News10NBC’s Raven Brown’s father, who is a former Patriots player, weighs in on Damar Hamlin’s injury

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – News10NBC is hearing from a former pro football player and coach, who has a very special tie to the News10NBC family.

News10NBC’s Raven Brown’s father, is a former linebacker for the New England Patriots and Raven spoke with him about his perspective on Damar Hamlin’s injury.

Many may know him as “The Undertaker” or “Coach Brown,” but to News10NBC’s Raven Brown, he’s always been “Dad.”

Vincent Brown is a former Patriots player and current football coach for William & Mary.

“You go out and give it your best and you pray that at the end of each contest, you’re able to walk off and live to see another day,” Brown said.

He knows firsthand how Hamlin’s injury can affect both the players and the coaches.

“The first thought was ‘please let him be OK,’ Brown said. My heart went out to him and his family and the entire Bills organization.”

Brown was an inside linebacker for the New England Patriots from 1988 to 1995.

He watched, along with millions of others, as 24-year-old Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, was injured on the field while they played the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I had a very frightening situation of my own,” Brown said. “I think it was 1992 when I went in to make a tackle and literally lost feeling in all of my extremities and I was down on the ground for probably 10, 15 minutes, was carted off, strapped to the board, and taken to the hospital. “At that moment, my biggest fears were not ever being able to walk again and play with your brother Vincent, because you weren’t around at that time.”

As a former player and now Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator for William & Mary, Brown said when it comes to the game, you’re always thinking about the health and safety of the players.

“We know there are some inherent risks in playing the game,” Brown said. “Some of those risks don’t really manifest themselves until you’re older, but it’s something we signed up for, as a former player, I signed up for it and you just go out and try to do the best you can and pray that, God gives you the strength to get through those contests.”

Brown said the outpouring of support from other NFL teams and fans across the country, shows that the NFL is a small family and that some things are bigger than football.

“I truly believe that by them suspending the game last night, it put a value on that young man’s life, that his life was more important than the outcome of a playoff game, playoff seedings, and whatnot,” Brown said.

“Hopefully he continues to improve, because his life is more important than those things.”