Dolphins receive boost from Brown

January 01, 1995|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

MIAMI -- By being the most durable defensive player on the Miami Dolphins the past three years, cornerback J. B. Brown was rewarded before this season. A new three-year contract worth an estimated $1.5 million made Brown the team's highest-paid defensive back.

Yesterday, the former Maryland standout gave the Dolphins a return on that investment by returning an interception of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana early in the fourth quarter, helping preserve a 27-17 victory for the Dolphins in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.

"J. B.'s interception had to be one of the biggest plays," said Miami coach Don Shula. "He kept his poise by getting the ball away from the end zone."

Brown's interception, his fourth of the season, was also the biggest play of Brown's six-year pro career. Brown showed not only his poise, but also his memory, recalling what fellow defensive back Gene Atkins had told him before the game.

"He had talked with Eric Martin after the last game [of the regular season], and he [Martin] told Gene that they'd like to run the slant play they used to run in New Orleans when they were teammates," said Brown, smiling. "Joe [Montana] likes to go to the OGs, the old guys. I guess he didn't think they'd be playing us again."

The Chiefs had tried that play earlier in the game, on third-and-goal in the first half. Montana overthrew Martin on that play. This time, on first-and-goal from the Miami 5 with a little under 12 minutes to go, Brown jammed Martin and turned around to see the ball coming straight at him.

"It hit me in the stomach," said Brown.

It wound up knocking the wind out of the Chiefs. Brown wound up keeping the ball, not only for its significance in the game but also for who threw it. "On the sidelines, Tony Vincent said, 'You should paint it white, getting an interception from a legend,' " said Brown.

Brown was asked if he recalled making any plays like that during his career as a Terrapin.

"I remember making one against North Carolina as a freshman," said Brown. "But I think the only reason I remember that one was it was my first."

This one was just a little bigger.

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