We lost Browns in 2021
Just as our heroes are celebrated in life, here is a snapshot of several former Cleveland Browns who parted this earth in 2021.
OG Hal Bradley, Jr.
Location: Rome, Italy
Career: Browns 1954-1956, Philadelphia 1958
After college, Bradley served in the Marines for three years and played for a service football team, where he was spotted by a Browns coach and offered a tryout. He was on the NFL Champions teams back-to-back in 1954 and 1955. He became famous after football. He opened an art studio in Rome called the Folkstudio, where Bob Dylan would perform. He then landed a role in the 1961 film Barabbas. Bradley went on to act in over 25 Italian films.
S Neal Craig
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Career: Cincinnati 1971-1973, Buffalo 1974, Browns 1975-1976
Brewster was drafted from Fisk College in the seventh round of the 1971 NFL Draft. He had eight career interceptions, including a pair, while at Cleveland. He was from Cincinnati and luckily was drafted from his hometown of Bengals. Craig left football and pursued a career in sales, working for Heidelberg Distributing, Con-Agra and Letica Corporation.
EN Bill Glas
Location: Waxahachie, Texas
Career: Saskatchewan (CFL) 1957, Detroit 1958-1961, Browns 1962-1968
The former defenseman played for 12 years, including his best statistical years with Cleveland from 1962-1968. He retired a bay. When Glass retired from football in 1968, he was listed as the most sacked all-time for the Browns’ franchise. Then LB Clay Matthews broke that reputation during his 16 years with Cleveland. Two researchers from the Professional Football Researchers Association have spent decades looking back into every single National Football League and American Football League game since 1960 for new and accurate sack statistics. With the new findings, Glass now has 77.5 sacks in just 94 games, while Matthew’s new totals have 75 sacks in 232 contests.
RELATED: THE FINAL INTERVIEW BY BILL GLASS
He founded Bill Glass Ministries in 1969 with a focus on incarcerated prisoners who may not have access or guidance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Included in a list of the 100 Greatest Browns of All Time in 2007 cleveland.com, Glass was listed at number 31. Now that Glass is Cleveland’s all-time career ladder, he’s been mentioned as a possible inductee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
RB Chet Hanulak
Location: Salisbury, Maryland
Career: Browns 1954-1957
Chet “the Jet” Hanulak won a state championship in high school before becoming a college football phenomenon while playing for Maryland. He still remains one of the all-time best runners for the school. Hanulak was inducted into the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the ACC Legends Class in 2012. He played sparingly for the Browns in a backup role but won an NFL title in 1954 and 1955. After football, he worked for General Tire Corporation and became a member of the Moose Club.
LB Gerald Eisen
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Career: Oaklands 1970-1975, Browns 1976-1979
Drafted as a league in the third round of the first-ever combined NFL-AFL draft, Irons had a stellar career with the Raiders as a prototypical linebacker of the 1970s. He was traded to the Browns for a second round. For his career, he had 98 starts in 135 games and averaged 92 tackles per season for Cleveland. In a list of the 100 Greatest Browns of All Time in 2003 BrownsInsider.com, Irons was listed at number 91. Irons was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2013. After football, he earned his law degree and became fluent in Japanese.
OT Tony Jones
Location: Suwanee, Georgia
Career: Browns 1988-1995, Baltimore 1996, Denver 1997-2000
The undrafted Jones, a Western Carolina grad, was part of the Browns’ move to Baltimore, which became the Ravens franchise. He played 13 years in the NFL and was the starting tackle for the Broncos for four seasons after being traded to a second-round pick. Jones won two Super Bowls with Denver. He kept Hall of Famer Reggie White to zero sacks in Super Bowl XXXI. Known for dressing well at all times, Jones was named to the Broncos’ top 100 team in 2019. In December 1989, he started his first game with the Browns at right. He played in the 1990 AFC Championship game against Denver, a 37-21 loss. In the years to come, he would play right tackle and left tackle for Bill Belichick. Jones’ wife was from Cleveland, so moving to Baltimore was painful. In 1998 he was called to the Pro Bowl.
