In today’s edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we pay tribute to the great offensive tackle who protected QB’s and opened holes for Barry Sanders during the Wayne Fontes’ era.
25. Lomas Brown
Offensive Tackle. 1885-95 Detroit; 1996-98 Arizona Cardinals; 1999 Cleveland Browns: 2000-01New York Giants; 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One big reason for the Lions’ success during the 1990’s was the play of their stellar tackle from the University of Florida. Lomas was the Lions’ first-round selection in 1985. The 6-foot-4, 282 pound Brown became an immediate starter at left tackle his rookie season, and would remain there for the next eleven years.
Brown’s agility and long arms made him a tremendous asset in pass protection, and he was underrated as a run-blocker as well. Lomas, along with fellow 1985 draft pick Kevin Glover, would anchor the Lion offensive line through the mid-nineties, opening holes for Barry Sanders’ assault on NFL immortality. It took awhile for Lomas to earn Pro Bowl honors, waiting until 1991 to get his first nod. Thereafter he made it a habit, making seven-straight trips to the end-of-season exhibition, the last coming as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in 1997.
Contract disputes, and the resulting bad blood between Lomas and the Lion front office, resulted in him leaving the club after the 1995 season. However, he continued his stellar play for four other teams and seven more seasons, culminating in a Super Bowl championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January 2003.