Len Pasquarelli of ESPN reports, “The loss of Brown is particularly devastating since this will mark the fourth year in a row in which the star-crossed defensive back will miss significant playing time, and the third time in four seasons that his campaign ended prematurely with him on the injured reserve list. It will increase to 43 the number of games that Brown has missed in the past four years.”
Brown, formerly of the University of Nebraska, was one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He began his career as a strong safety and moved over to free safety this season with the arrival of Adam Archuleta. Archuleta is the hard hitting safety (often struggling in pass coverage) that played for Bears coach Lovie Smith in St. Louis. Brown began his career as an explosive player against the pass and the run. His high-energy style of play, jarring tackles and blazing speed have since been replicated in whole or in part by in Baltimore (Ed Reed), Pittsburgh (Troy Polamalu) and Indianapolis (Bob Sanders). He could rush the passer, force fumbles and make dazzling interceptions. He was also a former running back and had some of the more spectacular returns of picks this decade. Mike Brown was the true anchor of the Bears defense. He keyed the run defense and the pass defense with his tremendous awareness, range and tenacity.
Mike Brown at locker on YouTube:
Brown was a tremendous player and the Bears are diminished somewhat today, on the field and off. Mr. Brown is a young man of only 29 years old. He has a bright future ahead of him when he is ready to move on from this game. Mike was an academic All-American as a senior in Lincoln. Sometimes our personal loss can lead to flowering in ways unexpected. If there were space in Canton reserved for elite players with abbreviated careers, Brown might have an entire wall dedicated to his short stint with the Bears.