carter DT, Denver

135. Bob Avellini, QB, Chicago

164. Ricky Young, RB, San Diego

176. Pat Haden, QB, LA Rams

199. Steve Foley, DB, Denver

216. Mike Strachan, RB, New Orleans

228. Dallas Hickman, DE, Washington

253. Roland Hooks, RB, Buffalo

262. George Martin, DE, NY Giants

291. Doug Plank, DB, Chicago

420. Roland Harper, RB, Chicago

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