Ex-Oiler Robert Brazile: “I would love to be in the Hall”


Some former NFL players believe they should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while others — a precious few — demand to know why they aren’t inducted.

And then there’s former Houston Oilers’ linebacker Robert Brazile.

The only all-decade linebacker from the 1970s not in Canton, Brazile has the credentials to be in the Hall. In a 10-year career, he was chosen to the Pro Bowl seven times, named to the All-Pro team six times (including five first-team choices), honored as the NFL’s 1975 Rookie of the Year and given one of the most memorable nicknames in NFL history.

Dr. Doom.

So he has a case. But listen to Robert Brazile on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, and he neither complains that he’s not enshrined in Canton nor pushes his candidacy on voters who overlooked him the past 27 years.

“I don’t think I’ve been overlooked,” he said. “I really believe you all (voters) have got one of the … I couldn’t have you all’s job to decide to pick and choose who goes in and who’s not. You’ve got so many great athletes who are out there. You talk linebackers … you’re talking back from my era to today’s date. I don’t know what you all (are) going to do in the future when you put somebody in from the linebacker position.

“I thought that I was very versatile at the linebacker position. A lot of people don’t understand this, but from the weakside linebacker I almost led the team every year in tackles. So I played the run defense as well as I did in pass coverage.

“I had to cover Walter Payton, Tony Dorsett or Mike Pruitt. That’s a helluva job to do. But that was one of the qualities that Bum (former Houston coach Bum Phillips) saw in me, and he put me at that position where we had to float … and do those types of things for his 3-4 defense. I mean, we just shut down people. My thing on defense was to play the run first and the pass second.”

Houston excelled with Brazile anchoring a lockdown 3-4 defense that, along with star running back Earl Campbell, put the Oilers in back-to-back AFC championship games. But he’s never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist or semifinalist and is now one of dozens of qualified candidates awaiting selection by the Hall’s senior committee.

“Do you think you should belong in the Hall?” he was asked.

“I want to be in the Hall,” he said. “I feel like I’m already in the Hall. You know, it’s not up to me. Yes, I want to be in the Hall. I’d be foolish to sit here and say, ‘Nah, I don’t want to be in the Hall.’ I would love to be in the Hall. It would make Robert Brazile so happy to be in the Hall of Fame. I want the Hall of Fame.”

With the senior committee endorsing two candidates this summer, maybe, just maybe, Robert Brazile gets his wish. Though he wouldn’t say it, we would: It’s not only time his case is heard; it’s well past it.

“I have both parents living,” he said, shortly before signing off, “and one day I would love to bring them to Canton along with me.”

 

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13 Comments

  1. Bear fan Bob
    June 11, 2017
    Reply

    His credentials aren’t much different than other players who aren’t in the hall. I can think of 2 maybe 3 bears who deserve the hall before this guy. I still think the hall is a scam obviously this player was a great player and maybe the best at his position for more than a year. Braziles case would be better with a superbowl ring. Btw. No linebackers could stop or contain Payton, Dorset or Pruit. They just slowed those guys down for a while.

    • Anonymous
      June 11, 2017
      Reply

      you don’t know shit

  2. John Pierce
    June 11, 2017
    Reply

    What about White Shoes

    • June 12, 2017
      Reply

      We pushed him last fall. Only guy from 75th anniversary team not in.

    • Anonymous
      June 12, 2017
      Reply

      I’m a little biased he’s a relative, but before dion and others it was white shoes
      Highlights at the half on Monday night football practically every week.

      • June 12, 2017
        Reply

        Don’t disagree. So good named to 75th anniversary team.

      • June 12, 2017
        Reply

        White Shoes deserves HOF recognition. If you make the 75th anniversary team how is that not as close to automatic as exists?

  3. June 12, 2017
    Reply

    Kudos to Clark Judge for excellent observation about the greatest former NFL superstar that’s “not” in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ironically, I was going through some older audio files from some of my Houston Oilers interviews and came across one that featured former cowboy hat wearing head coach Bum Phillips.
    The subject of Robert “Dr Doom” Brazile came up and Coach Phillips remarked by saying “as great as Lawrence Taylor is, Robert was Lawrence Taylor before LT was LT”. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

    • June 12, 2017
      Reply

      Heard he said that. Great clip to have. Have to believe he’s on a short list for senior committee. But so many deserving candidates, including, as bachslunch pointed out in message above, Howley and Baughan. Johnny Robinson, Cliff Harris, Atwater, etc. should be in as safeties. Too many WRs to count. Very tough process to sort out all these deserving guys. Thanks for the note, Lenny.

  4. bachslunch
    June 12, 2017
    Reply

    Enjoyed reading, Clark. Agreed that Brazile is on the short list of LBs who most deserve to be in Canton. A 5/7/70s profile is excellent and would fit well alongside those already in. Chuck Howley (5/6/none) and Maxie Baughan (5/9/none) are the other two primary Senior OLB snubs out there, with Joe Fortunato (3/5/50s), Larry Grantham (5/5/allAFL), and Bill Forester (4/4/none) also deserving of consideration.

    • June 12, 2017
      Reply

      Too many deserving candidates at all positions to count. But you’re right about your nominations. This guy is in there, too. Tough job for senior committee. So many deserving choices. Thanks for writing.

  5. JSU 74
    August 10, 2017
    Reply

    Played with him, went before Walter in the draft both top 5 picks. He was the first big linebacker side to side range. He was a specimen.

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