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Icecube

Most underrated Browns in modern era

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Since the "Modern era" of football began right after WWII,  I would say that this category would include the entire history of the Browns. 

Then, again, there is the question:   Underrated by who?

I do not think that Browns fans underrate him, but I DO think he is wholly underrated nationally,  and that is:   Clay Matthews.

The same is true for Dick Shafrath.

The same is true for Gary Collins.

And you mention Metcalf while it seems that places like the HOF do not put special teams players in, and also now the league wishes to de-emphasize, if not do away with the kickoff return.....Josh Cribbs struck fear into the hearts of anyone with his kick return ability....an "art/skill" that now seems to be going by the way side.   So both Cribbs and Metcalf qualify. 

 

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Leroy Hoard for me....... loved the way he ran. 

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Webster Slaughter

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This is a great topic Icecube.

Good mentions so far. Let me add a few:

Defense-Felix Wright, Walter Johnson (played with Jerry Sherk), Mike Johnson, Thom Darden , & Clarence Scott

Offense- Vinny Testaverde, Calvin Hill (both were "short timers" but made a impact), Kevin Johnson, Mike Baab

Special Teams- Matt Bahr, Gerald McNeil. I'm assuming Dawson, Cribbs, & Metcalf aren't under rated. 

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As evidence of how underrated  Gary Collins was/is, note this:      

When he retired in 1971,  he was   #4 overall in career TD catches with 70.    Only Don Hutson,  Tommy McDonald, and Art Powell (who played mostly in the pass happy AFL)  were ahead of him.   (He was ahead of Raymond Berry who did make the HOF)

Now, a lot of players since have passed him by.....he is now  46th. But, again, most of those that passed him played in the post 1978 era which is when the vast rule changes happened that opened up the pass game so much. 

A few guys who played into the mid to late 70s did go by him eventually:   Bob Hayes...71, Lance Alworth,...85,   Fred Biletnikoff...76, Don Maynard..88, and Charley Taylor...79...Paul Warfield  85....and every single one of these made the PFHOF even though they were just a few career TDs ahead of Collins. 

Collins ha more career TDs than the following Hall of Famers:  Raymond Berry, Art Monk, Michael Irvin, Charlie Joiner, Bobby Mitchell, John Stallworth..63, Shannon Sharpe, Dave Caspar,  Lynn Swann...only 51 , Ozzie Newsome even, and Kellen Winslow Sr. 

Note this:   The duo of   Paul Warfield and Gary Collins was far more productive than were the duo of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.

So:  Warfield/Collins   combined total of 155 TDs...better than Swann/Stallworth  114 TDs  (mindful that Warfield played some years in Miami.  He had 52 career TDs with Browns, 33 with Fins).   Still, he had more TDs in 8 years with the Browns than Swann did in his career with Pitt.   Collins/Warfield combined in just Cleveland years was  122 TDs. 

So, I think it could be argued that as of 1980....Gary Collins was among the Top Ten best WRs to have played up to that point. 

And it goes without saying that Jim Brown was better than Franco Harris....on any level you want to measure. 

 

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What about Frank Ryan....vs. Terry Bradshaw? 

It CAN be argued that, by stats anyway,   Ryan was as good or better than Bradshaw:

The two big differences is that  Bradshaw played 14 years for the Steelers,  Ryan only 7 for the Browns.  Plus Bradshaw had the 4 titles to Ryan's one. (But....can we say that the Steeler's defense had a lot to do with those 4 titles?)

Here are their side by side stats:

W/L:  Bradshaw  107-51  67.7 win pct.     Ryan  52-22  70.2 win pct.   Edge to Ryan

Comp. pct.:   Bradshaw  2025/3901   51.9%    Ryan  907/1755   51.7%    really a dead heat  

Yardage:   Bradshaw  27,989 in 14 years, or 1999 yards per year.   Ryan 13,361 in 7 years.   1908 yards per year.  Edge to Bradshaw

TD passes:   Bradshaw 212 TDs   or 15.14 TDs per year.    Ryan  134 TDs or 19.14 TDs per year.     Big edge to Ryan  (and remember, he had a guy named Jim Brown behind him scoring TDs by a record number).

TD pct:    Bradshaw 5.4%      Ryan  7.6%    Big edge to Ryan

Ints/%    Bradshaw  210  ints  5.4%    Ryan  88 Ints  5.0 %     Slight edge to Ryan

Yards per attempt:   Bradshaw 7.2     Ryan  7.6      Edge to Ryan

Yards per catch:  Bradshaw  13.9     Ryan  14.7    Edge to Ryan

Passer rating:   Bradshaw  70.9    Ryan  81.4     Edge to Ryan.

So, I believe that this shows really that the 60s Browns in terms of offensive skill players were superior to the 70s Steelers.   

But, OK, that Steelers defense was much better.

