Matt Brock turns 54 today. Born on January 14, 1966 in Ogden, Utah, the 6’5” 300-pound defensive lineman learned the hard way that in pro football you are either getting better or you are on your way out. Drafted out of Oregon in the third round in 1989, Brock moved into the starting lineup at defensive end in 1990 and led the Packers defensive linemen in tackles for three years from 1990-92.
Green Bay signed Reggie White in ’93, so Brock moved to the other side of the line, but his productivity declined. Ron Wolf signed veterans Sean Jones and Steve McMichael in ’94, but Brock thought he deserved more money even though it was clear the team was looking for better production from the line. He held out for six weeks before signing for the veterans’ minimum salary in late August. He was then listed as inactive for the first 11 games of the year.
Despite being a popular local player who had his own “Breakfast with Brock” radio program in Green Bay, Matt was eager to move on in 1995 and signed with the Jets under new coach Rich Kotite. Brock told the New York press that Ron Wolf was mad at him for holding out and told the coaching staff not to play him the previous year. Wolf rationally responded, “It’s about winning and losing and if a player isn’t doing it, he gets replaced.” Brock himself admitted, “In Green Bay, I got the job pretty easy when I was young. I think I got at a comfort level in Green Bay and I stopped improving.”
Brock scored his only NFL touchdown in his first game with the Jets on a three-yard fumble recovery, but it was all downhill from there. Kotite’s Jets went 4-28 in 1995-96, while the Packers won the division crown in ’95 and the Super Bowl in ’96. Brock’s career ended after the ’96 season.
Matt’s father Clyde also played pro ball. Clyde lettered one year at Utah State, playing behind future NFL stalwarts Merlin Olsen and Clark Miller. Still, the Bears drafted the 6’5” 275-pound tackle in the second round in 1962 while the AFL’s Oilers took him in the eighth round. The Bears cut Clyde, but he landed with the Cowboys for a year and a half. He finished 1963 with the 49ers, but was cut by San Francisco in ’64. Although Houston was still interested, he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and appeared in 158 games with them from 1964-75. A five-time CFL All-Star, he was selected for the Canadian Pro Football Hall of Fame in July 2020 at the age of 80.
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