This Day in Browns History: Mar. 6

Posted by Matt Florjancic on March 6, 2012 – 3:39 pm

By: Steve King, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

Three of the 15 Browns players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame also spent significant portions of their careers with other clubs.

Two of them are Paul Warfield and Bobby Mitchell.

The other is guard Joe DeLamielleure, who was born March 5, 1951 in Detroit.

Taken in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft out of Michigan State by Buffalo, he played seven seasons with the Bills and was a key part of their famed “Electric Company” offensive line that blocked for Hall-of-Fame running back O.J. Simpson.

He went to another great line when he was traded to the Browns in 1980, helping the Kardiac Kids finish 11-5 and win their first AFC Central title in eight years. Although quarterback Brian Sipe attempted 554 passes, he was sacked only 23 times.

That year, DeLamielleure became the first NFL player to have locked for a 2,000-yard rusher (Simpson) and a 4,000-yard passer in Sipe, who had a club-record 4,132 yards.

He remained in Cleveland for five seasons, then returned to Buffalo in 1985 to finish his 13-year career.

Other former Browns born on March 5 include quarterback Jerry Rhome (1942 in Dallas) and running back Vegas Ferguson (1957 in Richmond, Ind.).

Rhome was a 13th-round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys in 1964 out of Tulsa and remained with them for four years before going to the Browns in 1969 and serving as a backup to Bill Nelsen and also the holder for kicker Don Cockroft. He played the next two seasons with Cleveland’s division rivals, the Houston Oilers, and the Los Angeles Rams before retiring.

Ferguson, a Notre Dame product, was drafted in the first round in 1980 by the New England Patriots and spent three years with them. He then played briefly for both the Browns and Oilers in 1983 before retiring.

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