So,  I am going to say that Frank Ryan should be in the group of vastly underrated Browns players. 

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There were some in the kardiac kids era led by Brian Sipe and maybe more prominent players led by Bernie Kosar so take your pick of the ones already mentioned.

 

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John Greco....

Back when we had a really good OL John was everyone's afterthought.

Started two years next to Joe T. at LG. Flipped seamlessly to RG when Bito came along and elevated Schwartz's game when he moved.

Played heavy in our power run scheme and then shed 20 pounds to get quicker when we went to the ZBS.

Twice stabilized our Center play... once when Mack was injured... once when Erving face planted

The guy brought his lunch pail to Berea for 5 good seasons before injury ground him down.

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8 hours ago, Bob806 said:

This is a great topic Icecube.

Good mentions so far. Let me add a few:

Defense-Felix Wright, Walter Johnson (played with Jerry Sherk), Mike Johnson, Thom Darden , & Clarence Scott

Offense- Vinny Testaverde, Calvin Hill (both were "short timers" but made a impact), Kevin Johnson, Mike Baab

Special Teams- Matt Bahr, Gerald McNeil. I'm assuming Dawson, Cribbs, & Metcalf aren't under rated. 

Thanks, Bob. You mentioned some good ones. Mike Johnson, underrated. Vinny, although his best ball was post Cleveland, was very athletic. And, although Metcalf has got some kudos, I feel he isn't appreciated enough for what he did. Not an every down, between the tackles back, but boy he had his moments. Do you remember when he seemingly single-handily beat the Steelers in the 90's? And, of course, Icecube! What about Michael Dean Perry?  

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4 hours ago, Richiswhere said:

Braylon Edwards...............

I thought he had the talent to be a top 5 WR, just never got on track for very long. He showed what he could do in 2007, 80 grabs, 1289 yds, 16 TDs, back when passing was more difficult. 

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Mike Johnson was a great choice.

So what exactly constitutes the "modern era"? 

Two names that come to mind for the expansion-era Browns are Orpheus Roye and Daylon McCutcheon.

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12 hours ago, TexasAg1969 said:

Webster Slaughter

Never thought him as underrated tho.

Eddie "bullet head" Johnson was underrated imo.

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1 hour ago, Dutch Oven said:

Mike Johnson was a great choice.

So what exactly constitutes the "modern era"? 

Two names that come to mind for the expansion-era Browns are Orpheus Roye and Daylon McCutcheon.

Well when you Google the question you get this:

1970
FRANCHISES: The NFL's final and biggest merger kicked the league into a new era in 1970, the start of a decade where pro football entered the modern era. Combining the AFL and NFL meant splitting 26 teams into two conferences.Oct 25, 2019

NFL At 100: Arrival of 1970s ushers in NFL's modern era

 

That said I have read once before that the "modern era" was sometime in the 1930's.

Gipper says it was post WWII.

So lets just keep it post 1970 that which the youngsters here can relate to.

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Modern era needs a new "definition".

The point at which emphasis on the run game gave way to passing works... somewhere around the time that illegal contact became a thing. Much bigger change to the game than the merger.

That said.... only moves the start date back about a decade. Rule came in in the late 70's, but enforcement ramped up gradually thru first half of the 80's.

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Andra Davis MLB- had some big seasons.

Phil Dawson - we may never see someone so reliable that understood kicking in Cleveland like Phil.

Orlando Brown T.

Josh Cribbs- I wish the Browns put him at WR sooner.  Just a complete weapon with the ball in his hands 

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11 hours ago, The Gipper said:

And it goes without saying that Jim Brown was better than Franco Harris....on any level you want to measure. 

 

Yea, it's not even debated. Franco was a good back, Brown perhaps the best ever, it can be argued. 

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43 minutes ago, Tour2ma said:

Modern era needs a new "definition".

The point at which emphasis on the run game gave way to passing works... somewhere around the time that illegal contact became a thing. Much bigger change to the game than the merger.

That said.... only moves the start date back about a decade. Rule came in in the late 70's, but enforcement ramped up gradually thru first half of the 80's.

I don't know, in my mind "modern era" is 80's and after. It's "basically" the same game since. Yea, yea, rules aid passing game, protect QB and all that. 

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1 minute ago, Icecube said:

 Franco was a good back, Brown perhaps the best ever, it can be argued. 

gumby73 what? get off another lawn!!

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Back on Mack for a minute....underrated. Did you ever see the clip of Rod Woodson  when he said who he was  afraid to tackle? He said "No one, except Kevin Mack. He scared me."

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4 hours ago, Gorka said:

Well when you Google the question you get this:

1970
FRANCHISES: The NFL's final and biggest merger kicked the league into a new era in 1970, the start of a decade where pro football entered the modern era. Combining the AFL and NFL meant splitting 26 teams into two conferences.Oct 25, 2019

NFL At 100: Arrival of 1970s ushers in NFL's modern era

 

That said I have read once before that the "modern era" was sometime in the 1930's.

