Legendary Raiders defensive back Willie Brown has died, reports say. He was 78.
East Bay Times reported a cause of death has not been announced.
Brown was the face of the franchise for years, including well after his retirement. But his deteriorating health meant he took a step back from the public eye in recent months, NBC Sports Bay Area reported.
Brown joined the Raiders in 1967 after four seasons with the Denver Broncos. He stayed with the team until his retirement after the 1978 season, East Bay Times reported.
NFL.com reported Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. It was his first year of eligibility, TMZ Sports reported. The San Francisco Chronicle reported he helped the Raiders get their first Super Bowl win.
From 1979 to 1988, Brown was an assistant coach for the Raiders, East Bay Times reported.
In 1995, Brown came back to the Raiders in a team ambassador role after coaching at Long Beach State and Jordan High School in Los Angeles.
The team has not commented on Brown's death.
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