Ozzie Newsome isn’t only the greatest Browns’ tight end of all time, he is to this point, the greatest Browns’ pass catcher of all time. He set every team record possible and many of those have lasted til today though his last game was in 1990. Unfortunately now he is the executive of the hated rival Baltimore Ravens but though he has been successful there, he will forever be remembered as a Cleveland great.
Newsome was drafted out of Alabama in the first round in 1978 by the Cleveland Browns and immediately made an impact. He was named the Browns’ offensive player of the year in his rookie season and reached the Pro Bowl in 1981, ’84 and ’85. The “Wizard of Oz” was an immediate force to deal with in the AFC North and he would remain there for 13 years where he didn’t miss a single game for the Cleveland Browns.
He would amass 662 receptions and 7,980 yards in 13 seasons and make his way into the pro football hall of fame in 1999. He was known throughout his career for his solid off the field character and won the Byron “Whizzer” White Man of the Year award in 1990.
Ozzie was without a doubt one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history and when he retired he was likely at the top of the list. He’s still remembered as one of the greatest pass catchers to ever strap on cleats and he is still (in my mind) on the Browns Mount Rushmore of players. Arguments can be made for different guys through the decades that they are the top players ever for one of the more storied franchises in football history but with his on the field and off the field play, Newsome is the man.