Winning a Super Bowl is something that former Ravens Orlando Brown Jr. and Brandon Williams hope to cross off their bucket list Sunday.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Brown will be one of the most important players in Super Bowl LVII as Kansas City's starting left tackle protecting Patrick Mahomes' blindside against the Eagles' ferocious pass rush, which led the league with 70 sacks. Williams, who signed with the Chiefs in December, is part of a Kansas City defensive tackle rotation that faces the challenge of slowing down Philadelphia's multi-dimensional offense.
Brown wants to win the Lombardi Trophy not only for himself, but for his father, the late Orlando Brown Sr., a former Ravens right tackle who passed away in 2011 when his son was only 15. Brown feels very much as if he's carrying his father's legacy into the biggest game of his career.
"My dad had a huge impact on me," Brown said this week in Arizona. "Even before I started playing the game, the things that he spoke to me about, moving on, making mistakes, going through things in your career and life and not allowing them to affect you as a player. Taking coaching properly. Being humble.
"Not having a dad after the age of 15 was very tough for me. Now having a son that's two years old, looking at him every day, seeing the way that he's continuing to grow, thinking back on the time missed that you can't get back. It's so beautiful to be a father, every day to look in my son's eyes, look into my girlfriend's eyes, to know we carried a life like this. If anything, it motivates me more."
Drafted by the Ravens in 2018, Brown became an All-Pro right tackle, but his desire to play left tackle as his father always preached was a major reason he asked the Ravens to trade him in 2021. Baltimore had recently re-signed All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley to a new contract, and Brown knew that to play left tackle, he’d have to find another team.
Brown has been a two-time Pro Bowler at left tackle for the Chiefs, but he played under the franchise tag this season after he and the Chiefs could not agree to a long-term deal. Brown has made it clear he'd like to remain in Kansas City if he and the Chiefs can find common ground on a new contract.
However, Brown's future for next season remains uncertain, and he intends to capture a Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, knowing it could be his last game with the Chiefs.
"I was brought there to win a Super Bowl," Brown said. "You don't have too many opportunities like this. When it comes to free agency, that will all take care of itself."
The 33-year-old Williams was drafted by the Ravens in 2013, just a couple months after they won Super Bowl XLVII. He spent his first nine seasons with the Ravens as one of the NFL's premier run stoppers, making the Pro Bowl in 2018. Williams wasn't sure if he would continue playing this season, but when his phone started ringing this fall, he narrowed his choices to the Giants and Chiefs.
Playing for the Giants would have reunited Williams with former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale, but Williams chose Kansas City. He's a Missouri native, which moved Williams closer to family, and he has relationships with former Ravens coaches who are on Kansas City's staff – Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen.
"Me coming here a month ago, I've just been here playing my role, doing my run stopper stuff just making sure I'm needed and when I'm needed I perform," Williams told Max Preston of [extra space]KSNW TV in Wichita. "I'm just here doing my thing and trying to keep us going."
Williams said he was moved to tears when the Chiefs defeated the Bengals to win the AFC Championship. He's hoping for an even bigger thrill Sunday.
"Ten years in the making and I'm finally here and I'm proud," Williams said. "Can't be more proud of the men around me, I'm proud of myself, I'm proud of just being from Joplin, being from Missouri Southern and grinding it all the way to here. It's crazy, from MOSO to the Super Bowl, baby, let's go."