Brett Perriman's seemingly endless reservoir of determination and grit – combined with equal amounts of self-confidence and wit – made him a popular and productive player on Detroit Lions teams in the 1990s that contended consistently for division titles and playoff berths.
From his stay in Detroit, Perriman can count on support from former teammates, franchise executives and employees and fans as he battles a health crisis.
Perriman, 50, was taken to a Miami-area hospital Tuesday night after collapsing due to what media reports say was "extremely high blood pressure."
As further updates on Perriman's condition are awaited, a look back at his 10-year NFL career shows what a vital cog he was in the Lions' offense in a six-season span from 1991-96 that was the most productive of his career.
Perriman was acquired in a trade with New Orleans just before the start of the 1991 season, and it was more than a coincidence that the Lions were consistent winners in that span.
In his first five seasons in Detroit the Lions made the playoffs four times (1991, and 1993-95), won division titles in the old NFC Central twice (1991 and '93) and had double digit wins three times (12-4 in '91, 10-6 in '93 and '95).
It was a good run for the franchise, and Perriman enjoyed his role in putting the Lions in the race.
"Those were the best days in the world, and the fans were unbelievable," Perriman said in an interview last year. "The support we had – the roar – those were good people. You miss those days."
Barry Sanders was the focal point of the offense, but Perriman and Herman Moore combined to give the Lions one of the NFL's best receiving tandems.
In 1995 Perriman and Moore combined to set a single-season record that still stands for most combined catches (231) and receiving yards (3,174) by two teammates in the same season. Perriman's 108 catches gained 1,488 yards. Moore had 123 catches for 1,686 yards.
The 1996 season was Perriman's last in Detroit. He played one more season – dividing time with Kansas City and Miami in 1997 – and retired because of a knee injury.
As a Lion, Perriman ranks fourth on the all-time career list in receptions (428) and receiving yards (5,224). For his career he had 525 catches for 6,589 yards.
Brett has a son, Breshad Perriman, a wide receiver who was Baltimore's first-round draft pick in 2015. Breshad missed his rookie season because of an injury.