The Browns took a quantum leap into the future on Feb. 9, 1982.
That’s when they hired their first strength and conditioning coach, Dave “Red Man” Redding.
Redding, 29, starred as a defensive end for Nebraska and had spent three years as the strength and conditioning coach at Missouri immediately before coming to Cleveland.
Sam Rutigliano was coaching the Browns at the time, but even after he was dismissed midway through the 1984 season, Redding was retained by his successor, Marty Schottenheimer.
Redding was with the Browns for seven years, leaving when Schottenheimer was dismissed at the end of the 1988 season. For almost the next two decades, Redding followed Schottenheimer around to the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, and San Diego Chargers.
He then went -- without Schottenheimer -- to the Green Bay Packers in 2009 and was part of their Super Bowl-winning team following the 2010 season, after which he retired, ending a 24-year career in the NFL.
Redding is now considered one of the pioneers in pro football in terms of strength and conditioning. When he was hired in Cleveland, few organizations in the league had even heard of such a coaching position.
He received rave reviews from Browns players when he was with the team. They realized they were becoming stronger and getting into better physical condition, something that was needed at the time to compete with the tough-minded, hard-hitting clubs in the AFC Central such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Oilers.
This same day in Browns history is brought to you today by Cleveland Clinic. With 27 locations, world class care is always near you. Call 855-411-DAWG for a same-day appointment.