Robert Brazile

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Robert Brazile
Robert-Brazile Six-Legends-Reception-09-04-10.jpg
Brazile in September 2010
No. 52
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1953-02-07) February 7, 1953 (age 69)
Mobile, Alabama
Career information
High school: Vigor (Prichard, Alabama)
College: Jackson State
NFL Draft: 1975  / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:1,281
Sacks:48
Interceptions:13
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Robert Lorenzo Brazile Jr. (born February 7, 1953) is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). Nicknamed "Dr. Doom", Brazile played from 1975 to 1984 for the Houston Oilers and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

Contents

Professional career

Brazile was taken with the sixth pick of the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft. It was part of the bounty Sid Gillman acquired along with Curley Culp when he traded John Matuszak to the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it would be new head coach/general manager Bum Phillips who made the selection. [1]

Phillips' arrival in Houston also brought a change in the base defense the Oilers ran, switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4. The 3-4 would prove to be a perfect fit for Brazile's combination of size (6'4", 230 lbs) and great speed. While most cite Lawrence Taylor as the prototype of the pass-rushing outside linebacker in the NFL, [2] there are some, including Phillips, who say Brazile was the one who first made the 3-4 popular for sending an outside linebacker to rush the quarterback. [3] Brazile also performed well in pass coverage and against the run, consistently ranking at or near the top for the team lead in tackles even though opponents often avoided his side of the field. [4]

Brazile found immediate success with the Oilers, winning the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award for the 1975 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl seven straight seasons, was All-Pro five straight seasons (1976–80), [5] and was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1970s. In 1978 and 1979, Brazile was a key member of Oilers teams that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games.

After a third straight postseason loss in 1980, Phillips was fired by Oilers owner Bud Adams and the team entered a period of steep decline. The constant losing wore on Brazile and caused him to contemplate retiring. [6] However, he has said it was the death of his first wife, Cookie, in a car wreck in Houston in 1984, that made the decision for him. [7]

Officially, Brazile finished his career with 11 quarterback sacks. Unofficially, his career sack total is 48 (sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982). [8] He is also credited with 1,281 tackles, the second highest total in Houston Oilers / Tennessee Titans history. [9]

On August 24, 2017, Brazile and former Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer were named as seniors committee finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018. [10] He was announced as member of the class of 2018 on February 3, 2018. Robert Brazile was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 4, 2018, and his bust was sculpted by Scott Myers.

Bronze bust of Robert Brazile, enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Ohio, USA, 2018 Robert.Brazile.HoF.Bust.jpg
Bronze bust of Robert Brazile, enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Ohio, USA, 2018

On October 14, 2018, Brazile was inducted to the Titans-Oilers Ring of Honor. [11]

Post-football

After retiring from the NFL, Brazile, along with ex-Oiler teammate Ken Burrough, coached for a minor league pro team in Mobile, Alabama. After needing quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2004, Brazile gave up coaching and became a middle-school teacher for children with special needs in Mobile. He has also become an avid tennis player. [12] [13] When asked if his old "Dr. Doom" persona ever comes out on the tennis court, he's quoted as saying laughingly, "No more Dr. Doom," "Just Robert Brazile." [14]

In 2007, Brazile was inducted into the Bancorp Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. [15]

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References

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  3. The Super '70s: Memories from Pro Football's Greatest Era
  4. Houston's All-Time Team | HoustonProFootball.com
  5. hickoksports.com Archived 2008-05-16 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Remembering the Luv Ya Blue Oilers". Chron.com - Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  7. "chron.com". Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  8. "Big Time Brazile". Caller.com - Corpus-Christi Caller-Times. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  9. "Big Time Brazile". Caller.com - Corpus-Christi Caller-Times. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  10. "Packers legend Jerry Kramer named Pro Football Hall of Fame senior finalist" . Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  11. "Robert Brazile Inducted Into Ring of Honor". October 14, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  12. "Oilers were toast of Houston and nearly NFL, too". Chron.com - Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  13. "Catching up with the Luv Ya Blue crew". Chron.com - Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  14. chron.com
  15. "Former JSU great and Houston Oiler inducted into Mississippi Sports HOF". jsutigers.com - Jackson State - Athletics. Retrieved 2008-03-06.