From one of the NFL’s greatest coaches, to a championship quarterback who was Otto-matic, to one of the greatest running backs of all-time, the Browns’ best will be on display starting in 2010 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns will pay homage to their great history - one of the richest in the NFL - by introducing the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor. The initial group of inductees will consist of the 16 former Browns enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The names of these 16 greats will be prominently displayed on the facade of the upper deck of the stadium.
The Browns are also partnering with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to create a special season-long exhibit known as Heritage Hall. This 4,600-square foot exhibition space will be located in Browns Town at Cleveland Browns Stadium and will serve as a tribute to the club’s storied past. This area will consist of displays from the 16 Ring of Honor inductees, including their busts, as well as memorabilia and photography from the team’s history.
The Browns also announced that they will reinstitute their Legends Program in 2010. This program, which started in 2001, honors the men who have contributed to the success of the Cleveland Browns organization.
“Our heritage and alumni are vital parts of our organization,” said Browns President Mike Holmgren. “The Cleveland Browns franchise has such a tremendous history and tradition that we felt it was extremely important to visibly honor the greats who have laid the groundwork for everyone associated with the Cleveland Browns. The creation of the Ring of Honor and the reinstitution of the Legends Program are just the start of how we plan to pay tribute to our history. When our fans now enter Cleveland Browns Stadium they will constantly be reminded of the great players and most memorable moments in our club’s past. The contributions of these 16 men will always be remembered.”
The Ring of Honor induction ceremony and unveiling will take place at halftime of the Browns’ regular season home opener, against Kansas City on Sunday, September 19, and will culminate a week-long celebration of activities, the details of which will be announced at a later date.
2010 RING OF HONOR INDUCTEES:
RB JIM BROWN (1957-1965) – Rushed for 12,312 yards on 2,359 career carries in 118 games… Totaled 126 career touchdowns with 106 rushing and 20 receiving… Led the NFL in rushing in eight of his nine seasons… Led the league in touchdowns five seasons… Recorded 58 career 100-yard rushing performances… Earned NFL Most Valuable Player award in 1957, 1958 and 1964… Named NFL Rookie of the Year in 1957… Selected to nine consecutive Pro Bowls… Uniform number 32 retired by the Browns… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1971.
COACH PAUL BROWN (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL: 1950-62) – Browns’ first ever head coach and general manager… Led the Browns to four consecutive AAFC championships from 1946-49 and to NFL titles in 1950, 1954 and 1955… Posted a 111-44-5 career NFL record in the regular season and 4-5 mark in the playoffs… Recorded a 47-4-3 career AAFC record in the regular season and a 5-0 mark in the playoffs… Registered a career combined record of 167-53-8 (.750) with the Browns and only one losing season in 17 years… Also coached the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968-75… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1967.
OL JOE DeLAMIELLEURE (1980-84) – Helped pave the way for three 1,000-yard rushing performers… Protected quarterback Brian Sipe who threw for an NFL-leading 4,132 yards in 1980… Selected to the 1981 Pro Bowl with the Browns… Did not miss a game during his NFL career, appearing in 185 consecutive, including 73 contests with the Browns… Also played for the Buffalo Bills from 1973-79 and 1985… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2003.
DL LEN FORD (1950-57) – Selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1952-55… Helped the Browns to NFL titles in 1950, 1954 and 1955… His stellar play at the defensive end position helped the Browns lead the league in fewest points allowed six times, including five seasons in a row from 1953-57… Also played for the Los Angeles Dons of the AAFC from 1948-49 and the Green Bay Packers in 1958… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1976.
OL FRANK GATSKI (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL 1950-56) – Helped pave the way to four consecutive AAFC championships from 1946-49 and NFL titles in 1950, 1954 and 1955… Helped the Browns appear in 10 consecutive championship games from 1946-55… Selected to the 1957 Pro Bowl… Also played for the Detroit Lions in 1957… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1985.
