INDIANAPOLIS —Ray Brown's time with the Baltimore Colts wasn't long, but he certainly knew how to make an impact.
Brown, a talented defensive back and punter for the Colts for three seasons in the late 1950s and early 1960s, passed away on Monday, his sister, Beki Brown Morgan, wrote in a Facebook post. He was 81.
"I will miss him so very much forever and always," his sister wrote. "Thank you for being my brother Raymond. I love you."
Brown was a star football player at Ole Miss, where he played on offense, defense and special teams. As a quarterback, he built an all-time record of 26-5-1 and, perhaps most memorably, rushed for 157 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown run, in a 39-7 victory over Texas in the 1958 Sugar Bowl.
The Colts selected Brown in the fifth round of the 1958 NFL Draft, and he would play in 36 games with 12 starts over his three-year career in Baltimore.
He started all 12 games in which he played in his first season and collected eight interceptions, which remains the second-most by a rookie in franchise history; he had three different games that season with two picks. Brown also had three fumble recoveries that year.
Brown followed that up with another five interceptions and one fumble recovery in his second season in 1959.
He was the Colts' primary punter in 1958 and 1960, and over his three-year career he would log 95 punts for 3,733 yards, for an average of 39.3 yards per punt. Brown would also attempt 19 passes for the Colts, completing eight of them, for 78 yards. He tossed his only-career touchdown on Oct. 30, 1960, on a seven-yard play to Jerry Richardson in a 45-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
Brown was a starter at defensive back for the Colts in both of their World Championship victories over the New York Giants in 1958 and 1959. In "The Greatest Game Ever Played" against the Giants in 1958, Brown's leg made a huge difference all day, as he punted the ball four times for 203 yards, an average of 50.8 yards per kick — an NFL championship game record.
Though Brown would be plagued by knee troubles, he remained the team's punter in 1960 before retiring to pursue a career in law. According to The Baltimore Sun: "Brown attended law school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and the University of Mississippi and served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark before practicing law in his native Mississippi. He started his own firm in 1987."