Daily Dawg Tags: An assassin at No. 51
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns will open the 2017 NFL season in 51 days, a uniform number worn by a linebacker known as The Assassin.
In 51 days, the Cleveland Browns will open the 2017 NFL season as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium.
That is also the uniform number of the late Eddie Johnson, a middle linebacker known as The Assassin, who played for the Browns from 1981 to 1990.
Johnson was the soul of the Browns defense in the mid-1980s, playing in 101 consecutive games at one point. He was Cleveland’s leading tackler in 1984 and always seemed to have a nose for the football.
Few Browns fans will forget his tipped pass in the opening moments of the second half of a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts following the 1987 season, a game-changing play that helped propel the Browns to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos.
Johnson was a seventh-round selection in the 1981 NFL Draft, but never doubted that he would make it in the NFL, according to a 2000 article at clevelandbrowns.com:
"“Being a seventh-round draft choice, no one expected me to make it. The Browns had good linebackers at the time. I came in with the intent of making it. I bought my mom a house with my signing bonus. I didn’t really have the money at the time, but it gave me the extra incentive. She still has the house today. It’s paid for and in her name in Albany, Ga.”"
Sadly, Johnson passed away in 2003 from colon cancer at the age of 43.
Cleveland Browns news:
A week before training camp and Jabrill Peppers is still unsigned
The Cleveland Browns begin training camp in a week, but still need to sign Jabrill Peppers to avoid a holdout that can become a major distraction.
DeShone Kizer should win the starter’s job in training camp
The Cleveland Browns should go with DeShone Kizer as the starting quarterback if the competition in training camp remains even over the next month.
A pair of Browns doing well in jersey sales
Two Cleveland Browns players are doing well when it comes to jersey sales in the past month, according to a recent report from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Hue Jackson launches foundation to battle human trafficking (clevelandbrowns.com)
"Browns coach Hue Jackson and his wife, Michelle, wanted to find their niche in Cleveland and, specifically, a way to serve Northeast Ohio off the football field. So on Thursday night, the Jacksons launched the Hue Jackson Foundation, which will combat human trafficking and give a voice to its victims."
FirstEnergy Stadium may hold flammable panels (Associated Press)
"In promotional brochures, a U.S. company boasted of the “stunning visual effect” its shimmering aluminum panels created in an NFL stadium, an Alaskan high school and a luxury hotel along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that “soars 33 stories into the air.” At a Thursday news conference that followed the publication of The Associated Press’ story on the use of the cladding material in the U.S., Cleveland’s chief building official confirmed that panels on the city-owned Cleveland Browns’ football stadium are “similar if not identical” to those used on the doomed London tower, but said they pose “zero risk to the fans.”"
Tony Dungy and Bill Polian keep refusing to give Tom Brady and Bill Belichick credit (CBS Sports)
"For those of you sitting at the breakfast table snacking on avocado toast and too young to remember the halcyon days of the original Peyton Manning and Tom Bradyrivalry, you need to know that things were bitter between the Patriots and the Colts. Those two teams really hated each other. Apparently the disdain has not ceased since the members of the Colts walked away from football."
Cowboys rookie Jourdan Lewis to stand trial for domestic violence charge (ESPN)
"Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive back Jourdan Lewiswill stand trial for one charge of domestic violence next week. Lewis attended a pretrial hearing Thursday morning. He and his attorney made it clear they intended to fight the charge."
Examining the NFL’s coverage scheme tendencies (Pro Football Focus)
"As always in the NFL, there are many different ways to climb a tree, and how teams defend the pass can vary wildly from scheme to scheme. We know that very broadly some teams run predominantly man coverage while others favor more zone, but diving even deeper into those broad buckets can show us some interesting trends about how each team plays defense."
Patrick Mahomes signs rookie contract with Kansas City (NFL.com)
"Every member of the 2017 quarterback class is under contract. Following the Wednesday lead of Bears signal-caller Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs became the last of the quarterback draft picks to sign on the dotted line."