1975 Cleveland Browns season

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1975 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Forrest Gregg
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WHK
Results
Record 3–11–0
Division place 4th AFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1974 1976 >

The 1975 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 26th season with the National Football League. The Browns lost their first nine games—again, a team record—en route to going 3–11 in Forrest Gregg's first year as head coach after having been promoted from offensive line coach following the offseason firing of Nick Skorich.

Making matters even harder to swallow was the fact that, save for a 16–15 decision at Denver in Week 5 and a 24–17 decision at Cincinnati in the season opener, the losses were pretty much one-sided. At home no less, the Browns fell 42–10 to the Minnesota Vikings, 42–6 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and 40–10 to the Houston Oilers, the worse three-game stretch they've ever had. Later in the year—in fact, it was the last of those nine consecutive defeats—the Browns were beaten 38–17 at Oakland.

The Steelers and Vikings both finished 12–2, the Oilers just missed the playoffs at 10–4 and the 11–3 Raiders lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game, but none of that was of any consolation to a franchise as proud as the Browns. After 1974, the Browns were hoping that '75, in which the team went to orange pants and altered its basic uniform design for the first time since that inaugural season of 1946, would usher in a new era of success. But it didn't work out that way. The problem for the Browns was that they were smack dab in the middle of a major rebuilding phase, try to replace old-line, grizzled veterans from the team's glory days of the 1960s with free agents from other teams, or young players. Another problem was at the QB position; Mike Phipps, the Growns' No. 3 overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft, threw just four touchdown passes with 19 INTs on the year. More and more, Browns fans were calling for Brian Sipe, who started in two victories in the final five games in 1974, to permanently secure the starting QB job in what became a major quartebback controversy.

Asides from the progress of Sipe, another diamond in the ruffwas Greg Pruitt. With Pro Football Hall of Famer Leroy Kelly having retired after the 1973 season, Pruitt, the first of the team's two second-round draft picks that year, had taken a quantum leap in '75 into settling into his job as the go-to running back. He raced for 214 yards, still the seventh-best performance in team history, en route to putting together the first of his three straight 1,000-yard seasons by getting 1,067. He became the first 1,000-yard runner for the team since Kelly in 1968.

Pruitt averaged a healthy 4.8 yards per carry in 1975, the highest by a Brown since Kelly's 5.0 in 1968, and, while scoring three times against the Chiefs, rushed for eight touchdowns, the most since Kelly's 10 in '71.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

The following were selected in the 1975 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
1 5 Mack Mitchell Defensive End Houston
3 57 Oscar Roan Tight End SMU
4 82 Tony Peters Cornerback Oklahoma
5 109 John Zimba Defensive End Villanova
5 119 Jim Cope Linebacker Ohio State
6 150 Charles Miller Cornerback West Virginia
6 154 Henry Hynoski Running Back Temple
7 161 Merle Wang Offensive Tackle TCU
8 186 Barry Santini Tight End Purdue
9 213 Larry Poole Running Back Kent State
9 215 Floyd Hogan Safety Arkansas
10 238 Stan Lewis Defensive End Wayne
11 265 Tom Marinelli Guard Boston College
12 290 Dick Ambrose Linebacker Virginia
13 317 Willie Armstead Wide Receiver Utah
14 341 Tim Barrett Running Back John Carroll
15 369 Willie Moore Defensive Tackle Johnson C. Smith
16 394 J.K. McKay Wide Receiver USC
17 421 Dave Graf Linebacker Penn State

[1]

Exhibition schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 August 10, 1975 at San Francisco 49ers L 17–13
45,560
2 August 16, 1975 Philadelphia Eagles W 14–6
35,769
3 August 22, 1975 at Washington Redskins L 23–14
15,513
4 September 1, 1975 Buffalo Bills L 34–20
31,155
5 September 7, 1975 vs. New York Giants at Seattle W 24–20
20,000
6 September 13, 1975 Detroit Lions L 27–24
32,341

Regular season schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 21, 1975 at Cincinnati Bengals L 24–17
52,874
2 September 28, 1975 Minnesota Vikings L 42–10
68,064
3 October 5, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers L 42–6
73,595
4 October 12, 1975 Houston Oilers L 40–10
46,531
5 October 19, 1975 at Denver Broncos L 16–15
52,590
6 October 26, 1975 Washington Redskins L 23–7
56,702
7 November 2, 1975 at Baltimore Colts L 21–7
35,235
8 November 9, 1975 at Detroit Lions L 21–10
75,283
9 November 16, 1975 at Oakland Raiders L 38–17
50,461
10 November 23, 1975 Cincinnati Bengals W 35–23
56,427
11 November 30, 1975 New Orleans Saints W 17–16
44,753
12 December 7, 1975 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 31–17
47,962
13 December 14, 1975 Kansas City Chiefs W 40–14
44,368
14 December 21, 1975 at Houston Oilers L 21–10
43,770

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
Pittsburgh Steelers(1) 12 2 0 .857 6–0 10–1 373 162
Cincinnati Bengals(4) 11 3 0 .786 3–3 8–3 340 246
Houston Oilers 10 4 0 .714 2–4 7–4 293 226
Cleveland Browns 3 11 0 .214 1–5 2–8 218 372

Roster[edit]

1975 Cleveland Browns roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics

[2]

Postseason[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Milestones[edit]

  • Greg Pruitt, 304 Combined Net Yards vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, November 23,[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1975 NFL Draft Listing – Pro-Football-Reference.com". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  2. ^ http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/1975_roster.htm
  3. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 443

External links[edit]