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Robert Brazile
Replace this image male.svg
Jersey #(s)
Born February 7, 1953 (1953-02-07) (age 56)
Mobile, Alabama
Career information
Year(s) 19751984
NFL Draft 1975 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
College Jackson State
Professional teams
Career stats
Interceptions 13
INT yards 201
Games 147
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Robert Lorenzo Brazile, Jr. (born February 7, 1953 in Mobile, Alabama) is a former professional American football linebacker in the National Football League. Nicknamed "Dr. Doom", Brazile played from 1975-1984 for the Houston Oilers. Brazile was taken with the sixth pick of the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft. It was part of the bounty Sid Gillman acquired along with Curley Culp when he traded John Matuszak to the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it would be new head coach/general manager Bum Phillips who made the selection. [1] Phillips arrival in Houston also brought a change in the base defense the Oilers ran, switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4. The 3-4 would prove to be a perfect fit for Brazile's combination of size (6'4", 230lbs.)and great speed. While most cite Lawrence Taylor as the prototype of the pass-rushing outside linebacker in the NFL,[2] there are some, including Phillips, who say Brazile was the one who first made the 3-4 popular for sending an outside linebacker to rush the quarterback.[3] Brazile also performed well in pass coverage and against the run, consistently ranking at or near the top for the team lead in tackles even though opponents often avoided his side of the field.[4]

Brazile found immediate success with the Oilers, winning the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award for the 1975 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons, was All-Pro 5 straight seasons (1976-80)[5] and was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1970s. He is the only linebacker from the 1970s All-Decade Team not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1978 and 1979, Brazile was a key member of Oilers teams that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games. After a third straight postseason loss in 1980, Phillips was fired by Oilers owner Bud Adams and the team entered a period of steep decline. The constant losing wore on Brazile and caused him to contemplate retiring.[6] However, he has said it was the death of his first wife, Cookie, in a car wreck in Houston in 1984, that made the decision for him.[7] After retiring from the NFL, Brazile, along with ex-Oiler teammate Ken Burrough, coached for a minor league pro team in Mobile, Alabama. After needing quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2004, Brazile gave up coaching and became a middle-school teacher for children with special needs in Mobile. He has also become an avid tennis player.[8] [9] When asked if his old "Dr. Doom" persona ever comes out on the tennis court, he's quoted as saying laughingly, "No more Dr. Doom," "Just Robert Brazile."[10] In 2007, Brazile was inducted into the Bancorp Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.[11]


Preceded by
Jack Lambert
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Mike Haynes


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