In a roundabout way, Orlando Brown Jr.'s late father — former longtime NFL veteran Orlando Brown — is one of the reasons Brown Jr. is the newest member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brown Jr.'s departure from the Baltimore Ravens was spurred on by his desire to play left tackle at the NFL level. After the Ravens signed left tackle Ronnie Stanley to a multi-year extension in October, it was clear that Brown wouldn't be able to fulfill that goal in Baltimore.
Brown spoke publicly and tweeted about his desire to move permanently to the left side of the line. On February 5 he tweeted, "I want to live out the dream my dad had for me."
Through a desire to follow through on the vision of his father, who died in 2011 at age 40, Brown sought to find a team who would acquire him, play him and pay him at left tackle. The Chiefs were looking for a franchise-caliber left tackle, which rarely hits the market.
In his introductory press conference on Monday, Brown explained his desire to move to the left side and discussed the impact his father had on him in more detail.
"This has nothing to do with finances. This has to do with the opportunity to play left tackle. I grew up, my father playing in this league for 13 years as a right tackle, he was a defensive tackle converted [to] right tackle. In my household, if you weren't playing left tackle, I'm not gonna say he disowned you, but you know what I mean, he kind of talked bad to you, so growing up, you know, there's countless stories I can tell.
One of them being my freshman year high school, they didn't think that I was ready to play left tackle, so they wanted to play me at offensive guard, and my dad went to the coach and told him, you know, straight up, 'Hey, if you're not playing him at left tackle, put him on defense.' And so I played defensive tackle my first year. And growing up as a child, when I committed to play this game, my dad didn't let me play. I mean, I literally had to call him crying as a 13-, 12-year-old kid, begging him to let me play football.
And something that he made me promise him was that I was going to be a left tackle and I was going to play in this league for 10-plus years and be a Hall of Famer. And something he always expressed to me and my siblings was 'be better than us.' And to have an opportunity to live out my dream, to have the opportunity to play left tackle in this league, to play for this organization is so special to me.
And that's my reasoning. You know, it's nothing to do with finances, it's the opportunity to live out my dream, my father's dream that he had for me and to go out here and win as a left tackle."
While Brown's desire to play left tackle to honor his father could have led him to any number of NFL teams, the Chiefs' need at the position aligned with a rare talent hitting the market with even more rare reasoning behind the move. Now, with Brown in Kansas City, everyone seems to have landed exactly where they want to be.