Prior to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, Raiders legend Tim Brown addressed the national media via a conference call Thursday.
During the interview, he touched on a variety of topics including the arc of his career as well as his thoughts about Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The Main Weapon
For a majority of his career, Brown was the main target for Raiders quarterbacks, and while he may not have had a legitimate second weapon lined up with him until late in his career, Brown relished the role that he played.
"We did it the hard way. There was no doubt about that. It was a very difficult process. I had [wide receiver] Willie Gault for a few years there, and then [wide receiver] James Jett came in. I think James Jett was with me for 19 years. He was good for 25 or 30 catches every year and they were usually 50-yard or 60-yard catches sometimes. At the same time, everybody knew that when it was 3rd and 10, and they needed to get the ball up the field, they were going to be coming to me. It's not something you even think about at the time. You're just trying to get it done. You're trying to work. When I look back on it now, I'm very proud of all the things I was able to accomplish."
The Next Generation
The game has changed since Brown was hauling in passes for the Silver and Black. Wide receivers are bigger and faster, but there are a few players in today's game who remind Brown of himself.
"[Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver] Jeremy Maclin is a guy, that early in his career, I really loved what he was doing. He sort of reminded me of myself, as far as being a guy who could return punts and run after the catch. I never made a catch like [New York Giants wide receiver] Odell Beckham, Jr., but at the same time, I love his style and what he does. He is a route runner. He is a guy that once he catches the ball, that's when the party starts. He's not a big guy. He's not a guy who's going to jump over somebody's head per se, but he has the athletic ability to make great plays."
Congratulations Tim Brown - Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015! Check out some of the best moments of his career.
The Wait Is Over
After a long wait, Brown is finally preparing to enter the Hall of Fame, and for him it was worth the wait.
"I think I was 33 or 34 the first time someone mentioned to me that my numbers may be good enough to get in the Hall of Fame. It really wasn't something I thought about. I was so focused on trying to finish my career, and get to the Super Bowl and win a Super Bowl. That was all that mattered to me. I think at that particular point, that was the first time that it was mentioned to me. You couldn't help but to think about it a little afterwards, but thankfully I still had the focus to stay on the grind and to try to get something done with the team. I always had that as a bigger priority than anything else that we were trying to accomplish."
Still A Fan Of The Silver And Black
While his playing days are now over, Brown remains a fan of the Raiders and makes sure to watch their games on Sundays.
Brown believes the Raiders are on their way to being a contending football team, and in particular he is excited to watch rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper.
"This guy is just a superb, great receiver and I think he's going to be dominant Day 1. I saw him at the Heisman deal and I told him then that I hope he's still there when the Raiders pick, because there was no way they could bypass him. I just thought that he was that great of a not-miss-type pick. I can't wait to see him Day 1. I think this guy is going to be great. He just has to get used to playing 20 games now."