Cleveland Browns: Interview with Eric Metcalf, Hall of Fame Nominee

SEPTEMBER 23: Running back Eric Metcalf #21 of the Cleveland Browns rushes during an NFL game on September 23, 1990 against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers defeated the Browns 24-14. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
SEPTEMBER 23: Running back Eric Metcalf #21 of the Cleveland Browns rushes during an NFL game on September 23, 1990 against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers defeated the Browns 24-14. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /

Eric Metcalf was an exciting return man, running back, and wide receiver for 13 seasons, 6 with the Cleveland Browns. He’s been nominated for the 2019 Hall of Fame and took time to catch up with us.

Eric Metcalf played for the Cleveland Browns from 1989 through 1994 and excited fans as a returner, receiver and running back. He had great speed and an ability to flip the game with that burst.

After his six seasons with the Browns, he went on to play for six other franchises in seven seasons — having great success as a receiver for the Atlanta Falcons in 1995.

Metcalf joins other former members of the Browns in the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominations and took some time out to speak with us about that honor, playing for the fans in Cleveland, and this year’s team.

DDP: Thank you for taking some time today. Obviously, all of us at Dawg Pound Daily want to congratulate you on the nomination and wish you the best of luck.

How exactly is it you got notified of the nomination?

"EM: Ironically I was on twitter and saw that a few former Browns were on the list and I happened to be one of them."

DDP: Cleveland’s known for being a sports city and you spent most of your career there. However, you did spend time with other clubs after the Browns. I won’t ask you to rank anyone, but what’s one thing about the fans in Cleveland that really stood out to you?

"EM: The passion and love for their team. No matter what was going on during the season (wins and losses), the fans are always behind their team and I truly appreciate that. I feel like if I were feeling bad and needed a pick me up all I would have to do is fly to Cleveland because the fans would make me feel good about myself…LOL"

DDP: What made you one of the most exciting players during your career was how you could affect the game in so many ways — running back, receiver and return man. Is there any one area you found more joy in playing, or does it not matter?

"EM: What I enjoyed most was the ball in my hands by any means necessary. Playing running back allows you to get the ball quicker. At receiver you have to run a route and hope the ball is on time as well as blocking is good enough to give the QB time to throw. When returning a kick or punt, there are so many variables that come into play that can determine whether you are able to return the ball or not. With all that being said, returning is the most exciting to me because it changes the momentum of the game and can be a dagger to the heart for the opposing team."

DDP: The current version of the Browns has another player who can contribute in multiple ways, Duke Johnson. What are your thoughts on him and should they be finding more ways to get the ball in his hands?

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"EM: I like Duke because he can do anything on the offensive side of the ball. Because of the current running back situation, it’s hard to get him as many touches as he needs or would like so the key is to get him touches with great opportunities to make plays. Moving him around from the backfield, to the slot and even split out wide gives him those opportunities and stresses the defense at the same time."

DDP: Hopes are high with the new GM and the 2018 class of rookies and trade acquisitions. Do you see this team being contenders in the in the near future?

"EM: I see playoffs sooner than many would think, if nothing else because of the new mindset in the building. It no longer feels like lets get to Sunday and take this L. I feel like we have a good mixture of veterans and youngsters who are capable of winning a lot of games and truly believe they will."

DDP: Lastly, just for those of us who are nostalgic, which teammate that you played with in your career was the most impressive to be around?

"EM: That’s a tough question and I won’t single anyone out because I had so many teammates that were impressive to not only be around but play with. I will single out the 1989 Browns team as my best experience and team that I played with because those guys took me in and help me to be the best football player I could be. What we had in the locker room was the epitome of team because everyone cared about each other on and off the field and was willing to lay everything on the line for the guys lined up next to them. We didn’t get as far as we wanted to (lost in AFC championship) but we probably got further than we should’ve because of the chemistry in the locker room."

Next. Week 2 Studs and duds after the tough loss. dark

Eric is joined by running back Earnest Byner and linebacker Clay Matthews in the nominations. Others who spent time in Cleveland have been nominated and that includes Willie McGinest, Mike Holmgren, Jeff Garcia, and Marty Schottenheimer.

The full list is available on the Pro Football Hall of Fame website. We wish them all the best of luck.