Friday, 5 February 2016

Browns By The Numbers - 4, 5, 6!

In my second post of this series, let's look at players who have worn the numbers 4, 5, and 6 for the Cleveland Browns.

The beginning of this series is showing me just how many players do not get football cards.

Number 4

Brian Franco         K       1987
Max Runager        P       1988
Rico Smith           WR    1992
Phil Dawson          K      1999-2012
Tyler Thigpen      QB     2014

Brian Franco kicked for the Browns in Weeks 3 and 4 of the 1987 season, the strike season. He was a replacement player that went 3-4 on FGs and 2-2 on PATs. He has a non-Browns USFL card from 1985, but no Browns card.

Max Runager punted in 13 games for the Browns, with an average of 40.3 yards on 28 punts. He has some cards with the Eagles that pre-date his season with the Browns, but nothing with the Browns.

Rico Smith was a 6th Round draft pick for the Browns in 1992 out of Colorado. He appears to have worn number 4 for his rookie season, catching 5 passes for 64 yards, before switching to number 84 from 1993-1995. The only Browns card I have of him is wearing the 84 and will be shown when I get to that number.

Phil Dawson was the last player from the 1999 expansion team to play with the Browns, playing with them through the 2012 season. Since then he has kicked for the 49ers. He is second in career points for the franchise behind Lou Groza.

Tyler Thigpen never played in a game with the Browns. He signed with them in 2014, was in camp and then cut, and then was re-signed in December 2014 after injuries to Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel.

Number 5

Webster Slaughter        WR    1986
Dale Walters                 P        1987
George Winslow           P        1987
Brett Conway                K       2003
Jeff Garcia                    QB     2004
Scott Player                   P       2007
Spencer Lanning           P        2013-2014

Webster Slaughter appears to have only worn number 5 during his rookie season in 1986 before switching to number 84 from 1987-1991. During his rookie season he caught 40 passes for 577 yards with 4 TDs. He also had 7 receptions for 106 in two playoff games that year. (6 of them for 86 yards were in their classic 2OT game vs the Jets on January 3, 1987.) He does not have a card wearing number 5.

Dale Walters was a replacement player during weeks 3 and 4 of the 1987 season. He punted 11 times for a 36.36 yard average. Like Brian Franco, he has a USFL card from 1985, but does not have a Browns card.

George Winslow punted later in the 1987 season (weeks 8-12) and had 18 punts with a 34.2 yard average. He also punted in five games for the Saints in 1989. He does not appear to have a football card.

Brett Conway kicked in the last 3 games of 2003 for the Browns, going 5-7 on FGs, and 3-3 on PATs. He does not appear to have a football card.

After a successful CFL stint with the Calgary Stampeders, and five years with the 49ers, Jeff Garcia came to play in Cleveland. He finished his Browns career with 10 starts, going 3-7, passing for 10 TDs with 9 INTs. Following the Browns he went on to play with Detroit, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Scott Player played nine years with the Cardinals before playing in Weeks 3-5 of the 2007 season with the Browns, filling in for an injured Dave Zastudil. He punted 13 times with the Browns for a 45.6 yard average, and does not have a Browns football card.

I thought Spencer Lanning had a good two years with the Browns in 2013-2014 but the Browns decided to trade for Andy Lee before the 2015 season. During those two years, Lanning punted 177 times for the Browns with a 44.1 average. He doesn't have a Browns card, but can be seen in this 2015 Score card of Antonio Brown:
Many people will remember this attempted hurdle by Brown

Since it isn't fair to only be remembered for that, I will mention that Lanning had one career pass. It went 11 yards for a TD in Minnesota on September 22, 2013.

Lanning played in one game with the Bears last year. I hope that he gets an invite somewhere this year.

Number 6

Remi Watson           WR     1987
Seneca Wallace        QB      2010-2011
Brian Hoyer              QB     2013-2014
Travis Coons            K        2015

Remi Watson is another strike replacement player from 1987, playing in the last game of the strike with some of the regular players. I believe the strike was settled a few days before the October 18, 1987 game, and there was a mix of regular and replacement players on a lot of teams. Watson caught one pass for 13 yards.

Seneca Wallace started 7 games for the Browns in his two years with the team, finishing with a 1-6 record. No cards were made of him with the Browns.

Brian Hoyer started 16 games with the Browns over his two seasons, finishing with a 10-6 record - the only Browns starter since 1999 to finish with a winning record. He signed with Houston as a free agent last year, and lost at home to the Chiefs in the Wildcard round of the playoffs this year.

Travis Coons kicked in all 16 games for the Browns last season, finishing having made 28 of his 32 field goal attempts after making the first 16 attempts of the season. He also had 2 missed converts. He didn't do was well from distance with all four of his unsuccessful attempts coming from over 40 yards (two over 50). Three of the four unsuccessful attempts were blocked, including a potential 51 yard game winning kick against the Ravens with three seconds left in the game that ended up getting returned for Baltimore's game winning touchdown. He does not have a Browns football card.

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