Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Almost All Time Cleveland Browns = Defense


Bob was a first round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 1951. He did not play that year. He joined the Browns in 1952, and stayed with them until he retired after the 1964 season. Bob only got into 8 total games his first two seasons. He played more in 1955, however, as a Middle Guard. Bob missed one game that year, but would not miss another game until 1964. He garnered his first Pro Bowl accolade in 1957. He would be a Pro Bowler in 1958 and 1959 as well. In 1960, Gain scored the only touchdown of his career. He intercepted the only pass of his career and took it 29 yards. He was a Pro Bowler again in 1961 and 1962.
Bob only played 4 games in 1964, but he retired on top. The Browns won the NFL Championship in 1954, 1955, and 1964 in Gains tenure.


Michael was a second round pick of the Browns in the 1988 draft. He may have been William "The Fridge" Perry's little brother, but he was the much bigger football player. Michael only started 2 games in his rookie year, but still managed 6 sacks and scored the only touchdown of his career off of a fumble recovery. He made his first Pro Bowl the next year, where he had 7 sacks and 92 tackles. Michael's 1990 season was the best of his career. He accumulated an impressive 107 tackles, to go with 11.5 sacks. He was also selected to his second Pro Bowl. He made the Pro Bowl again the next year, when he had 8.5 sacks. He duplicated that sack total in 1992, despite missing two games. Perry was selected to the Pro Bowl in both 1993 and 1994. He ended up playing for Denver in 1995, and was selected to his last Pro Bowl team in 1996. Michael played 9 games for the Broncos in1997, then played one game for Kansas City. He retired after that season. In seven seasons as a Brown, Michael Dean Perry had 51.5 sacks, 7 fumble recoveries, and 470 tackles in 109 games.


Bill was a first round draft pick of Detroit in 1957. He played with the Lions until 1961. He was part of the Lions 1957 NFL Championship team. He ended up a Brown in 1958, and made his first Pro Bowl team. He was an All Pro the next two seasons as well. He was a big part of the Browns 1964 NFL Championship team. In 1965, Glass picked off his first pass, as the Browns returned to the Championship game. The next season, he recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown. Bill intercepted another pass in 1967, and made his last Pro Bowl team. 1968 was Bill Glass' last season in the NFL, but he went out in style. He intercepted 2 passes, and scored the last touchdown of his career.


Paul was a sixth round draft pick of the Browns in 1956. He played right away, and is noted for creating several turnovers throughout his career. In 1960, Paul intercepted the first pass of his career, and took it 20 yards for a touchdown. He intercepted another pass in 1963 as well. In the Browns 1964 NFL Championship season, Wiggin recovered 3 fumbles and took one in for the last touchdown of his career. Paul made his first Pro Bowl team in 1965, as the Browns went on to lose in the NFL Championship game. Wiggin intercepted the last pass of his career in 1966, while recovering 4 fumbles. He made the last Pro Bowl team of his career in 1967, when he recovered 4 fumbles. He retired after that season. Paul Wiggin had 3 interceptions and 19 fumble recoveries in his 11 year career.


Jim was a first round draft pick of the Browns in 1960. He is the younger brother of Lin "Mr. Perfection" Houston, an Original Brown. Jim initially played Defensive End under Hall of Fame Coach Paul Brown. In 1963, Blanton Collier replaced Brown as the Head Coach. He moved Houston to Linebacker. In 1964, had 2 interceptions, and returned one for a touchdown. He also made his first Pro Bowl team that year, as the Browns captured the NFL Championship. He repeated as a Pro Bowler in 1965 as well. In 1967, Jim picked off 3 passes. He took 2 of them for the last touchdowns of his career. Houston went back to the Pro Bowl in both 1969 and 1970. Jim Houston retired after the 1972 season.


Clay is a guy one could certainly make a case for induction into Canton, so that he can join his little brother Bruce. Clay was a first round draft pick of Cleveland in 1978. He was spotted as a rookie, only starting two games, but managed his first career interception. Clay earned the starting job the next year, and would hold onto it until 1993. In the strike shortened season of 1982, Clay was injured and played only 2 games. The NFL finally started recognizing sacks as a statistic in 1983. Clay had 6 that season. Matthews followed that up with a career high 12 sacks the following season. In 1985, Clay made his first Pro Bowl team. He repeated that honor in 1987, when he took one of his three interceptions for a touchdown. Matthews made the Pro Bowl the next two seasons as well. 1989 would be the last year Clay scored a touchdown in the NFL, when he recovered a fumble in the end zone. It was also the last year he made the Pro Bowl team. In 1992, at 36 years old, Clay recorded 9 sacks and 111 tackles. His last year as a Brown was in 1993. He went on to play his last 3 years in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. At 40 years old in 1995, Clay was used as a situational pass rusher and recorded 6.5 sacks. With 1,430 tackles, 24 Forced Fumbles, 14 Interceptions, 13 Fumble Recoveries, and (at least) 216 sacks in 16 seasons as a Brown : one could easily say that Clay Matthews is one of the greatest Linebackers in Cleveland Browns history.