Gipper says it was post WWII.

So lets just keep it post 1970 that which the youngsters here can relate to.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame says it is post WWII ....not me.   And no, we won't keep it to 1970 because I see no reason to pander to ignorance.  Young people can read about the past.  "Kids these days"  can no more relate to the 1970s (and 80s to a great extent) as they can to the 1950s/40s/30s.  So why act like they are incapable of seeing past their own noses. 

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2 hours ago, Tour2ma said:

Modern era needs a new "definition".

The point at which emphasis on the run game gave way to passing works... somewhere around the time that illegal contact became a thing. Much bigger change to the game than the merger.

That said.... only moves the start date back about a decade. Rule came in in the late 70's, but enforcement ramped up gradually thru first half of the 80's.

That is really true, somewhat.  That was a big point in rule changes.  But then, there were probably big rule changes at times before that.

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1 hour ago, Icecube said:

Yea, it's not even debated. Franco was a good back, Brown perhaps the best ever, it can be argued. 

I don't think it can really be argued.  

When the NFL.com came out with there 100 greatest of all time....you know who the very first player they selected was?  Rhymes with Him Crown.

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1 hour ago, The Gipper said:

The Pro Football Hall of Fame says it is post WWII ....not me.   And no, we won't keep it to 1970 because I see no reason to pander to ignorance.  Young people can read about the past.  "Kids these days"  can no more relate to the 1970s (and 80s to a great extent) as they can to the 1950s/40s/30s.  So why act like they are incapable of seeing past their own noses. 

I didn't mean to imply that you had the final say so on when the modern era started, I presumed you had info on that or read it somewhere.

 "Most underrated Browns in modern era", was the thread title not "Most underrated Browns", so it's pretty clear that Icecube's objective was to talk about those Browns players who most of us watched growing up, not the ones out of ancient history books.

But I do see your point in raising up dead players if you think Browns fans are ignorant.

But wait a sec,  I thought only bungle and squeeler fans were ignorant. No?

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6 hours ago, Gorka said:

I didn't mean to imply that you had the final say so on when the modern era started, I presumed you had info on that or read it somewhere.

 "Most underrated Browns in modern era", was the thread title not "Most underrated Browns", so it's pretty clear that Icecube's objective was to talk about those Browns players who most of us watched growing up, not the ones out of ancient history books.

But I do see your point in raising up dead players if you think Browns fans are ignorant.

But wait a sec,  I thought only bungle and squeeler fans were ignorant. No?

You seem to be proof otherwise. 

But you used the term "most of us watched growing up".    Actually, based on what I have deduced..."most of us" are in our mid to late 60s on here. I am, Hoorta is, WSS is,  TXag is,  and a number of others.  While I personally do not remember all of Browns history, the guys I mentioned:   Collins, Shafrath, Clay Matthews, Jim Brown etc. I do certainly remember watching play (on TV).    No, I don't remember Otto Graham.

But it seems that you want to appeal to people that never saw Brian Sipe or Bernie Kosar play.  I mean, to some of the kids on here, those two are as much "ancient history" as is OG. 

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Some stuff on the evolution of  rule changes throughout the years:

1933

The NFL, which long had followed the rules of college football, made a number of significant changes from the college game for the first time and began to develop rules serving its needs and the style of play it preferred. The innovations from the 1932 championship game-inbounds line or hashmarks and goal posts on the goal lines-were adopted. Also the forward pass was legalized from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage, February 25.

1938

At the suggestion of Halas, Hugh (Shorty) Ray became a technical advisor on rules and officiating to the NFL. A new rule called for a 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer.

And see this for various other rule changes:   https://bleacherreport.com/articles/748241-nfl-rankings-the-16-best-nfl-rule-changes-in-history

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18 hours ago, Icecube said:

Thanks, Bob. You mentioned some good ones. Mike Johnson, underrated. Vinny, although his best ball was post Cleveland, was very athletic. And, although Metcalf has got some kudos, I feel he isn't appreciated enough for what he did. Not an every down, between the tackles back, but boy he had his moments. Do you remember when he seemingly single-handily beat the Steelers in the 90's? And, of course, Icecube! What about Michael Dean Perry?  

Oh yeah, Metcalf's 2 punt returns. I was there, the place went totally crazy. It's on youtube, Cris Collinsworth even got excited, and you know how much he hates the Browns.

Metcalf also had some other great moments, @Tampa Bay, Oakland, and in the Astrodome vs the Oilers. He seemed to always torture the Oilers.

MDP was under appreciated. He could actually sack Elway, so he holds a special place lol. 

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Steve "Eric" Heiden..

 

I thought he was a pretty good TE.. Caught and blocked pretty well for a journeyman TE

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