Jump to content
Zombo

RIP Bill Nelson, Browns QB

Recommended Posts

Word on the internet is that Bill Nelson has passed away. No official link yet.

th?id=OIP.JqRH8CzpPFyFqAy5BVK8uQAAAA

Bill was the quarterback when I became a Browns fan as a child, and will always be the image I have in mind when I first hear "quarterback".

His knees were gone at that point, but he was a gutsy leader who lead us to three divisional championships, two in the old NFL Century division, and our first in the AFC Central.

Thank you, Bill for being my childhood image of what a quarterback should be!

Zombo

  • Thanks 2
  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I remember that great era RIP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just echo everything Zombo said.... RIP Bill....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear that.  Bill was a much underrated QB.

 

RIP Bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only 78 years old. Spring chicken. Way too early to depart this life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember him well - playing on bad knees - that was serious pain he put up with -

that shows his great love for the game. His knees were even worse than Joe Namath's knees.

that isn't good. God Bless his family.

http://www.paulmorantz.com/sports/honoring-bill-nelsen/

"When Draft time came Nelson was a 10th round grab, a scout saying USC’s Beathard was the best college football QB in the land who could run and throw but Nelson was the top drop back pro prospect in the land. He almost by-passed going for a coaching job but then took the gamble. He became the starter for Pittsburgh. In l968 he was traded to Cleveland where he played with two bad knees. There the scout proved right.

He led the Brownies to three playoff appearances in 1968, ’69, and ’71, two of which (’68 and ’69), were conference championships. Nelson is still considered in the top five NFL quarterbacks in Browns history.

NFL Career:
Passing yards: 14,165 (9,725 as a Brown)
Passing touchdowns: 98 (71 as a Brown)

In April of 2009 writer Greg Popelka wrote:

“Nelson came to the Browns in a trade with Pittsburgh in 1968. The team was still trying to get over losing Jim Brown in 1966, and Nelson was taking over for Frank Ryan. Ryan had had some very effective years leading the Browns’ offense, and was the quarterback during the 1964 title year. Bill Nelson immediately starred as a Brown in 1968, earning an 86 passer rating on the strength of 19 touchdown passes. In 1969, his passing yards per game improved by 25, to 196 yds/game. 1969 was a Pro Bowl year for him as well.

“In his four years as the Browns’ starting quarterback, Bill Nelson led the team to a 34-15- 1 record, including the playoffs. The Browns won three division titles and two conference titles during this time. His favorite targets were future Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield and Browns legend Gary Collins. Hall of Fame running back Leroy Kelly starred behind an offensive line anchored by Hall of Fame guard Gene Hickerson.
“Bill Nelson was highly effective at managing the clock and pulling out last-minute wins.
“One source from 1971 placed Bill Nelson’s abilities in the ‘leadership’ and ‘reacting under pressure’ categories as second only to Johnny Unitas’ that year.

”What Bill Nelson was perhaps most known for, however, was his bad knees. He played with most of the cartilage damaged or gone; his knees were reportedly even worse those of his more-publicized contemporary, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath. Ultimately, Nelson’s knees and resulting lack of mobility prompted the Browns to trade Paul Warfield to the Miami Dolphins for the right to draft Purdue All American quarterback Mike Phipps. Phipps was named the starter in his first training camp; to put it politely, his career paled in comparison to Bill Nelson’s.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Zombo said:

... a gutsy leader...

That was Bill in a nutshell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill in action beating the Steelers:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×