1970 Cleveland Browns season

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1970 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Blanton Collier
Owner Art Modell
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WHK
Record 7–7–0
Division place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Previous season Next season
< 1969 1971 >

The 1970 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 21st season with the National Football League.

Season summary[edit]

The merger between the NFL and AFL was complete, with the leagues now playing each other in the regular season for the first time. This was the last step in a four-year process that began in January 1967 with the champions from both leagues playing in Super Bowl I.

To finish the merger, the Browns, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Colts, agreed to move in 1970 from the NFL to the old AFL, renamed the AFC, to balance the leagues, now called conferences (NFC and AFC), at 13 clubs each. The merger had hit a stalemate when none of the NFL teams initially wanted to jump to what many of the old-line NFL people felt was an inferior league overall.

Concerning just the Browns themselves, there was the situation involving Blanton Collier. Although no one except maybe the man himself knew it at the start of the season, this was going to be the last year for the venerable head coach. Collier, who had been on the job since 1963 and had guided the Browns to the NFL championship a year later, would announce his retirement shortly before the 1970 season ended.

Paul Warfield trade to Dolphins[edit]

Realizing quarterback Bill Nelsen's aching knees were on borrowed time, the Browns had made a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins on the eve of the 1970 NFL Draft to get the rights to select the man they felt would be their passer of the future, Mike Phipps. But it came at a steep price, for they had to give up Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield in the process. That loss, coupled with Nelsen's physical condition and the unfamiliarity with the personnel on the former AFL clubs they were playing for the first time, took the starch out of what had been a good offense going all the way back to 1963. The result was the Browns scored 65 less points than they had the year before, and 108 less than two seasons before.

Along with that, the defense, though it gave up 35 fewer points than it had in 1969, just couldn't make up the difference, led to the Browns finishing 7–7, only the second non-winning mark in club history. In spite of that, the season started well for the Browns, as they opened 3–1 and then were 4–2.

First Monday Night Football game[edit]

The Browns beat Joe Namath and the New York Jets 31–21 at Cleveland Stadium in the opener in the first Monday Night Football game in history, and, three games later, edged Cincinnati 30–27 in Bengals head coach Paul Brown's first official visit to Cleveland since being fired by the Browns eight years before. [1]


NFL Draft[edit]

The following were selected in the 1970 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
1 3 Mike Phipps Quarterback Purdue
1 21 Bob McKay Tackle Texas
2 36 Turkey Jones Defensive End Tennessee State
2 47 Jerry Sherk Defensive Tackle Oklahoma State
4 99 Ricky Stevenson Defensive Back Arizona
5 125 Steve Engel Running Back Colorado
6 151 Mike Cilek Quarterback Iowa
7 177 Craig Wycinski Guard Michigan State
8 203 Honester Davidson Defensive Back Bowling Green
9 229 Geoff Brown Linebacker Pittsburgh
10 255 William Yanchar Defensive Tackle Purdue
11 281 Gene Benner Wide Receiver Maine
12 307 Jerry Sanders Kicker Texas Tech
13 333 Larry Roberts Running Back Central Missouri
14 359 Jim Tharpe Linebacker Lincoln (Mo.)
15 385 Guy Homoly Defensive Back Illinois State
16 410 John Redebaugh Tight End Bemidji State
17 436 Charles Tabb Running Back McMurry


Exhibition schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 August 8, 1970 at Los Angeles Rams L 17–30
2 August 15, 1970 vs. San Francisco 49ers at Tampa W 17–10
3 August 22, 1970 vs. Kansas City Chiefs at Memphis L 13–16
4 August 29, 1970 at Cincinnati Bengals L 24–31
5 September 5, 1970 Minnesota Vikings L 21–24
6 September 12, 1970 at New York Giants W 30–29

Regular season schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Score Record Attendance
Sep 21 New York Jets W 31–21 1–0
Sep 27 at San Francisco 49ers L 34–31 1–1
Oct 3 Pittsburgh Steelers W 15–7 2–1
Oct 11 Cincinnati Bengals W 30–27 3–1
Oct 18 Detroit Lions L 41–24 3–2
Oct 25 at Miami Dolphins W 28–0 4–2
Nov 1 San Diego Chargers L 27–10 4–3
Nov 8 at Oakland Raiders L 23–20 4–4
Nov 15 at Cincinnati Bengals L 14–10 4–5
Nov 22 Houston Oilers W 28–14 5–5
Nov 29 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 28–9 5–6
Dec 7 at Houston Oilers W 21–10 6–6
Dec 12 Dallas Cowboys L 6–2 6–7
Dec 20 at Denver Broncos W 27–13 7–7


Season summary[edit]

Week 4[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 10 7 3 7 27
Browns 2 14 0 14 30



AFC Central
Cincinnati Bengals 8 6 0 .571 312 255 W-7
Cleveland Browns 7 7 0 .500 286 265 W-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 5 9 0 .357 210 272 L-3
Houston Oilers 3 10 1 .231 217 352 L-3


External links[edit]