Cleveland Browns: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
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53. . Running Back. (1973-1981). Greg Pruitt. 25. player

Greatest players in Cleveland Browns history: 25. Greg Pruitt

Another second-round pick makes the list as we also have our second running back. Greg Pruitt was taken at No. 30 overall back in 1973 out of Oklahoma. He would remain with the Browns from then until 1981. In those nine seasons he was an effective runner and helped the Browns on both kickoff and punt returns.

Pruitt made the Pro Bowl five different times in his career, four of those while wearing the orange and brown in Cleveland. He went on to the Los Angeles Raiders for two more seasons, making another Pro Bowl and winning Super Bowl XVIII.

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Like the aforementioned Phil Dawson, Pruitt had rules changed because of him. Pruitt was famous for his tearaway jersey, which would rip in opponent’s hands. Andrew Gribble of the team’s official website dug deeper into how often Pruitt would have to change his jersey and how it came to fruition that he would put one on for each game.

"“The credit goes to legendary coach Barry Switzer, who gave Pruitt a T-shirt with “Hello” on the front and “Goodbye” on the back shortly before the Sooners’ 1971 showdown with USC. Reporters caught Pruitt wearing it as he went to class, and USC quickly caught wind of the star running back’s obvious confidence heading into such a big game.” — Andrew Gribble,"

The jerseys are now illegal, often referred to as the Gregg Pruitt rule. Although giving all the credit to his jersey for his three-straight 1,000-yard seasons from 1975-1977 would be incorrect. Pruitt was a great player without it and was already elusive. It just gave him that little extra something from time to time.