Brown Gets Motivated Playing Ex-Employers

Coming to Southern California as a visitor was a new--and costly--experience for Cleveland Browns linebacker Richard Brown. So he made the Chargers pay some of the freight on Sunday.

A lifelong Southland resident and a Charger linebacker until he was left an unprotected free agent last spring, Brown was instrumental in his team's 30-24 overtime victory over the Chargers.

Brown, who grew up in Orange County and played his college ball at San Diego State, made the first hit on Rod Bernstine when the Browns held the Chargers on a fourth-and-one at the two-yard line early in the second quarter, and he derailed another Charger drive by intercepting a pass on the last play of the third quarter, setting up a Cleveland touchdown.

Even though he had 56 family members and friends in attendance--he bought all their tickets--and heard plenty of comments from the Chargers, though he wouldn't elaborate, Brown's motivation was strictly personal and aimed at the organization.

He wanted to stick it to the team that hadn't considered him--or fellow linebacker David Brandon--essential. Brandon also plays for Cleveland now.

"Usually, you play football and it's business--today, it was personal," Brown said. "They told us we weren't good enough to play for them. That hurt us a lot.

"My name was on the unprotected list. That's terrifying. (The Chargers) could've made an attempt to have me back but they didn't want me too bad. The Browns made an offer I wanted."

So he left the Golden State for Ohio.

"I'm a California kid, still live in Rancho Penasquitos," Brown said. "This was my first time in California as a visitor. My whole family was here. I was psyched up. They (Chargers) also said some stuff about me personally that I didn't appreciate. I'm not gonna comment on it but that was my motivation."

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