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Fan_Since_64

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#22 (tie) - Timmy Brown
« on: July 02, 2009, 04:53:00 PM »



#22
Timmy Brown


There have been few players for the Eagles who have displayed the exciting all-around talent of halfback Thomas (Timmy) Brown, who played for the Birds from 1960 thru 1967. A great kick returner, during most of his career he was also considered one of the finest halfbacks in the NFL, both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.

Raised as an orphan at the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home, he became a 27th round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers out of Ball State College in 1959. Timmy lasted just one game with Vince Lombardi’s Packers and was cut; the Eagles signed him to their taxi squad (the equivalent of today’s practice squads). He made the team in ’60, and saw limited action backing up at halfback and returning kicks.

Brown broke out in a big way in 1961, returning the opening kickoff of the season for a still-standing team record 105 yards against the Cleveland Browns at Franklin Field. It was the first of what would be an Eagles-record 5 touchdowns on kickoff returns. However, it didn’t necessarily translate into significantly more playing time in ’61, although he showed flashes of things to come with a 39-yard TD pass reception from Sonny Jurgensen at Cleveland and a 42-yard touchdown run at Pittsburgh.

When his roommate, HB Ted Dean, suffered a broken leg during the 1962 season, Timmy moved into the starting lineup. He had a 107-yard rushing performance, on 17 carries, against the Cowboys that included two TDs on the ground (including one of 22 yards). More impressively, as a receiver out of the backfield he had a career-high 199 yards on 5 catches with 2 TDs (60 and 82 yards) against the Cardinals at St. Louis. Indeed, he reached 150 yards receiving in three games during the ‘62 season – in addition to the performance against the Cardinals, he had 160 yards on 9 catches with 1 TD vs. the Giants and 174 yards on 5 receptions with an 80-yard touchdown at Minnesota.

Brown ended up setting a league record for total yardage in ‘62. Of the 2306 yards he accumulated, 831 came on kickoff returns and 81 on punt returns, while 545 came on running plays from scrimmage and 849 as a pass receiver out of the backfield. His total of 341 yards against the Cardinals (50 rushing, 199 receiving, 92 on kickoff returns) was second at the time only to Houston’s Billy Cannon of the AFL, and still ranks among the highest single-game yardage accumulations on record (the 249 yards from scrimmage alone ranks second in franchise history, and his 16.6 yards per touch in that game ranks first).

In 1963, Timmy managed to break his own record for total yardage (although the Eagles again finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference). He gained 2428 all-purpose yards, with 841 rushing, 487 receiving, 152 on punt returns, and 945 returning kickoffs. His 11 touchdowns included a 100-yard kickoff return against St. Louis and an 80-yarder on a pass from King Hill vs. the Cowboys. He even threw an 11-yard option pass to TE Pete Retzlaff for a score against the Giants. Altogether, he gained 4734 yards over two seasons and scored 24 touchdowns for a team that went a combined 5-20-3.

Recognized at that time as the best receiver out of the backfield in the league, the 5’11”, 198-pound Brown proved that he could run well from scrimmage, and not just as a breakaway threat. Of his 841 yards rushing in 1963, his longest run was just 34 yards, yet he averaged a solid 4.4 yards per carry, often fighting for daylight between the tackles and displaying surprising power against defenses geared to stop him. Timmy was a consensus second-team All-NFL choice following the ‘63 season (UPI, NEA, and the New York Daily News; he was a first-team All-Eastern Conference selection by The Sporting News) and went to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year.

After two seasons of impressive durability, he missed four games to a thigh injury in 1964 and failed to match his previous production. Still, he managed to gain over a thousand yards in total offense, scored 10 TDs, and had two hundred-yard rushing performances. His best rushing total, 116 yards on 16 attempts against Pittsburgh, came in a game in which he accumulated 253 yards, including 87 yards on a TD pass from Norm Snead, the longest reception of his career.

