(Larry Brown photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
(Chuck Foreman photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)
Talk of Fame Network
Greatness was not perceived for Larry Brown when the Washington Redskins drafted him in the eighth round out of Kansas State in 1969.
But greatness was achieved, nonetheless.
We asked our listeners and readers in the last Talk of Fame Network poll to identify the best running back not enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and Brown was the surprising winner over the likes of Terrell Davis, Roger Craig and Edgerrin James. In fact, none of those three finished in the top two in the voting.
Brown was the runaway winner with 64 percent of the vote, followed by Chuck Foreman of the Minnesota Vikings at 21 percent. Craig, Davis and James were next, followed by Alan “The Horse” Ameche.
New Redskins' coach Vince Lombardi inserted Brown into the starting lineup as a rookie, and he rushed for 888 yards to help propel Washington to its first winning season since 1955 (7-5-2). Brown went to four consecutive Pro Bowls in his first four seasons and was named the NFL MVP in 1972 when he rushed for 1,216 yards to power the Redskins to an NFC championship and Super Bowl date with the unbeaten Miami Dolphins. That season Brown became the first Redskin ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Brown rushed for 5,875 yards and 325 touchdowns in his eight seasons in Washington. He also caught 238 passes and scored 20 more TDs. In 2002, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the franchise, a panel selected Brown as one of the 70 greatest Redskins. He was again named one of the 80 greatest Redskins when the team celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2012. His number 43 has not been retired, but no one has worn it since his retirement.
Foreman was the surprising runnerup over Davis, Craig and James. He was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1973, led the NFL in touchdowns in both 1974 and 1976 and led the league in receiving with 73 catches in 1975. He rushed for 5,950 career yards and 53 TDs and caught 350 career passes for 3,156 yards and 23 more scores.