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Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Bob Brown dies at 81

Bob Brown, the Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle known for his tenacity in the trenches through the 1960s and early 1970s, died Friday night at the age of 81.

Brown passed surrounded by friends and family at a rehabilitation center he had been admitted to following a stroke in April, according to his wife, through a statement from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Bob Brown demonstrated different personalities on and off the field," Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in the statement. "On the field, he was as fierce an opponent as any defensive linemen or linebacker ever faced. He used every tactic and technique -- and sometimes brute force -- to crush the will of the person across the line from him. And took great pride in doing so.

"Yet off the field, he demonstrated a quiet, soft-spoken and caring nature that his son, Robert Jr., captured eloquently when he presented his dad for enshrinement in 2004. The Hall extends its thoughts and prayers to CeeCee and Robert Jr. for their loss."

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive tackle was a force as a collegiate athlete at Nebraska, where he was a unanimous All-American during his final season in 1963 while helping the Cornhuskers to their first conference title since 1940. He continued to dominate on the line and accrue accolades in the NFL, starting with his rookie year as the Philadelphia Eagles' No. 2 overall pick in the 1964 draft.

Following an AP second-team All-Pro season his first year, Brown -- who became known as "The Boomer" for his physical style of play -- received first-team All-Pro honors in five of his next six seasons.

Those campaigns, as well as his six Pro Bowls, led to his placement on the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, and eventually his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame in 2004.

He's also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame's class of 1993.

All told, Brown played 10 NFL seasons spread across the Eagles, Rams and Raiders.

He found results at every stop along the way, never failing to make at least one Pro Bowl with each club and being named second-team All-Pro with the 1972 Raiders for the second and final time in his career.

The head coach of those Raiders, the late John Madden, summarized Brown simply, per the Pro Football Hall of Fame website: "Bob was the most aggressive lineman that ever played."

He was that, and he was also one of the game's greatest.

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