Top 5 all-time punt returners in Cleveland Browns history

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Cleveland Browns – No. 4: Gerald McNeil, 1986- 1989

McNeil was drafted in 1984 out of Baylor by the Browns. He went through to play in the USFL league to play with the Houston Gamblers. He returned to play in Cleveland in 1986 and quickly became a fan favorite. He became the team’s primary kick and punt returner. He brought back 47 kicks back including one for a 100-yard touchdown return. He also caught 40 punts that included an 84-yard return for the score.

He was used primarily as a punt returner over the next four seasons while in Cleveland. He moved on to play for the Houston Oilers in 1990. He had 161 punt returns with a respectable nine-yard run back average when he was playing for the Browns.

McNeil’s nickname was “Ice Cube” because he was smaller than your average player and hard to tackle. He was only 5’7 and weighed a very thin 135 lbs. During the years that McNeil played for the Browns, the team was very good and went to the playoffs most of the time.

Anytime he fielded a punt, you always watched closely anticipating him taking another return back. In that initial 1986 season, he was the only player in the NFL to return both a kick and punt return.