Walt may be best known by modern fans as a 6 year Head Coach of the New York Jets. He was also seventh round draft pick of the Browns in 1951. He ended up playing with the Green Bay Packers that year, as a backup. He returned to Cleveland the next season. He had a career high 4 interceptions that year. In 1953, Walt took his only interception 34 yards for a touchdown. In 1954 and 1955, Cleveland won the NFL Championship. He made his first Pro Bowl team in 1955, when he scored the last touchdown of his career on a 25 yard interception return. Michaels made the Pro Bowl over the next 4 seasons until 1959. He retired after the 1961 season, but was coaxed out of retirement to play one game for the 1963 New York Jets.


Don was a fourth round draft pick of the Chicago Cardinals in the 1950 draft. He did a little of everything for Chicago in his 4 seasons there. He carried the ball 73 times for 469 yards for 3 touchdowns, caught 48 passes for 690 yards and 7 touchdowns, completed a pass for 13 yards, intercepted 12 passes for 204 yards, recovered 9 fumbles, and returned 50 kickoffs for 1,207 yards. Paul led the NFL, as a rookie, in kickoff returns. Don was also the Cardinals primary punt returner. He took a punt 82 yards for a touchdown as a rookie, while averaging 10.8 yards per punt return. He made his first Pro Bowl, as a Cardinal, in 1953. Paul joined the Browns in their 1954 Championship season. He only returned one punt for 57 yards, but he also had 3 interceptions that year. In the Browns 1955 Championship season, Don had the last punt return touchdown of his career. He also had 4 interceptions. Don returned to the Pro Bowl in 1956, when he had a career high 7 interceptions and a career high 190 return yards. He also scored a touchdown. Paul made the Pro Bowl the next year, when he scored the last touchdown of his career on a 89 yard fumble recovery return. He also picked off opposing Quarterbacks 4 times. 1958 was Dons last year to play in the Pro Bowl and NFL. He retired following that season. He had 22 interceptions for 389 yards in his 5 years with Cleveland.


Eric was a first round draft pick of the Browns in 1991. Eric only played half of his rookie year at Strong Safety, but managed to pick off 2 passes and score a touchdown. He also piled up 84 tackles in that short time. He played in 15 games the next season and racked up 119 tackles. Turner was moved to Free Safety in 1993, and had a career high 159 tackles. He also had 5 interceptions. Turner made his first Pro Bowl team the next season, when he led the NFL with 9 interceptions. He had 199 return yards, and scored on a 93 yard return. Eric moved on with the Browns to Baltimore in 1996. He made his last Pro Bowl that season. Turner then finished his career in Oakland. Eric recovered a fumble in 1997, and returned it for a touchdown. In 1998, he had 3 interceptions in just 6 games played. He returned one an NFL long of 94 yards, for the last touchdown of his career. He retired after the 1999 season.


Hanford was a first round draft pick of the Browns in 1981. He earned the starting job right away, but his rookie season would be the only year of his 9 year career where he did not record an interception. Dixon quickly gained the reputation of being a top flight Cornerback in the AFC. Hanford went to the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons between 1986 to 1988. By the time Hanford Dixon retired after the 1989 season, he accumulated 26 interceptions. He is also one of the most beloved players of Cleveland's famous "Dawg Pound", to which he is credited with creating by barking at his team mates.


Frank is also part of the "Dawg Pound" lore. He is also a member of the NFL 1980's All Decade Team. Frank was not drafted, and actually began his professional football career in the USFL. He joined the Browns in 1984. He made his first Pro Bowl team in 1986, and would remain an All Pro until 1989. 1991 was the only year of Franks career where he did not record an interception.He retired after the 1992 season with 20 career interceptions. Many NFL fans who remember that era recall that Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield were one of the best Cornerback tandems in the 1980's.


On most franchises, Blanton would be considered the best ever. Unfortunately for him, he followed Paul Brown. Still, in his 8 years as the Browns coach, Blanton had a regular season record of 76 wins and 34 losses. He won a NFL Championship, and led his team back to the Championship the following season. His .691 winning percentage is most impressive.

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