Featured Interview: Cliff Branch “3 Time NFL Super Bowl Champ”
Reggie Rusk of Next Level had a great opportunity to interview future NFL Hall of Famer, Cliff Branch.
Cliff Branch was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 4th round (98th overall) of the 1972 NFL Draft.
He spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, winning three Super Bowl rings in Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII. Branch holds the distinction of being the only wide receiver to be a member of all 3 Raiders Super Bowl teams.
The story people do not know is that Cliff Branch played in 5 championship games before finally winning his first Super Bowl. “Super Bowl 11 vs the Steelers was the best! The reason was that it was the first!”, says Cliff.
Cliff grew up in Houston, Texas and started playing football at 9 yrs old. He started playing football because of older kids in his neighborhood. Cliff soon realized that he was one of the fastest kids in his neighborhood.
Cliff began training or working out in junior high school. Doing isometric bars and push-ups. In junior high, his he knew he loved the receiver position because he watched greats like Bob Hayes and Otis Taylor. Cliff ran track also which helped in with his speed.
Cliff believes that young athletes must first be “coachable”. Cliff thinks speed over technique. “Speed is what got me noticed!”, says Cliff. At the height of 5’11″, his size never mattered to him because he was always fast!
In junior high, it was Coach Oliver Brown who noticed Cliff’s gift and helped him with his running technique. Coach Brown(track and youth football coach) made the difference in his life. Cliff went on to become the first schoolboy in Texas history to run the 100 in 9.3. In fact, he did it twice.
Cliff explained that coach Brown was his guardian angel.