Tribute to Former Chicago Bears Safety Mike Brown
While all of the media outlets are dwelling on the negatives from the loss against the Packers, Bears nation needs a pick-me-up. Let’s take a look at a player many of us are familiar with. For those who aren’t, you need a reminder, check out these awesome highlights of former Bears safety Mike Brown.
It’s very unfortunate that Brown couldn’t stay healthy because, he could have ended up as one of the greatest players to dawn a Bears’ uniform. Many remember his tenacity, bone-crushing hits over the middle (ask Marcus Pollard), and a Tillman-esque effort to try and strip the ball on every trackle.
Current Bears leader and face of the organization often referred to Mike Brown as the “True leader of the defense”. Here is an excerpt from his Wikipedia Page. Let us know how you felt about Mike Brown in the comments at the bottom of the article!
The Chicago Bears drafted Brown as 39th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Brown was the only rookie to play in the 2000 season’s opener, eventually becoming the team’s starting free safety for all sixteen games of the season. He recorded the second most tackles on the team that year and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. He received accolades from Pro Football Weekly, Football News and Football Digest , but lost the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award to teammate Brian Urlacher. The following year, he had two memorable performances, during which he returned two interceptions for two consecutive overtime wins. The 2001 Bears finished the season with a 13-3 record and one of the league’s most prominent defenses. Brown recorded a team leading five interceptions that year. However, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the team in the postseason’s second round.
Brown recorded three interceptions and 111 tackles in 2002, despite sustaining a hand injury during the off season. One of his most notable performances came when he returned a fumble for a 68-yard touchdown, following a fumble and lateral pass from Rosevelt Colvin. In addition to the return he had forced three fumbles that season. However, Brown only intercepted two passes during the 2003 season, and tied for third among tackles on the team.
After sustaining an Achilles injury in 2004, which forced him to miss the last 14 games, and a calf-injury in 2005 which made him miss the last four games of 2005, the Bears defense was noticeably less effective. Brown tried to play in a January 2006 Divisional Playoff game for the Bears against the Carolina Panthers, but had to leave the game in the first quarter. The Panthers would go on to win the game, 29-21. During week six of the 2006 Chicago Bears season, Brown suffered a Lisfranc fracture. The ailment forced him to undergo surgery, and sent him to Bears’ injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
Brown is also noted by teammates and coaches for his on-field coaching ability. He made the NFL transitions much easier for his fellow safeties Chris Harris and Danieal Manning by making sure they were in the correct positions. Brian Urlacher often referred to him as the actual leader of the defense. Brown returned to the field during the 2007 season’s mini-camp, making a recovery much earlier than expected. Brown recorded an interception during the 2007 season’s opener against the San Diego Chargers. However, he sustained a knee injury after Lorenzo Neal horse-collar tackled him. Brown returned to the locker room, and emotionally stated that something in his knee did not feel right. Further medical examination confirmed that Brown would miss the remainder of the season.
Neal, who knew he was at fault immediately after the play, apologized to Brown and the media. Brian Urlacher, one of Brown’s longtime teammates and friends, stated he was unsure whether Brown would attempt another comeback. The Bears reached an agreement with Brown on a restructured contract on May 20, 2008. This deal protects Chicago if Brown gets hurt for the fourth time in his career. He will still make his annual $2.44 million, but only $950,000 of it is guaranteed for being on the Week 1 roster. The rest of the money can be based on playing time. If Brown gets injured in preseason, he gets just $320,000. Brown sustained a calf injury during the Bears’ second-to-last game of the 2008 season, and was subsequently placed on the injury reserve. Brown was just one game away from completing his first full season in more than four years.
On February 14, 2009, the Chicago Bears announced that they would not offer a contract to Mike Brown. He then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on June 24. Brown started in all 16 games for the Chiefs, recording three interceptions and 79 tackles.
He is currently a free agent.