Cleveland Browns Magnificent Seven: Best players from the 20th century
This is schizophrenic. Can we agree to love Ozzie Newsome the tight end for the Cleveland Browns while at the same time hating him as the general manager for the Baltimore Ravens? Ozzie Newsome was, first of all, a solid blocker and a true tight end who helped the running game and protected the passer. Nobody ever accused him of being a wide receiver playing tight end. But he did have the pass-catching skills that gave him the nickname, the “Wizard of Oz” with apologies to Ozzie Smith of the Saint Louis Cardinals, another worthy bearer of that moniker.
The Wiz was noted for making unbelievable catches. If you check out his highlight real, he had an incredible vertical leap and long reach and very good hands, so he could make the catches that other players, including the best wide receivers, simply could not make.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- Cleveland Browns critics continue to misplace their judgement
- 3 Cleveland Browns players who don’t deserve another season in 2023
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
At the time he retired, he was the all-time yardage leader among tight ends, and number four among all players regardless of position. In other words of all the wide receivers who ever played Pro Football, only four of them had more receiving yards than this tight end. That is unbelievable.
After his playing career ended in 1990, Ozzie joined the Browns front office and established a reputation as a solid judge of football talent. When the Browns moved to Baltimore, Newsome became the first African American general manager in the NFL.
Of course, as fans of his, we are all so proud of the job he did, but why did it have to be Baltimore? He did a fantastic job in Baltimore and brought in the talent that took them to two Super Bowls. That maybe hurt us in Cleveland as much as anything. It should have been Baltimore that had gone 0-16 and had their coach jump in the Chesapeake Bay, instead of Cleveland being hurt so badly by the infamous move. But with the meticulous and astute Newsome running the Baltimore front office, time and again they made good calls about personnel and they were able to draft star players as well as anyone in the NFL.
Yes, we are grown-ups and realize that this is pro football and it’s a business at the end of the day, but it still is difficult to accept that a guy that we loved so much as a player wound up being a top general manager for the team that we hate the most in the entire world.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley and Pat McManamon quote Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian as follows:
"“I would make the argument that if he [Ozzie] wasn’t in the Hall of Fame as a player, he would be in as a general manager.”"
That’s a very hefty compliment indeed from a fellow who is in the Hall of Fame himself as a GM. Go in peace, Ozzie Newsome, but we still hate the Ravens’ guts.