Twenty years ago today, Eagles defensive lineman Jerome Brown died in a car accident at the age of 27.
Brown was an excellent player, an All-Pro in his last two seasons and a leader on a Philadelphia defense that was the best in football in 1991. The Philadelphia Daily News has a couple of articles and a photo gallery remembering Brown today, and the best comments come from those who played alongside him.
“Jerome’s persona was bigger than life, but he was bigger than life,” former Eagles linebacker Britt Hager said. “When that guy got into the room, the atmosphere changed.”
Said former Eagles cornerback Eric Allen, “When Jerome passed away, you just felt like, ‘Wow, we’re not invincible! You really can’t predict what our futures are going to be. It’s life and death.’ It took us a long time to understand how to come back and try to fill that friendship void. That was like a brother, not a teammate. It was very difficult for us. Because we were so tight, we tried to keep his great sense of humor alive. Whenever we traveled, we took his locker, his jersey with us. We tried everything we could do to get to the big game for him. But it came down to, we needed him. He was a huge piece of our success.”
And he was gone too soon.