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Giants By The Numbers: 79 Is For ...

Roosevelt Brown.

The Hall of Fame offensive tackle is an easy choice here. No one else is even in the discussion.

Here is Brown's bio on

Brown played for the Giants from 1953 through 1965 after joining the team as a 27th round draft choice, regarded as one of the greatest "sleeper" picks of all time. Brown held the starting tackle spot for 13 straight seasons. During that period, he was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was an All-NFL eight straight seasons.

In 1956, when the Giants won the championship game, Brown was named Lineman of the Year by the Associated Press. Brown was known as a big, fast blocker who could make the block downfield. He was also used along the defensive front on goal-line stands.

Brown helped the Giants advance to the NFL Championship game in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1963. After his playing career, Brown continued his Giants affiliation as a coach before being appointed as a scout, where he has served since the 1971 season. He was immediately named assistantline coach by the Giants after a phlebitis condition forced him to retire in 1966.

As I have so often throughout this series, let me quote an excerpt about Brown from Lew Freedman's 'New York Giants: The Complete Illustrated History.'

Unheralded, unknown, chosen with a 27th-round throwaway pick in the 1953 draft. 20-year-old Roosevelt Brown from Morgan State became one of the greatest offensive tackles of all time.

During their advance scouting, Giants' officials who had never seen him play took note by reading the Pittsburgh Courier that Brown, who came out of Charlottesville, Va., had been chosen to the All-American team for predominantly black colleges. That fact prompted New York to make one of its wisest draft choices ever. "We had nothing to lose," said owner Wellington Mara.

In a 13-season playing career, Brown was the rock of the offensive line that played for six NFL titles.

At 6-feet-3 inches and 255 pounds, Brown possessed tremendous strength (his biceps seemed as big around as his waist) and it was his mission to prevent pass rushers from touching quarterback Charlie Conerly. He also was the main weapon in opening the holes for backs Alex Webster, Mel Triplett and Frank Gifford.