Sports Outside the Beltway

Former NFL OT Orlando ‘Zeus’ Brown dead at 40

Very sad and RIP.

BALTIMORE — Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando “Zeus” Brown was found dead Friday at his Baltimore home. He was 40.

The cause of death wasn’t known.


Born Dec. 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., Brown played 10 NFL seasons, including four with the Cleveland Browns (1993-95 and 1999) and six with the Ravens (1996-98 and 2003-05). He started 119 of his 129 games.

Ravens director of player development Harry Swayne, Brown’s former teammate and fellow tackle, called Brown “a big old puppy dog with a little bit of a bark.

“He had a lot of friends around the league. He was one of the best guys. It’s a tough loss.”

Brown always will be remembered for shoving official Jeff Triplette in a 1999 game between Cleveland and Jacksonville.

Brown was suspended for knocking down Triplette after the official threw a weighted penalty flag that accidentally struck the massive tackle in the right eye. The 6-foot-7, 350-pounder stormed onto the field and pushed Triplette.

Brown, whose father was blind from glaucoma, said concern for his eyesight caused him to confront Triplette. Brown was hospitalized for six days with bleeding behind the eye. He sued the NFL for $200 million, settling the lawsuit for $25 million.

He missed the next three seasons because of the injury, returning to football and the Ravens for the 2003 season.

Browns tackle Tony Pashos played three seasons in Baltimore with Brown, known as “Zeus” around the league.

“He was a really good teammate,” Pashos said. “I came in under him as a backup. Even when Zeus wasn’t on the team he came around and supported us. He loved us. He loved football. He could never walk away. Man, I can’t believe it. I remember the attitude he brought to the building to the room. He tried hard. He told the young guys throughout practice to try hard and work on technique but then when it comes to games, it’s about taking the other guy’s will. And he was the apex of that. He did do that.”

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick said Brown will always be one of his favorites.

“He brought such passion and physicality to practices and games,” Billick said in a statement released by the Ravens. “There is no way to quantify his heart, his actual love to play football. The game was so important to him.”

Brown was a frequent visitor to the Ravens’ practices, tutoring young linemen Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood.

“He took time out of his busy schedule over the last couple of months to work with me to help me grow as a player,” Harewood said. “To have a player and man of his stature do that for a young player like myself says all you need to know about him.”

Brown was divorced and is survived by three sons.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 2 #35 Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton

Dalton is four-year starter and proven winner, but he might have a difficult transition to the NFL. He is undersized and will not be able to take off and run at the next level. He is generally an accurate passer, and he’s grown on scouts and coaches since the NFL Scouting Combine. He played in a very user friendly scheme where he threw to a lot of wide open receivers and it is unclear if he can fit the ball into tight windows. Still, his stock his risen, and he looks to go as early as the beginning of the second round.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 2 #34 Buffalo Bills CB Aaron Williams says-

Williams is a confident corner that should be able to contribute immediately as a nickel back. He lacks the hip fluidity to play on an island at the next level, but he has experience lining up over the slot and maintains proper position to take away the easy crossing routes. When the ball is in the air, he has a great closing burst and the superb hands to make plays even on errant throws. He is aggressive in run support, but lacks the fundamentals to make tackles in the open field. Williams is good football player and should be an early second day pick.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 2 #33 New England Patriots DB Ras-I Dowling says-

Dowling entered the 2010 season as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks, but after playing in only five games due to injury, his draft stock may have taken a hit. He is a monster of a cornerback who seeks out contact in run support and is a sound tackler. He really excels in zone coverage with terrific instincts and has the ball skills to make plays on underneath routes. He does not have the recovery speed to play in a man-heavy scheme at the next level, but he should be a good fit in a Tampa 2 system. A potential first-round pick before the season, Dowling still likely will be a second-round pick.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #32 Green Bay Packers OT Derek Sherrod says-

Sherrod currently looks more like a backup but could be a future starting tackle if he can add quite a bit of bulk and strength. A nice blend of length and good feet, he can slide laterally with pass rushers and push them by the launch point but struggles to anchor against the bull rush. Could benefit from improving awareness against pressure looks. Uses positioning and instincts as a run blocker to create running lanes but isn’t an effective drive blocker and won’t push defenders backwards. Has a solid makeup but doesn’t possess a non-stop motor or great aggressiveness. Early Day 3 grade.

One more reach.

That’s it. Good night everyone. 12 Defensive lineman were taken in the first round.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #31 Pittsburgh Steelers DE Cameron Heyward says-

Heyward is big, versatile defensive end who can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 at the next level. He is a powerful athlete at the point of attack who can eat up blocks in the running game and uses heavy active hands to shed quickly. He possesses a less-than-ideal burst but is a relentless pass rusher who gets more sacks than he should. His greatest asset is his versatility, as he can control blockers to be effective in a two-gap scheme, but also could have an impact as a traditional defensive end in a 4-3. Heyward will likely not last past the first round.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #30 New York Jets DT Muhammad Wilkerson says-

Wilkerson is an elite 3-4 defensive end prospect with idea size, excellent shedding ability and the athleticism to pursue from the backside and rush the passer. Jolts offensive lineman at the point of attack, can beat the double team, finds the football and makes plays against the run. Does not have rare first-step quickness but can take a direct line through blockers to pressure the quarterback and has range against the run. Despite size, is a three-down guy who plays with a high effort level for four quarters. Wilkerson’s stock has risen quickly and he could come off the board in the middle of round one.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #29 Chicago Bears OT Gabe Carimi says

Carimi was the 2010 Outland Trophy winner as the best interior lineman in college football, and it appears likely that he will have continued success at the next level. Carimi is simply a “bad man” who looks to punish defensive ends on every play. His non-stop motor, coupled with his ideal size, make him a terror in the running game, and he has enough athleticism to hold his own in pass protection. Like all tall linemen, Carimi struggles at times with leverage and may have to make the move to right tackle in the NFL. Overall, Carimi is a beast who should be picked in the middle of the first round.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #28 New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram

The Patriots trade down. says-

Ingram projects as an every-down back who can make an impact on the ground and in the passing game. One of the most polished running back prospects in recent memory. Has rare natural running sense in terms of vision and patience. Great short area speed and burst to hit the hole, make defenders miss, and get to the perimeter. Runs low, breaks tackles, and usually falls forward. Dangerous receiver in the screen game and as a check down. Shows good effort and awareness in pass protection. Has not been asked to shoulder the entire load to this point, but Ingram’s still a first-round prospect.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #27 Baltimore Ravens DB Jimmy Smith

Now Baltimore goes says-

Corners with Smith’s size, speed and confidence in press coverage don’t grow on trees. He’ll likely serve as reserve/nickel early in his career but has the skill set to eventually become a starter. Very effective playing man coverage close to the line of scrimmage where he can use his size and length to disrupt timing patterns. Can recover after initial bump and compete for the football. Isn’t as comfortable in off-man or zone but could improve over time. Has the mentality and physical tools to be very productive in run support, just needs some more polish. Smith’s tools and upside will likely land him in the second round.


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