The Cleveland Browns have a rich and illustrious history. With only 93 days until the Browns season opener, we look at the best Browns player to ever wear number 93.
The countdown to the 2020 NFL season is upon us. With 93 days remaining until the Browns season opener, we continue the countdown by celebrating the best Cleveland Browns player to ever wear number 93 — Jerry Ball
Jerry Ball was brought in by the Cleveland Browns as a high-profile free agent before the 1993 season. Ball had already played six years in the NFL at that point, all of them for the Detroit Lions. In his six previous seasons, he earned three Pro Bowl appearances and one first-team All-Pro nomination. At 6-foot-1 and 330lbs the standout defensive lineman was a wrecking Ball, pun intended.
It must be noted that his entire stint with the Lions, and the accolades he received, were with Ball playing the nose tackle role in a 3-4 defense. That was not the system the Browns and defensive coordinator Nick Saban ran, they employed a traditional 4-3 scheme.
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Ball was brought in to be the final piece to complete what should have been an elite defensive front. The Browns already had Michael Dean Perry, Anthony Pleasant, and Rob Burnett in place, and they just needed a left defensive tackle to fill the bill. They chose the proven game wrecker Ball to be the piece that would put them over the top.
Unfortunately for Ball and the Browns, the experiment did not have the success they envisioned. Ball played in all 16 games, but only started in seven of those games. Although his numbers were not too far off from the production he was enjoying in Detroit, his impact was not the same.
Ball was outplayed by fellow left defensive tackle James Jones and after one season in Cleveland, the Browns decided to move on from the former All-Pro.
He went on to play six seasons in the NFL for various teams, including coming back to Cleveland for a cup of coffee during the rebirth of the Browns franchise in 1999. Ball played in three games in 1999 before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a seventh-round pick.
So how could Jerry Ball be the best Brown to ever wear number 93? Simple, Ball is by far and away the most talented player to ever don the number in Cleveland. The history of the number 93 in Cleveland is erratic at best.
Only one player has ever worn the number for more than two seasons, and that player, John Hughes, only started in 10 games over the course of four years.
So there you have it, Jerry Ball the best Browns player to wear number 93.