Former Ravens OT passes away at 40

Written by on September 23, 2011 in Ravens, Sports - No comments

OWINGS MILLS — Former Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown, affectionately called “Zeus” by his teammates, was found dead at the age of 40.

At this time, the Ravens organization has been told that foul play isn’t suspected. Brown’s family became worried after they hadn’t seen him in days.

“I want to give our heartfelt condolences to the family of Orlando Brown and his three sons,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I think everyone knows what he meant to this organization and this team. He was still a big part of us. He’s been coming around a lot and working with some of our younger players. We’re forever grateful for what he did to this organization.”

Brown had two stints in Baltimore. The first was from 1996-1998, though he was a member of the Cleveland Browns from 1993-1995 before the organization moved to Baltimore. His second stint in Baltimore was from 2003-2005.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs was a teammate of his during Brown’s second run in Baltimore.

“He was a beast on the field but a gentle giant off,” Suggs said. “It’s unfortunate he had to leave us so young.”

Said linebacker Jarret Johnson: “Zeus was probably the most intimidating offensive lineman I’ve ever been around. He wanted to fight every play.”

In 1999, Brown went back to Cleveland for two seasons. In the 1999 season, on Dec. 19, he was accidentally hit in the eye by a penalty flag thrown by referee Jeff Triplette. Brown pushed Triplette to the ground following the incident and was subsequently suspended by the NFL.

However, the suspension was lifted when his eye didn’t heal. Brown had to miss three seasons and ended up settling a reported $25 million lawsuit with the NFL.

Brown fought back from the injury and played three more seasons with Baltimore, beginning in 2003. His NFL career ended after the Ravens released him in March, 2006.

“Zeus was just one of those characters, bigger than life,” Johnson said. “Just devastating news.”

By Jason Butt

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