Chad Brown played 15 years in the league, while also serving as a player representative for five of those seasons from ’00 – ‘05. The linebacker’s outstanding career marks him a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time All Pro selection, and AFC Champion with the New England Patriots in 1995. We were able to catch up with Brown about his experiences on and off the field.
Q: What is your current career?
A: I own a few companies in Colorado, and my main company is All Pro Shipping. I also own a couple companies in the pet product world. I do broadcasting with ESPN [and other local channels] in the Denver area. In a few days, I will be doing my third coaching internship; this year I will be with the New York Jets.
Q: What was your experience like leaving the game?
A: I played 15 years, so I certainly wanted to walk away with as few regrets as possible, and I think I did. I probably could have played another year possibly, but at some point you have to be ready to move on with the rest of your life.
Q: What was the impact of the player reps during your time on the board?
A: Continuing to push things forward, the benefits packages, things [changing] with the 401k, the initiation of the health savings accounts. These benefits really end up benefitting you as a player once you retire, and I think was probably the biggest impact of my era of player reps.
Q: How has your experience as a player rep benefited you today?
A: The fact that I have so many business interests, being a player rep opened my eyes to all the different parts of [that]. Seeing leadership in action, whether that was Gene before he passed, as a retired player rep working with Nolan, and even me as a leader within the Denver Chapter which I [served] as president for a short time. Just trying to learn how to deal with large entities and a lot of people with different opinions and ideas.
Q: Are you still close with any player reps today?
A: Yes, I try to attend the retired players meeting every year. My wife and I were at the one this past year in Phoenix. Then with golf tournaments and things like that, you can’t help but run into those guys and keep those relationships going.
Q: What was your favorite player rep meeting site?
A: It would have to be Maui, no surprise there.
Q: Can you share a memorable story of your time as a player rep?
A: [We put in the player performance check program] that allowed lower-paid guys who ended up playing a lot of football to make additional money. Being in [the rep] meetings and helping brainstorm [that] program to get these guys to benefit from left over salary cap money and how to distribute that. I think we came up with a great way – it should be to the guys who are on their rookie deals. After we had these discussions the program was launched; I think it’s been a really great benefit for those guys.
Q: What advice would you give current players today?
A: Know the history, know whose shoulders you’re standing on, know how the game was built – not just the game on the field itself, but the game in the board rooms and the work and sacrifice it took to build the game to where it is now – know that history.
Q: Do you have any children? If so, do they play sports?
A: I have Amani, she’s 21, and I have Aram, he’s 18. They both played sports – Amani was a volleyball player, and Aram played football.
Q: How does having this position of leadership help you be a father?
A: I think once you begin to understand and see leadership and begin to model that in your own life, every aspect of your life is influenced by that. Whether it’s being the leader of a house, being the father to children, running a business, coaching a team – leadership counts and matters in all of that. Certainly I’ve taken those experiences as a player rep and incorporated those into my life.
Tags Former Players