National Football League
Jim Brown: DeMarco Murray 'is doing something great' and 'has my respect'
National Football League

Jim Brown: DeMarco Murray 'is doing something great' and 'has my respect'

Published Oct. 21, 2014 3:22 p.m. ET

The legendary Jim Brown was watching football one recent Sunday when he heard his name mentioned. Surely the man widely considered the greatest NFL running back of all time is used to this by now. But he didn't realize that DeMarco Murray was sneaking up on his record of six consecutive 100-yard games to start a season.

"Well, I'm glad you said that because I had no idea -- not even an inkling -- and all of a sudden I'm listening to my name because a young man is doing something great," Brown told 103.3 FM ESPN on Monday. "So I have to start off by giving him congratulations because the Dallas Cowboys are winning now and his contribution is a great part of that. That's the reason for the fact that they're winning is he's having a good year. He has my respect."

Murray doesn't enjoy all this attention but his eyes widened Sunday when asked about Brown. He praised Brown for his NFL career as well as his social activism.

I wanted to know where Brown stood in terms of the startling amount of carries Murray is on pace to have. The league is littered with tailbacks who've seen precipitous drops in production the season after surpassing 370 carries. Brown's answer wasn't surprising.


"No, football is a difficult game. It's very physical; it's a mental game also," he said. "And running backs want to run the ball. The worst thing to do to a running back is not give him the ball. And so many running backs get better the more carries they have. So I don't want to hear any running back complaining about getting the ball too much or anyone telling 'em that you're going to overwork one because I don't know how you're going to overwork a really in-shape, intelligent running back."

To Brown's last point, I think Murray has learned when it's OK to give up on runs. He spent a lot of time early in his career trying to punish defenders. Now, he occasionally steps out of bounds in order to preserve himself.

It also bears mention that Brown played only nine seasons. He left a couple of seasons on the table in order to pursue an acting career. 

But he wanted to make it clear he didn't retire for his own safety. Murray doesn't like cameras, so for now he better continue down this football path.


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