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Jim Ray Smith–2005 inductee to the Cleveland Browns Legends. 205 - page 3 / 50





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Miami Dolphins in the playoffs, 20-14, as the Dolphins completed an undefeated season.


Forrest Gregg became head coach in 1975, Greg Pruitt had three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons and Dick Modzelewski coached the final game of 1977.


Sam Rutigliano became the first non-Browns’ assis- tant to be named head coach of the Browns. Cleveland won its first three contests en route to an 8-8 finish.


Losses in the final two games dropped the Browns’ record to 9-7 and prevented the team from entering the playoffs. Mike Pruitt had the first of three straight 1,000-yard seasons.


The Browns won the AFC Central Division title with an 11-5 record, but lost to eventual Super Bowl Champi- on Oakland Raiders in the playoffs. Quarterback Brian Sipe was consensus MVP of the NFL.


In a strike-shortened season, the Browns finished eighth in the AFC (4-5) and gained a playoff spot for the second time in three years. Cleveland lost to the Los Angeles Raiders in the Super Bowl Tournament.


The Browns tied for a Wild Card playoff spot with a 9-7 record, but lost the NFL tie-breaking procedure to the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.


The Browns replaced Head Coach Sam Rutigliano with Defensive Coordinator Marty Schottenheimer after a 1-7 midseason record and finished the season at 5-11. Tight end Ozzie Newsome caught 89 passes for the second straight year.


The Browns captured their third AFC Central Division title, but lost to the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs, 24-21, at Miami. Rookie Kevin Mack (1,104) and Earnest Byner (1,002) each gained 1,000 yards rush- ing. It marked the third time in the 66-year history of the NFL that teammates both rushed for over 1,000 yards in the same season.


The Browns posted a team-record 12 wins en route to their second consecutive AFC Central Division crown. In a double-overtime playoff thriller before a packed Cleveland Municipal Stadium crowd, the Browns beat the New York Jets, 23-20, to advance to the AFC Championship game. The Browns lost to the Denver Broncos, also in overtime, 23-20.


The Browns captured their third straight AFC Central Division crown, as they finished the season 10-5. The third week of the NFL season was cancelled due to a 24-day players’ strike, during which three “replace- ment” games were played (the Browns posted a 2-1 record). The Browns defeated the Indianapolis Colts,

38-21, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in the AFC playoffs, then dropped their second straight AFC Championship to the Denver Broncos despite a spec- tacular come-from-behind bid that saw the Browns score 30 second-half points, only to fall, 38-33, at Mile High Stadium. Bernie Kosar won the AFC passing title with a 95.4 QB rating, and an NFL-high eight Browns made the Pro Bowl.


Cleveland finished 10-6 and earned a Wild Card berth by defeating the Houston Oilers, 28-23, in the season finale by overcoming a 16-point third-quarter deficit. Houston defeated the Browns, 24-23, in the Wild Card Game played on Christmas Eve. Four Cleveland quarterbacks suffered injuries during the course of the season. Marty Schottenheimer resigned on Dec. 27.


Bud Carson was announced as the Browns’ seventh full-time head coach on Jan. 27. The Browns won their fourth division title in five years with a 9-6-1 record, and advanced to the playoffs for an AFC-high fifth-straight season. The Browns advanced to their third title game in four years by defeating the Buffalo Bills, 34-30, but lost to the Denver Broncos, 37-21, at Mile High Stadium in the AFC Championship Game.


The Browns suffered through a 3-13 season. Jim Shofner replaced Bud Carson as interim head coach on Nov. 5.


Bill Belichick was named the eighth full-time head coach on Feb. 5, 1991. The Browns moved into a new training and administrative complex located in Berea, Ohio, in August 1991 and began holding train- ing camp there in July 1992. The Browns finished 6- 10, 7-9 and 7-9, respectively. Unrestricted free agency began in 1993. The Browns signed five players in the first year of this system, including quarterback Vinny Testaverde of Tampa Bay.


The Browns earned a playoff berth for the first time in the ‘90s, finishing 11-5 and defeating the New England Patriots, 20-13, in the Wild Card Game at soldout Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The Browns faced the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time ever in the playoffs, and lost, 29-9, at Three Rivers Stadium. The Cleveland defense set a team record by allowing just 204 points, and six players went to the Pro Bowl.


The Browns concluded the season with a 5-11 record. On November 6, Owner Art Modell announced he was relocating the team to Baltimore, Md. The final game played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium was on Dec. 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns defeated the Bengals, 26-10. The victory marked an all-time NFL record of 202-117-5 (.631) while playing at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

1996 The City of Cleveland and the NFL secured an



Team History

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