It was a great start for the Browns on the first night of reveals for the NFL's All-Time Team.
Hall of Famers and Browns Legends Jim Brown and Marion Motley were among the 12 running backs named to the team, which was unveiled in a Friday night TV special on NFL Network. The Browns' first coach and namesake, Paul Brown, and former coach Bill Belichick were also honored as the All-Time Team's first two of 10 coaches.
Jim Brown was the first of any player or coach to be named to the team, and that wasn't by accident. Brown joined hosts Rich Eisen and Cris Collinsworth and Belichick to reflect on a career that still resonates in today's modern NFL.
"At my age, to be relevant, is not too bad," said the 83-year-old Brown.
Brown, a 1971 Hall of Fame inductee, was a three-time MVP and eight-time rushing champion during his memorable, nine-year career with the Browns. Cleveland made Brown, a star athlete at Syracuse on the football and lacrosse fields, the No. 6 pick in the 1957 draft and watched him go on to post 12,312 rushing yards and a whopping 756 points scored.
"It looked like a dad playing football in the backyard with his kids, and the kids are wrapped around his legs and you're sort of dragging -- and you certainly don't want to hurt the poor little kids -- that's what it looked like," Collinsworth said. "It was like a different sort of being was playing football with some young kids on the field."
Motley, a 1968 Hall of Fame inductee and one of the NFL's first African-American players, preceded Brown as Cleveland's bell cow running back and provided a similar, dominant presence out of the backfield. The two-time All-Pro was a four-time champion during the Browns' AAFC days while rushing 828 times for 4,720 yards over nine seasons. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry for his career.
"I'd always heard so much about him as the person and breaking the color barrier, and then I got to watch the tape," Collinsworth said. "The tape is so stunning that it is almost hard to describe. It looks like someone messed up and put a guard or a tackle in the backfield."
Paul Brown, the team's first coach who led the Browns to four AAFC championships -- Cleveland lost just four games in its four AAFC seasons -- and three NFL championships during his 17 seasons in Cleveland, was one of the easiest choices for the All-Time Team's committee to make. Not only did he rack up 167 wins, but he was also one of the game's great innovators.
"He's the greatest coach in the history of professional football, clear and simple," Belichick said. "Everything we do today, everything I do today, Paul Brown did. It all started with Paul Brown. He took football from being a sport to a profession."
Belichick began his head coaching career in Cleveland and was the team's last head coach before the franchise moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season. He went 36-44 over five seasons and led the team to a playoff victory over the Patriots in 1994.
One more coach and a combined 26 defensive linemen and linebackers will be added to the team in next week's episode, which can be seen next Friday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.