The 49ers officially named Ray Brown their assistant offensive line coach. It was rumored before, but now it's official. After the jump I've posted Brown's comments during a conference call earlier today.
Brown, 47 joins San Francisco's coaching staff after serving as the assistant offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills the past two seasons. Prior to coaching in Buffalo, he spent the second half of the 2006 season as a special assistant on the Washington Redskins coaching staff, working with the offensive linemen.
Originally an eighth round selection (201st overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1986 NFL Draft, Brown went on to play 20 seasons in the NFL with four different franchises - Cardinals (1986-88), Redskins (1989-95, 2004-05), 49ers (1996-2001) and Lions (2002-03). He played in a total of 265 games with 202 starts, lining up at both guard and tackle throughout his career. Brown was a member of the Washington Redskins 1991 Super Bowl (XXVI) Championship team, and later earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors while playing right guard for the 49ers, in 2001.
"Ray is a great addition to our team, particularly for our young guys," said head coach Mike Singletary. "He exemplifies what it means to be an O-lineman. He has a tremendous work ethic and is an outstanding communicator. He'll do a great job assisting Mike Solari in helping our offensive line become a dominant unit."
Assistant Offensive Line Coach Ray Brown
Conference Call - February 4, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On why coming back to the 49ers was attractive:
"Just what happened in Buffalo, I was looking for an opportunity because the staff got let go. I have the bug. I love the game. I enjoy being around it in this capacity. On a very personal level, I've got some things in this building that are going to make me fit here because I played here and there are people who have touched my life in this building. I feel good about making this decision."
On what he hopes to accomplish as an assistant offensive line coach:
"I want to teach. I want to help guys get better because I think I have something to offer in that capacity from just having played the game. I've always been a film guy and a pencil and note taker-type player. So, I can share that. I really do feel like I can impact this team in a positive way. I'm very appreciative of [head coach] Mike Singletary and [offensive line coach] Mike Solari to let me come over and be a part of this staff."
On whether he was a coach-on-the-field in Washington when he was playing at age 43:
"I think you may be in the right neighborhood with that one. I think once you become, probably, a seven-to-10 year guy, you pretty much know a lot about what teams are doing offensively. For me, it's all about sharing what people shared with me because I know that allowed me the opportunity to stay as long as I did. I just only try to reciprocate that, share things and pass off things that I've heard and things that I've learned. Really, that's who I am. I'm very grateful for the coaches and teachers that I had prior to getting in this profession."
On what he thinks about the 49ers offensive line group:
"I'm still getting a look at it, trying to get a finger on what guys can and can't do. So, I'm really in the observation stage. I'm kind of in the hole a little bit, watching the film. We're also going over the offensive playbook. So, I've got a look at guys, but it hasn't been a real in-depth look, and we're starting to watch cut-ups. So, the further I go, or, the further I'm along being on the job, the more familiar I'll be with the players."
On his recollection of offensive line Coach Mike Solari and his feelings about him when he was a player:
"He was a tight ends assistant and o-line coach when I was here for a year. One thing I remember about Mike is he believes hard work, and he believed in technique and footwork. And, for a guy like myself who played a long time, those types of things really kept me in the league, being able to play low, being powerful, being assignment correct - those types of things. I've learned quite a bit from Mike because you get to see more when you're upstairs in the meetings with him. Just from my experience having played for him when he was coach here, I know he is a good man, and that has proved itself even while I've been on the staff."
On how long he has been in Santa Clara:
"Monday morning I started. Today's Thursday. I'm still here and I'm loving it."
On whether he had known head coach Mike Singletary prior to coming here:
"Other than playing against him, not much. I remember doing a pro athletes outreach group that he and his wife give gave a testimony. I knew him in that way but not on a personal level where it's name-to-name basis. I guess you know NFL players, but I would probably know him more as an opponent. Just through the process, the interview process, getting to know him, his leadership style - it's very attractive. As an ex-player, he got me excited. I know I want to be a part of this thing that he's got going on, and he sells a good message. I think more than anything, he lives a great message, and I'm excited to be a part of that."
On how many times he faced Singletary as a player:
"I think my first football game we played against the Bears. It became a big brawl. That's the one thing I do remember about it. Cardinals and Bears in 1986."
On whether he traded any punches with Singletary:
"Not me. At that time, I'm not going to leave the sideline and lose that big, rookie, 8th-round signing bonus. I had some sense about myself then."
On whether becoming a head coach or athletic director down the line is a goal for him:
"I want to grow in this game. I think as a player, my career sort of took a while to get off. But, once you get in, you start learning more. I just want to grow. Eventually, I would like to be an offensive line coach. I like the personnel side of it. I like a whole lot of aspects of the game, wherever those opportunities lead me. I feel like if I'm in the building, I'll do the job. Your talents and your skills will be recognized. Obviously, it comes out in winning and losing. I know I want to help this team win football games and eventually win championships."
On whether he will have any input on whether the team will draft an offensive lineman:
"I think I will just be along just like other staff. Whatever input that coaches have, you'll be limited to that. That's not really my area of expertise right now. I'm just really here right now to learn the playbook and learn our players. I'll be a part of that draft evaluation of prospects. That's pretty much where I'll be limited to contributing in who we're going to pick."
On whether there are still a lot of the tenets that former 49ers offensive line coach Bobb McKittrick taught that are still applicable to today's game:
"I think very much so - being smart, being tough, being physical, knowing what to do, knowing your assignments. All of those things are going to apply to modern-day football. It's never going to change. It's going to be about leverage. It's going to be about being physical. It's going to be about being a good man. I think that has a lot to do with whether you're successful or not. We've got some good people in this organization. We've got some young players that need some grooming and growing. We've got some great teachers on staff. I think those combinations will lead us to being a much better football team this season."
On his memories of McKittrick:
"Very much a thing of respect. He gave me a lot of confidence because I came in as a big guy who - I wasn't used to the cutting and used to the sweeps and those kinds of things. Bobb told me some things on a real personal level that gave me confidence. Knowing that and having won a couple of awards that represent his name and who he's about, you better believe that's going to make me want to do this job even more on a personal level and it's going to make me want to also do it for the organization because I had six great years here, not only for myself, but also for my family. I still have friends in this area. I just wish I would have kept my house."
On his matchups with former 49ers and Cowboys DE Charles Haley's and his Hall of Fame prospects:
"You'd be nervous whenever you had Charles Haley on your schedule. I think he's had a wonderful career. I think it does merit Hall of Fame consideration. He will have my vote because I know that from experience. I really hope he gets in. Charles was one of those strange guys in the league. He's kind of testy sometimes, but I got to know him as a teammate, got to know him as a coach when he coached in Detroit. It was real refreshing to see what kind of guy he was away from the game field. I think what he's done on the football field is what it's going to be based on, and I think he's had a Hall of Fame career."
On what it was like to be a teammate of Jerry Rice's:
"Jerry was a perfectionist. He really wanted the football. I guess all receivers do. At the end of the day, he gave you the results. I think I've been real fortunate to play with some great players that are in this organization, like Steve Young and those guys who are in the Hall of Fame. You would just think, Steve is in there, so the guy he's throwing a lot of balls to, he merits Hall of Fame consideration. I wish all those guys get in, especially ex-Niners."