NFL news of December 1, 2002

He is surprised. His 1,000th career reception has been an odometer flip waiting to happen, but Tim Brown looks ahead to the event, looks back on his career and has to think these circumstances don’t fit.

…Brown has 996 regular-season receptions heading into Monday night’s game against the New York Jets. Unless the lights go out at Network Associates Coliseum, he will join Jerry Rice and Cris Carter as the only players to reach 1,000. (Good trivia: He’ll be the third to get there in prime time.) And he will do it under the watchful eye of Al Davis, who took him with the sixth pick of the 1988 draft.

…It’s hard to believe now, but Brown didn’t join the NFL as a polished receiver…In his first five years, he had a total of 147 catches—hardly a Hall of Fame beginning for the man who remembers telling his agent when he joined the league, “I wanted to be a Hall of Fame player, if it was possible. I didn’t know.”

The breakthrough came in 1993, when he caught 80 passes for 1,180 yards. He has had at least 1,000 yards every year since; his nine consecutive seasons at that mark rank second to Rice‘s 11 (1986-1996).

…When Rice caught his 1,000th pass, on Nov. 3, 1996, Brown had 453 receptions. “You just didn’t even think about it,” Brown said.

— John Ryan, San Jose Mercury News “Brown on the brink of receiving milestone”

Tim Brown caught 8 passes for 90 yards in a 26-20 win over the New York Jets. Brown retired after the 2004 season, which he spent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is currently fifth in NFL history for career receptions behind Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison and Carter.

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