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NFL – Special – Men Who Played The Game – Browns TE Ossie Newsome


Ozzie Newsome Jr. (born March 16, 1956) is a former American football tight end for the Alabama Crimson Tide while in college….and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame…..then for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns….an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame….and the current general manager of the NFL Baltimore Ravens.

During Newsome’s college career…..he started for all 4 years where he was nicknamed “The Wizard of Oz” after making College Football All-America Team in 1977….who assisted the Crimson Tide to a 42 and 6 overall record during his four seasons.  In total, Newsome amassed 102 receptions for 2,070 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns….as his 20.3 average yards per catch was a Southeastern Conference record for over 20 years.  Newsome was named the Alabama Player of the Decade for the 1970s….and he was a two-time All-SEC player (1976 and 1977), and named him SEC Lineman of the Year in 1977 by the Birmingham Quarterback Club and the Atlanta Touchdown Club. In 1994, Newsome was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame….where Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant called him “the greatest end in Alabama history and that includes Don Hutson. A total team player, fine blocker, outstanding leader, great receiver with concentration, speed, hands.”

The Wizard of Oz was the 23rd pick in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He was named the Browns’ Offensive Player of the Year his rookie year….which was the first time in 25 years that a rookie had received that honor. Newsome went to the Pro Bowl in 1981, 1984 and 1985. In 1984, Newsome set a franchise record for receiving yards in a game (191) that stood for 29 years until it was broken in 2013 by Josh Gordon….who recorded 237 and 261 yards in back-to-back games.  In 1986, Newsome won the Ed Block Courage Award for playing with injuries…and in 1990 won the Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award for his community service.

Newsome did not miss a game in his 13-year NFL career….playing in 198 consecutive games as a Brown with 191 starts.….finishing his career with 662 receptions and 7,980 yards….both Cleveland franchise records….while his 47 touchdowns remains fourth all-time. In 1999 Newsome was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On November 22, 2002, Newsome was named general manager of the Baltimore Ravens….which made him the first African-American to occupy that position in the NFL.  He had previously been a front office executive with Ravens since 1996 and with the Browns from 1991 to 1995.

Newsome earned his first Super Bowl ring when the Ravens defeated the New York Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001….while earning a second ring after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII by a score of 34-31 in 2013.

In 2003, Newsome received the United States Sports Academy’s highest honor, the Eagle Award, in recognition of his significant contributions to international sport.  Newsome is a member of the Cleveland Browns’ “Ring of Honor”, becoming a member of the first class inducted on September 19, 2010.

Folks, this was an exceptional football player….who has proven to be an exceptionsl general manager with a small market team….so, this video is well worth the view….as The Wizard of Oz deserves his place in history.

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