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Countdown to kickoff: 81 Pharaoh Brown has iconic Raiders name/number combo

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The number 81 with Brown on the back? Weird.

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With the announcement today of the training camp start dates, we know the first players report to Napa in 30 days. As for the season itself, that’s still 81 days off yet.

Returning for another shot at the roster as well as the 81 jersey is tight end Pharaoh Brown. Former a very highly thought of prospect out of Oregon, he suffered a catastrophic leg injury that required major surgery with some fear he may even lose his leg.

As you might expect, the road to recovery from such an injury is long and no team took a chance on him in the draft. He would be signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent and showed enough promise to earn a spot on the practice squad, getting called up to the active roster for two games.

It’s surreal seeing a number 81 Raiders jersey with the name Brown on the back. That was the case for 16 years from 1988 to 2004 when one Tim Brown wore it. Dubbed “Mr Raider” for his longevity with the team. Brown spent 16 years with the Raiders, appearing in 240 games, a mark that stood until Sebastian Janikowski broke it a couple years ago.

Brown was a 9-time Pro Bowler (2 times as a return specialist) while catching passes from a rogue’s gallery of quarterbacks in his time in Silver & Black. Despite that, he put up over 1000 yards every season for 9 straight years from 1993-2001. That earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.