After a preseason experiment at flanker, Brown had an outstanding season in ’65, gaining a career high 861 yards rushing and leading NFL qualifiers with a 5.4 average gain-per-carry – this, in spite of missing one game due to injury and playing at various times with a hairline fracture to the ribs, torn thumb ligament, bruised thigh, and sprained ankle. His 186 yards at Cleveland on 16 attempts was his career high for a single game and included a 54-yard dash to the end zone. Three weeks later at St. Louis he burned the Cardinals for 180 yards on 18 carries and had yet another long scoring run of 43 yards. Still dangerous out of the backfield as a receiver, he caught 50 passes for 682 yards and ended up with 1602 total yards, almost all of which came from scrimmage – he returned just four punts and three kickoffs that season. He went back to the Pro Bowl and received widespread second-team All-NFL honors (AP, UPI, and the New York Daily News; once again, he was a first-team All-Eastern Conference choice of The Sporting News).

In 1966, Timmy regularly returned kickoffs again, and in a memorable game against Dallas at Franklin Field he became the first player in NFL history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game (93 and 90 yards). That, and a 100-yard rushing day on 21 carries against the Giants, was to be something of a last hurrah for Brown in Philadelphia as his offensive numbers dropped in 1966; his 3.4 yard rushing average was a career low and he caught just 33 passes.

The uneasy relationship with Head Coach/ GM Joe Kuharich and the rest of the offensive coaching staff that had been simmering for years was setting the stage for Timmy’s eventual departure from Philadelphia. The sensitive halfback had long bridled at being chewed out for blown assignments in practice, and in turn the coaches questioned the commitment of a player who spent his Mondays taking singing lessons in New York and openly stated his preference for achieving success as a singer and actor instead of as a football player. There were little annoyances: uncomfortable with uniformity, Timmy didn’t appreciate the kelly green blazers that the team required the players to wear on road trips, and while not a carouser, he liked to sit up late and avail himself of room service on the night before games in violation of team rules. While often fun-loving and pleasant, he could also be moody (“I’m moody, kind of arrogant at times. At the last count, I had 107 different moods.”), and he didn’t like the questions that arose from time to time regarding his commitment to the team.

The breaking point came in ‘67. First, during the off-season Kuharich stated that Brown no longer fit into his plans, which demoralized the halfback, particularly since the team had posted its first winning record since 1961 and he had made an effort to be more accommodating to the coaching staff’s wishes. Then Timmy missed the first half of the season with a hamstring pull, which caused some teammates to accuse him of malingering. After his return to action, he was struck in the jaw by Dallas LB Lee Roy Jordan while running a pass pattern, losing nine teeth and forcing him to drink through a straw for awhile. He demanded to be traded, and the front office obliged after the season, sending him to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for a defensive back, Alvin Haymond, who was also a good kick returner.

Timmy played one last year for the Colts in 1968 before retiring; his last game was the Super Bowl III loss to the New York Jets. His acting career didn’t reach the level of his pro football career, although he did appear in both the movie and television versions of “MASH” and the 1975 movie “Nashville”, among many lesser roles.

For his career with the Eagles, Timmy had 850 carries for 3703 yards (a 4.4 average gain), with the high of 861 yards in 1965. Altogether, he had six 100-yard rushing performances, with the 186 yards at Cleveland in ’65 his best effort. Brown’s longest run was 61 yards against the Giants at Yankee Stadium in ‘62. He scored a total of 29 rushing touchdowns for the Eagles.

As a pass receiver, he caught a total of 231 passes for 3346 yards (a 14.5 average) and 26 TDs. He twice reached 50 catches in a season, with a high of 52 for 849 yards (an impressive 16.3 average for a running back) in 1962. Timmy had eight 100-yard receiving games and exceeded 150 yards on three occasions.

Altogether, Timmy ran back more kickoffs (169) for more yards (4483) than anyone else in the team’s history. His 26.5 career average-per-return ranks third all-time. He led the league in kickoffs returned in 1961 (29) and ’63 (33) as well as yardage in both of those seasons (811 and 945 yards, respectively).

Brown also returned a punt for a touchdown in 1961 (66 yards at Pittsburgh), as well as a missed field goal in the 1962 opener vs. the Cardinals (99 yards). As a punt returner, he returned 55 punts for 514 yards (9.3 avg.) over his Eagles career, with a high of 16 returns for 152 yards (9.5 avg.) in ’63.

Altogether, Timmy scored a total of 62 TDs for the Eagles, with a high of 13 in 1962. On five occasions, he scored 3 touchdowns in a game.

