May 23, 2012

Rookie of the Year: Eddie Brown, 1985


Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals



Age: 23 (Dec. 17)
College: Miami (FL)
Height: 6’0”    Weight: 185

Prelude:
Following an outstanding college career in which he was part of the 1983 National Championship team and caught 59 passes for 1114 yards and 9 TDs in ‘84, Brown was chosen by the Bengals in the first round of the 1985 NFL draft (13th overall). The retirement of 12-year WR Isaac Curtis opened a starting spot across from fifth-year veteran Cris Collinsworth, and Brown moved immediately into the lineup.

1985 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 53       
Most receptions, game – 7 (for 124 yds.) at Houston 10/20
Yards – 942 [16]
Most yards, game - 129 (on 5 catches) at New England 12/22
Average gain – 17.8 [19]
TDs – 8 [8, tied with four others]
100-yard receiving games - 3

Rushing
Attempts – 14
Most attempts, game – 3 (for 7 yds.) at Cleveland 11/24, (for 60 yds.) vs. Houston 12/1
Yards – 129
Most yards, game – 60 (on 3 attempts) vs. Houston 12/1
Average gain – 9.2
TDs – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 1
Yards – 6
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 8
Points – 48

Awards & Honors:
NFL Rookie of the Year: NEA, Sporting News
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AP

Bengals went 7-9 to finish second in the AFC Central.while placing third in the NFL in total offense (5900 yards), fourth in passing offense (3717), and third in scoring (441 points).

Aftermath:
Having added to Cincinnati’s explosive passing offense as a rookie, Brown accumulated 58 catches for 964 yards in 1986. Following the strike-interrupted ’87 season, he had his best year in 1988, catching 53 passes for 1273 yards (24.0 avg.) and 9 TDs as the Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl. Brown was named to the Pro Bowl and received first-team All-NFL recognition from the NEA, second-team from the Associated Press, and was a first-team All-AFC selection of Pro Football Weekly and UPI. Brown played another three years before a neck injury cost him the entire 1992 season and effectively ended his career. While criticized for dropping passes on occasion, his big-play ability was undeniable. Over the course of his seven seasons with the Bengals, Brown caught 363 passes for 6134 yards (16.9 avg.) and 41 touchdowns.

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Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year). 

[Updated 2/9/14]