QB OTTO GRAHAM (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL: 1950-55) – Led the Browns to the championship game in each of his 10 seasons, winning four AAFC titles and three NFL championships… Led the AAFC in passing yards all four years and led the NFL in 1953 and 1955… Totaled a combined 23,584 career passing yards and 174 touchdowns in the AAFC and NFL… Also rushed for 46 career touchdowns… Registered a 57-13-1 (.810) record as a starter in the NFL… Selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls, from 1951-55… Uniform number 14 retired by the Browns… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1965.
OL/K LOU GROZA (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL: 1950-59, 1961-67 – Browns career record holder with 234 field goals made, 641 extra points made and 1,349 career points… Selected to nine Pro Bowls (1951-56, 58-60)… Helped the Browns to four consecutive AAFC championships, from 1946-49, and to NFL titles, in 1950, 1954 and 1955… Uniform number 76 retired by Browns… Nicknamed “The Toe”… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1974.
OL GENE HICKERSON (1958-60, 1962-73) – Served as a lead blocker for three Hall of Fame running backs in Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell, and Leroy Kelly… Voted to six straight Pro Bowls, from 1966-71… Browns posted a 1,000-yard rusher in nine of his first 10 seasons and featured league’s leading rusher seven times… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2007.
RB LEROY KELLY (1964-73) – Gained 7,274 rushing yards, 12,329 combined yards and 90 touchdowns… NFL leading rusher in 1967 and 1968… Recorded three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (1966-68)… Selected to six consecutive Pro Bowls, from 1967-72… Posted 27 career 100-yard performances… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1994.
WR DANTE LAVELLI (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL: 1950-56) - Helped the Browns to four consecutive AAFC championships, from 1946-49 and to NFL titles in 1950, 1954 and 1955… Recorded 142 receptions for 2,580 yards with 29 touchdowns in the AAFC and 244 receptions for 3,908 yards with 33 touchdowns for a combined total of 386 receptions for 6,488 yards with 62 touchdowns… Selected to the Pro Bowl in 1952, 1954 and 1955… Nicknamed “Gluefingers”… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1975.
OL MIKE McCORMACK (1954-62) – Selected to five Pro Bowls (1957-58, 1961-63) with the Browns… Helped the team to three NFL championship games, winning titles in 1954 and 1955… Helped pave the way for the Browns to lead the league in rushing yards in 1958 and 1959… Also played for the New York Yanks in 1951… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1984.
WR/HB BOBBY MITCHELL (1958-61) – Registered 2,297 rushing yards on 423 attempts with 38 rushing scores while playing in the same backfield as fellow Hall of Famer Jim Brown… Also amassed 1,462 receiving yards on 128 receptions, 607 yards on 54 punts returns and 1,150 yards on 62 kickoff returns while with the Browns… Selected to the 1961 Pro Bowl with the Browns… Also played for the Washington Redskins from 1962-68… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1983.
FB MARION MOTLEY (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL: 1950-53) – Helped the Browns to four consecutive AAFC championships from 1946-49 and to an NFL title in 1950… Career AAFC stats include 489 attempts for an AAFC all-time leading 3,024 yards with 31 touchdowns… Career NFL stats with the Browns include 337 attempts for 1,688 yards and eight touchdowns… Led the NFL in rushing in 1950… Selected to the 1951 Pro Bowl… Also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1968.
TE OZZIE NEWSOME (1978-90) – Recorded 662 career receptions for 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns… Led the Browns in receptions and receiving yards from 1981-85… Caught a pass in 150 consecutive games… Did not miss a game, playing in 198 consecutive contests… Selected to the Pro Bowl in 1982, 1985 and 1986… Nicknamed “The Wizard of Oz”… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1999.
WR PAUL WARFIELD (1964-69, 1976-77) – Recorded 271 receptions for 5,210 yards and 52 touchdowns as a Brown… As a rookie, led the team in receiving yards and helped the club capture the 1964 NFL championship… Named to three Pro Bowls with Cleveland (1965, 1969 and 1970)… Also played for the Miami Dolphins from 1971-74, including the undefeated 1972 team… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1983.
OL BILL WILLIS (AAFC: 1946-49, NFL: 1950-53) – Helped the Browns to four consecutive AAFC championships from 1946-49 and to an NFL title in 1950… Selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls from 1951-53… Enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1977.