When you add up the yardage totals from rushing, pass receiving, and kick returning, they result in some impressive numbers. He became the first player in NFL history to total over 2000 all-purpose yards in a season (two players in the AFL, Abner Haynes and Billy Cannon, reached that total in 1960 and ’61, respectively, though their totals were lower than Timmy’s), with his record-setting 2306 yards in 1962 (yet another AFL player, Dick Christy, also reached the 2000 yard mark in ’62 – again, less than Brown’s total) which, of course, he topped in ’63 with 2428 yards (the record was broken by Gale Sayers of the Bears in 1966).

Accumulated yardage from scrimmage alone (minus kick returns) added up to 7049 yards, with a high of 1542 yards in 1965. Brown’s 6.5 career average yards-per-touch from scrimmage ranks as the best in Eagles history.

As mentioned, Timmy received consensus 2nd team All-NFL recognition in 1963 and ’65, and was a 1st team All-Eastern Conference selection by The Sporting News in both of those seasons. He was chosen for the Pro Bowl three times (1962, ’63, and ’65). Brown was named as an offensive back on the Eagles All-Time team selected in 1965 and as kickoff returner on the Eagles 75th anniversary All-Time team. He is a member of the Eagles’ Honor Roll.

The singing and acting career never achieved the level of Timmy Brown’s football excellence, and that excellence was considerable. In the end, he had gained 12,684 all-purpose yards, the fourth highest total in league history up to that point. Much of that was done in spectacular fashion, and with a largely unimpressive supporting cast. Excluding the championship season of 1960, when Brown was a bit player, the Eagles went a combined 41-53-4 during the remainder of his stay with them. He may have been hard to fathom, and he may have fumbled a bit too often, but he was a major all-around running talent in his day, and many of his all-purpose yardage totals still rank among the best of all-time.

Timmy Brown’s career record with the Eagles:

RUSHING

Year
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
G
12
13
14
14
10
13
13
7
Att.
9
50
137
192
90
158
161
53
Yds.
35
338
545
841
356
861
548
179
Avg.
3.9   
6.8   
4.0
4.4
4.0
5.4
3.4
3.4   
TD
2
1
5
6
5
6
3
1

PASS RECEIVING

Year
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
G
12
13
14
14
10
13
13
7
Rec.
9
14
52
36
15
50
33
22
Yds.
247
264
849
487
244
682
371
202
Avg.
27.4   
18.9   
16.3 
13.5 
16.3
13.6
11.2
9.2   
TD
2
2
6
4
5
3
3
1

PUNT RETURNS

Year
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
G
12
13
14
14
10
13
13
7
Ret.
10
8
6
16
10
4
1
0
Yds.
47
125
81
152
96
13
0
0
Avg.
4.7
15.6
13.5
9.5
9.6
3.3
0.0
0.0
TD
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0

KICKOFF RETURNS

Year
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
G
12
13
14
14
10
13
13
7
Ret.
11
29
30
33
30
3
20
13
Yds.
295
811
831
945
692
46
562
301
Avg.
26.8 
28.0
27.7 
28.6 
23.1 
15.3 
28.1
23.2 
TD
0
1
1
1
0
0
2
0

(Portions of this profile appeared in my article “Timmy Brown”, which appeared in The Coffin Corner, publication of the Professional Football Researchers Association, Volume 24, No. 4, 2002)

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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #22 (tie) - Timmy Brown
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 04:55:49 PM »

Yep, it's another tie. Get over it.  ;)

As previously established, other Eagles who wore #22 will be listed with the second profile.
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Sgt PSN

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Re: #22 (tie) - Timmy Brown
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2009, 06:20:33 PM »

Duce? 
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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #22 (tie) - Timmy Brown
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2009, 09:05:01 AM »

Now Sarge, do you really want me to end the drama beforehand?  ;)

But of course, it's Duce.  :deion

And it will be interesting to compare the two careers, as Timmy Brown and Duce Staley played almost exactly the same number of games with the Eagles (Staley played in 98 games, Brown 96).
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ice grillin you

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Re: #22 (tie) - Timmy Brown
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 09:29:52 AM »

tie = weaker than seven days
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fansince61

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Re: #22 (tie) - Timmy Brown
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 02:43:20 PM »

The greatest all-round back the Eagles ever had next to #36
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