After the Raiders defeated Tennessee 41-24, Shulters was at least partially right. Except Brown was crying tears of joy – and for good reason.
Brown will assuredly wind up as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer as he ranks second on many of the all-time receiving lists behind teammate Jerry Rice. While Brown has put together an impressive individual resume, he played his career on mostly mediocre to bad clubs until 2000.
"It's a great feeling to know that after watching other guys playing this game and now to actually be on your way puts you in a dream world," Brown said. "You really have to catch yourself."
For 14 years, Brown was the identifiable figure on the Raiders. Interestingly enough, Brown is playing on a Super Bowl team after putting up subpar numbers by his standards. Brown caught 81 passes for 930 yards and just two touchdowns. The 2002 season marked the first time since 1992 that Brown did not accumulate more than 1,000 yards. He was third on the team in receptions behind Rice and running back Charlie Garner.
Rice joined the Raiders last season when the San Francisco 49ers released him after 16 seasons. Rice, who played for three Super Bowl winning teams across the Bay, is looking for his fourth but felt ample satisfaction Brown.
"I'm just honored that the raiders gave me an opportunity to really revive myself," Rice said. "I'm having a great time. It feels like being a little kid. tim had to put a towel over his head because he had tears coming down."
Remember when Rice first joined the Raiders many folks wondered if Rice and Brown could co-exist? There's never been a remote sign of such a situation.
"Never," Rice said during the week. "Maybe on the golf course but that's about it."