LB Mike Lucci
Location: Palm Beach, Fla
Career: Browns 1962-1964, Detroit 1965-1973
Lucci was involved in a three-team trade in 1965. He was traded to the Giants for CB Erich Barnes and then almost immediately by the Giants to Detroit along with OG Darrell Dess and a draft pick for QB Earl Morrall. During his time with the Lions, he was named defensive MVP three years in a row and won a Pro Bowl (1971). An interception by Jets QB Joe Namath resulted in Namath injuring his knee trying to tackle Lucci. This was the start of Namath’s chronic knee problems. The Browns picked him in the fifth round of the 1961 NFL draft while the AFL San Diego Chargers selected him in round 20. After football, Lucci did some broadcasting and was president of Bally Total Fitness in the Detroit area. He has been inducted into three Sports Halls of Fames: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and National Italian-American.
WR Bill “Zeke” O’Connor
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Career: Buffalo 1948, Browns 1949, Jersey City Giants (AA) 1950, New York Yanks 1951, Toronto (CFL) 1952-1953
Tall (6′-4″) and lanky, O’Conner played for the AAFC Champions Browns in 1949 after spending time in the US Navy. At the time, Cleveland was stacked at the receiver position, so he played sparingly, including only one start.With Toronto, the team won the Gray Cup in the very first televised championship game in 1952. After football, O’Connor worked for Sears.
WR David Patten
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Career: Albany (Arena) 1996, NY Giants 1997-1999, Browns 2000 and 2009, New England 2001-2004 and 2010, Washington 2005-2006, New Orleans 2007-2008
Patten went undrafted and then played a season in the Arena League before making the Giants’ practice squad. Two days later, he was added to the main roster as a kick returner. He signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2000, where he had 38 receptions for 546 yards. From there he played for the Patriots where he won three Super Bowls. He came back to Cleveland in 2009 but was cut on the last day. Patten then became an assistant coach at Western Carolina. He died in a motorcycle accident.
OT Dick Schafrath
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Career: Browns 1959-1971
Schrafrath grew up in Ohio and won a national championship with Ohio State in 1957. His nickname was “the mule” because of his work ethic. The Browns selected him in the second round of the NFL Draft. He came to camp at 220 pounds, which head coach Paul Brown wanted him to do with more beef, so Schafrath became a mainstay in eating contests across Ohio State. He went to the Pro Bowl for seven years, was named the team’s MVP in 1963, and was an integral part of the 1964 NFL championship roster. He was added to the Cleveland Browns Legends in 2003. After football, he won a seat in the Ohio State Senate until retiring in 2000.
FB Bo Scott
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Career: Ottawa (CFL) 1965–1968, Browns 1969–1974
Scott, an Ohio State grad, was picked by the Browns in the third round and by the AFL Oakland Raiders in round 20. He chose to play in the CFL, where he was named an All-Star and won the 1968 Gray Cup. After playing out his option at Ottawa, he signed with the Browns. During his time at Cleveland, he starred alongside Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly and Ernie Green. From 1970 to 1972 he was the first full-back.
DB Jim Shofner
Career: Browns 1958-1963
Shofner was a Browns first round pick in 1958 after a glittering career with TCU. He was named a starter in his second season. He retired prior to the 1964 NFL championship season and went on insurance. From there, Shofner became an assistant football coach at his alma mater in 1966. That led to coaching stints at San Francisco, then 1978-80 with Browns QB coach, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis and then he ended up back at Cleveland in 1990 as OK. When head coach Bud Carson was fired in November, Shofner was named interim head coach and finished the 1990 season 1-6-0. After a season as a Browns scout, he was hired by Buffalo as a QB coach, where he was on two losing Super Bowl teams. Shofner was credited with developing Brian Sipe from the 13th round as a draft pick into a viable NFL-caliber quarterback.
OT Joe Taffoni
Location: Chapin, South Carolina
Career: Browns 1967-1970, NY Giants 1972-1973
A standout player in West Virginia, Taffoni was drafted into the fourth round of the 1967 draft — the first joint draft for the NFL and the AFL. He played his college ball at Tennessee-Martin after winning a state championship in high school. Eventually, in his fourth season, he earned starting position as a tackler with Cleveland in an offensive line that featured Gene Hickerson, Fred Hoaglin and Dick Schafrath in head coach Blanton Collier’s senior year. Taffoni played against the Jets in the first Monday Night Football game. He was then traded to the Giants where he joined RT. After football, he became a college coach before entering the business world and working in sales. Taffoni was named to the West Virginia All-Decade Team in 1960 and inducted into the Tennessee-Martin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.