The 49ers hired Ray Brown, 47, as assistant offensive line coach on Jan. 27, the morning after Mike Singletary interviewed him at the Senior Bowl. He began work at the 49ers’ offices on Monday.
Today, he took part in a conference call with reporters after the club announced earlier in the day that he rejoined the organization. Brown played with the 49ers from 1996 to 2001, and was selected to his only Pro Bowl after the 2001 season. Brown played 20 NFL seasons.
When Brown joined the 49ers, he bought into the late Bobb McKittrick’s system. McKittrick preferred smaller, athletic offensive lineman. Brown was amazingly athletic for his size. Brown was named the winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award three times. The honor goes to the 49ers offensive lineman who best exemplifies the dedication, excellence and commitment of McKittrick.
“He gave me a lot of confidence because I came here as a big guy. I wasn’t used to the cutting and the sweeps and those kinds of things,” Brown said. “Bobb told me some things on a real personal level that gave me some confidence.
“Knowing that and having won a couple awards that represent his name and what he’s about, you better believe that’s going to make me want to do this job on a more personal level and it’s going to make me want to do it for the organization. I had six great years here – not only for myself but for my family. I still have friends in this area. I just wish I would’ve kept my house.”
Brown said a number of the things McKittrick preached are still applicable even as linemen have gotten bigger throughout the NFL.
“Being smart, being tough, being physical, knowing what to do, knowing your assignments,” Brown said. “All those things are going to apply to modern-day football. It’s never going to change. It’s going to be about leverage. It’s going to be about being physical.
“It’s going to be about being a good man. And I think that has a lot to do with whether you’re successful or not. We got some good people in this organization. We got some young players who need some grooming and growing. We got great teachers on the staff. I think those combinations will lead us to being a much better football team.”
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Brown said he has started the evaluation process of watching film with offensive line coach Mike Solari. He has also started studying the offensive playbook.
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In a statement released through the team, Singletary said: “Ray is a great addition to our team, particularly for our young guys. He exemplifies what it means to be an O-lineman. He has a tremendous work ethic and is an outstanding communicator. He’ll do a great job assisting Mike Solari in helping our offensive line become a dominant unit.”
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The 49ers have signed free-agent tight end Tony Curtis, who did not play last season but saw action in 16 games in 2007 and ’08 with the Dallas Cowboys. A blocking specialist, Curtis has 11 career receptions for 50 yards.
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