50 Greatest Browns of All-Time: 20-11
Here is our next installment of the 50 Greatest Browns of All-Time. If you did not see the previous articles, please make sure to check them out.
20. Joe Haden, CB (2010-2016)
The last few seasons that Haden was a member of the Browns many fans complained about Haden’s injury history. Now that he is no longer on the team, it is clear that the Browns were much better with him (even sometimes injured) than without him. To many fans, the worst part of Haden leaving the Browns is that he signed with the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. In his seven seasons with the Browns, he intercepted 19 passes and had 100 passes defended. In 2013 and 2014, he was named to the Pro Bowl.
19. Eric Metcalf, RB (1989-1994)
Metcalf was drafted by the Browns in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft. Besides playing running back, he was also a return ace. In his six seasons with the Browns, Metcalf scored 33 touchdowns, seven of them on returns. On October 24, 1993, he had two punt returns for touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His father, Terry Metcalf, also played running back in the NFL in the 1970s.
18. Felix Wight, S (1985-1990)
Before joining the Browns, Felix Wright played in the CFL. When he joined the Browns, he played a lot on special teams, but eventually became a major contributor on defense. In 1989, Wright had a league-high nine interceptions.
17. Frank Ryan, QB (1962-1968)
Ryan was acquired to be a backup to Jim Ninowski and had the opportunity to start after Ninowski broke his collarbone. Ryan stepped in and played well for the Browns. In 1964, he led the Browns to their last championship as he posted 2,404 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. In 1968, after starting 1 – 2, Ryan was replaced by Bill Nelsen, who led the team to a division title. The only Browns quarterback to pass for more touchdowns than Ryan has been Brian Sipe.
16. Josh Cribbs, WR (2005-2012)
Josh Cribbs, a former college quarterback, was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent and would go on to have an amazing career as a return man. He is tied with Leon Washington for the most career kickoff return touchdowns with eight. As a member of the Browns, Cribbs accumulated 14,065 all-purpose yards. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and now, in retirement, he has joined the Browns as a special teams coaching intern.
15. Hanford Dixon, CB (1981-1989)
Dixon played his entire career for the Browns. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1986-1988 and named an All-Pro in 1986 and 1987. Dixon and Frank Minnifield (#25 on our list) were one of the best cornerback tandems in NFL history. Besides for their excellent play on the field, they were integral parts of the founding of the Dawg Pound. In Week 2 of the 1986 season, he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
14. Bob Golic, DT (1982-1988)
Bob Golic played for a very good defensive unit for the Browns during the 1980s. He was named an All-Pro in 1985 and 1986. Golic made the Pro Bowl three times as a member of the Browns. While he was in high school, he was a member of the wrestling team and sparred against future Browns teammate Tom Cousineau. What Bob Golic may be best known for is his role on Saved by the Bell: The College Years, where he played Mike Rogers. He was the resident advisor and was supposed to be the Mr. Belding-type character. He had the opportunity to show some of his football skills in a montage where Zach, Slater and Screech were helping him practice before a try-out.
13. Phil Dawson, K (1999-2012)
In Phil Dawson’s 14 seasons with the Browns, his field goal percentage was 84% and his extra point percentage was 97.8%. In his final season with the Browns in 2012, Dawson was named to his only Pro Bowl. Phil Dawson has a rule named after him. The rule allows field goal and extra point attempts that hit the uprights or crossbar to be reviewed. Phil Dawson is a big fan- favorite and it is no surprise that he is so highly ranked.
12. Brian Sipe, QB (1974-1983)
Brian Sipe was drafted in the 13th round of the 1972 Draft and spent two years on the team’s reserve squad before seeing any on-field action in 1974. In 1980, Sipe was named the NFL MVP after posting 4,132 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. In his career, he threw 154 touchdowns and 149 interceptions. He had a few great seasons and a few average (or below) seasons. While he would by no means ever be considered for the Hall of Fame, he is one of those players who bring a healthy dose of nostalgia to those who watched him play.
11. Earnest Byner, RB (1984-1988, 1994-1995)
Earnest Byner was a 10th round draft pick for the Browns. Unfortunately, many people still associate Earnest Byner with “The Fumble,” however; he deserves a lot of credit and respect from Browns fans everywhere. In his seven seasons with the Browns, he rushed for 3,364 yards and 27 touchdowns. In 1985, Byner rushed for over 1,000 yards, as did fellow backfield mate Kevin Mack (#24 on our list). Finally, Byner is very active on Twitter and imparts some great insights to his followers.
Interestingly enough, this list included four players; Eric Metcalf, Felix Wright, Josh Cribbs and Phil Dawson; who played Special Teams. What do you think about the love for special teams on this list? What players do you feel should be ranked higher? Who will be unveiled in the next article and in what order?
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