This Day in Browns History: Feb. 1

Posted by Matt Florjancic on February 1, 2012 – 4:08 pm

By: Steve King, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Clinic presents This Day in Browns History.  If you call 1.800.274.2009, Cleveland Clinic will schedule an appointment for either the same day or the next day, including Saturdays.  Call to learn more.

A day after news leaked that running back/wide receiver Bobby Mitchell had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, it was announced Feb. 1, 1983 that another former Browns player, wide receiver Paul Warfield, would be joining him when the class of 1983 was enshrined.

It marked the first, and only, time that two former Browns have been inducted in the same year.

Warfield, who played at Warren (Ohio) Harding High School and then was a two-way back for legendary coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State, was taken in the first round by the Browns in the 1964 NFL Draft. Later in that same draft, the Browns took another Hall of Famer in running back Leroy Kelly, who was inducted 11 years later in 1994.

Warfield joins Dante Lavelli as the only two Browns wide receivers in the Hall.

Warfield was an immediate hit, leading the Browns in receiving as a rookie in 1964 with a career-best 52 catches for 920 yards (a 17.7 yards-per-reception average) and nine touchdowns in helping lead the club to its first NFL championship in nine years.

He missed virtually all of the 1965 season with a broken collarbone but returned to form in 1966 and starred for four years before being traded to Miami just before the 1970 NFL Draft for the No. 3 overall pick owned by the Dolphins. The Browns used that choice to draft Purdue quarterback Mike Phipps.

After helping the Dolphins win two Super Bowls, Warfield returned to the Browns in 1976 and played two more seasons to finish out his career.

In the eight-season Cleveland portion of his career, he had 271 receptions for 5,210 yards (fourth-most in club history) for a 19.2 yards-per-catch average (second) and 52 touchdowns (second).

Also on this date, Feb. 1, in Browns history:

*In the 1972 NFL Draft, safety Thom Darden, from Sandusky (Ohio) High School and Michigan, was selected in the first round. He had an outstanding nine-year career with the Browns (1972-74 and 1976-81, missing 1975 with a knee injury) and finished as the club’s career interceptions leader with 45.

*In 1970, Del Speer was born in Miami. A product of Florida, he played all of 1993 and half of ’94 with the Browns as a reserve defensive back.

*In 1964, Jamie Holland was born in Raleigh, N.C. A seventh-round pick of San Diego in the 1987 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, the wide receiver played three years for the Chargers and two for the Los Angeles Raiders before finishing his career by performing briefly for the Browns in 1992.


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This Day in Browns History: Jan. 31

Posted by Matt Florjancic on February 1, 2012 – 4:07 pm

By: Steve King, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Clinic presents This Day in Browns History.  If you call 1.800.274.2009, Cleveland Clinic will schedule an appointment for either the same day or the next day, including Saturdays.  Call to learn more.

When the Browns signed Paul Brown to be their first coach and general manager as World War II was ending, they knew he was special.

It wasn’t long before they realized just how special he was – or that he might be coveted by other pro football teams.

That’s why, after he had guided them to the All-America Football Conference title in each of their first three years of existence, including having a perfect 15-0 season in 1948, the Browns signed him to a new contract on Jan. 31, 1949, that would keep him in Cleveland for the next seven years.

The pact called for Brown to be paid $25,000 per year, which equates to approximately $237,636 today, plus a portion of gate receipts.

The move ended rumors – at least temporarily — that Brown would return to Ohio State, where he coached from 1941-43 and guided the Buckeyes to their first national championship in 1942 after having been coach at Massillon (Ohio) High School from 1932-40.

Two years later, in 1951, the rumors about Brown going to Ohio State started again when the school was looking for a coach. NBC, in fact, even reported that Brown would return to OSU.

But those rumors died – permanently, as it turned out – when Ohio State hired a coach from Miami (Ohio), where, interestingly enough, Brown had played as a quarterback. His name was Wayne Hayes, better known as Woody Hayes.

While Hayes was guiding the Buckeyes to national championships, the first one coming following the 1954 season, Brown continued to take the Browns to league championships in the AAFC in 1949 and then in the NFL in 1950, ’54 and ’55. Yes, both coaches were champions in 1954.

Brown is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as is Bobby Mitchell, one of his former players in Cleveland.

And on this same date, Jan. 31, in 1983, news leaked out that Mitchell, a running back/returner for the Browns from 1958-61 and then a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins from 1962-68, had been elected to the Hall of Fame. Mitchell is one of four Browns running backs in the Hall, joining Marion Motley, Jim Brown, and Leroy Kelly.

*

Also on this date, Jan. 31:

*In 1982, another Browns Hall of Famer, tight end Ozzie Newsome, had a role in the AFC’s last-second, 16-13 victory over the NFC in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu. He caught two passes, one of which came in the game-winning drive.

*In 1957, on the final day of the NFL Draft, the Browns selected two future Hall of Famers, Virginia defensive tackle Henry Jordan in the fifth round and Mississippi guard Gene Hickerson in the seventh round. Hickerson spent all of his career with the Browns, while Jordan played almost exclusively with the Green Bay Packers.

Incidentally, two months before on the first day of the 1957 NFL Draft, the Browns picked another Hall of Famer in the opening round in Jim Brown. 


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