Cleveland Browns: 15 greatest offensive linemen of all-time

Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Lou Groza
Lou Groza (Photo by: Henry Barr Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /

. Tackle/Kicker. (1946-59, 1961-67). Lou Groza. 7. player. 53

Greatest offensive lineman in Cleveland Browns history: #7. Lou Groza

It was a different era when Lou Groza played the game, which is why he was able to play both offensive line and kicker during his insanely long career. Groza ended up playing in 268 games during a career that spanned from 1946 all the way through 1967.

For the first two seasons of his career, Groza was mainly a placekicker and earned the nickname “The Toe.” He was famous for his strong leg that allowed the Browns to kick the ball from further distances than most teams would even attempt.

By his third season, Groza started to play on the offensive line in addition to his kicking duties. After playing some center for them in a reserve role early in his career, Groza settled in as the left tackle and was a key figure in their dominant tenure in the AAFC — where the Browns won four consecutive titles.

He then helped lead them to four NFL titles in 1950, 1954, 1955 and 1964. Of all those NFL titles, he was the starting left tackle with the exception of 1964 — which was actually part of his second stint with the team.

A back injury forced Groza to retire in 1959. After taking the 1960 season off, he returned to the team, but no longer played on the offensive line. Focusing only on kicking at this point, he continued to play until the age of 43.

While he doesn’t have as many of the accolades as some of the other offensive linemen on this list (for that position, of course), Groza still played the position and is too big of a figure in the Browns’ history not to mention.