A new Cleveland Browns season is right around the corner which means that there are new faces to welcome to the Dawg Pound. The Browns aren’t usually the biggest spenders during free agency, but that didn’t stop them from signing guard Kevin Zeitler. The former Cincinnati Bengal will look to be a huge addition to a Browns’ offensive line that had its struggles last year and while Zeitler looks to make a name for himself in The Land, he brings back memories of another former Brown.
Joe DeLamielleure is highly regarded as one of the best offensive lineman to ever play in the NFL. He made a name for himself in Buffalo where he was part of the “Electric Company” and helped pave the way for OJ Simpson to set the NFL Single-Season Rushing Record in 1973. DeLamielleure paved the way for success everywhere he went especially when traded to the Browns in 1980, where he then blocked for his 2nd MVP, Brian Sipe. DeLamielleure even became the first player to ever block for a 2,000-yard rusher and a 4,000-yard passer.
DeLamielleure was a staple on every offensive line he played alongside during his prolific career and helped to start the success of the late ‘80s Browns that brought Cleveland so many great memories. So now when I think of Kevin Zeitler joining a Browns’ offensive line already consisting of Joe Thomas and Joel Bitino I just can’t help but compare the two and get excited about the Browns’ future.
When you look more closely at Zeitler and DeLamielleure you can see a lot of similarities in how they got to the NFL and how that shaped them into the player they became. Both grew up in the cold north, Zeitler in Wisconsin and DeLamielleure in Michigan. Both then stayed in their home states for college, Zeitler to Wisconsin and DeLamielleure to Michigan State. The gritty style of Big 10 Football helped mold them into the powerhouse linemen they became.
Zeitler and DeLamielleure are both powerful versatile linemen who have found nothing but success for their teams since entering the league. DeLamielleure came to the Browns in 1980 and helped turn the Browns into one of the best teams in the AFC. Now Zeitler joins a young, up-and-coming Browns team hoping to create an identity for itself. Hopefully, Zeitler, much like DeLamielleure is able to help turn the Browns around.
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Images via: ESPN
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