Because Rosey’s uncle had died playing football, Brown’s father made him play in the marching band in high school. He had to sneak onto the football team during his senior year while his father was away. In college at Morgan State, he competed in wrestling, baseball, and football and twice was named to the Black All-America Football Team. As an unscouted, lowly 27th-round draft choice out of a small black school in 1953, Rosey was not expected to make the team. However, he played for the Giants for 13 years and then stayed with the team for another 38 years as an assistant coach and scout. During his playing career, he was named All-NFL eight times and played in the Pro Bowl nine times.
Brown played left tackle on the Giants, and therefore was entrusted with guarding his quarterback’s blind side on passing downs. He had the intelligence, balance, and muscle to excel at pass blocking. The Giants also took advantage of his size and power by using him on defensive goal-line stands in his early years. This all-time great lineman was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1975; he was just the second pure offensive tackle ever enshrined.
Rosey Brown (kneeling) was the anchor of the Giants’ offensive line for 13 years and pioneered the 7-10 split block, in which he sent one tackler careening into two others, knocking down all three.
After the debacle of the 1964 season, the Giants could only get better in 1965. Things were looking up as they went into their fifth game with a 2-2 record. Against the Eagles this day, a new star receiver and a veteran journeyman quarterback would emerge as leaders, and a new scoring celebration would be born.
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The Eagles scored first on an Earl Gros run after a long drive, and they were driving again when Gros fumbled in the first quarter. Quarterback Earl Morrall, whom the Giants had obtained from Detroit in September, quickly capitalized with a 71-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Thomas, who beat Eagles corner Nate Ramsey. Just a few minutes later, Morrall burned Ramsey and the Eagles a second time with a 46-yard strike to Joe Morrison.
Three minutes later came the play of the day. From the Giants’ 11-yard line, Morrall took a straight drop back and at the 4, let the ball fly. Down the sideline sped Homer Jones, who had caught just five passes so far in his two-year career. Jones had two steps on corner Irv Cross, but the ball was behind him, and Jones had to slow down at the 45 to catch it at midfield.
Jones wheeled to the sideline, while Cross stumbled trying to tackle him at the 35. Jones rocketed into the end zone for an 89-yard touchdown bomb and then punctuated his very first touchdown with the very first spike in NFL history.
Eagles quarterback King Hill began to get desperate, and he threw four interceptions in his next five passes over an 11-minute period. Linebacker Jerry Hillebrand returned one for a touchdown, and the Giants led at the half 28-7. New York extended its lead to 35-7 in the third quarter after a Ramsey interference penalty led to a two-yard touchdown pass to Bobby
I knew Homer was fast. I’ve never been able to overthrow him in practice. So I thought I’d hang one up there and see if he could go get it. As it was, he had to wait for the ball.
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