Warren Western Reserve standout and NFL star Ross Browner died Tuesday night from complications of COVID-19, the Cincinnati Bengals reported late last night.
Browner, 67, played on the Bengals’ first Super Bowl team. According to the Bengals, Browner died “just three weeks shy of the 40th anniversary of his greatest game as a pro. An explosive defensive end who is fifth on the Bengals all-time sack list with 59, Browner had a game-high 10 tackles and the Bengals’ only sack of college teammate Joe Montana in Cincinnati’s 26-21 loss to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.”
Browner was born in 1954 in Warren. After winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman and the Maxwell Trophy as the nation’s best play while at Notre Dame, he became the eighth pick in the 1978 NFL Draft.
According to the Bengals’ website: “When Browner played in the Ohio all-star game after his senior season at Western Reserve High School, he remembers Bengal’s founder Paul Brown coming into the locker room. Brown, still the Bengals head coach, asked Browner where he was headed to college and assured him, he’d keep an eye on him.”
Browner also played for Green Bay.
Six of his brother also were high school All-Americans, three of them also played in the NFL, his son, tackle Max Starks, won two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and one of his nephews also played in the NFL.
Read more and local reactions in the Thursday Tribune Chronicle.