Leroy Kelly

Leroy Kelly (born May 20, 1942) is a former American football player. A Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, he played for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League (NFL) from 1964 to 1973.

Leroy Kelly
refer to caption
Kelly playing for the Browns in 1971
No. 44
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:May 20, 1942 (age 76)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school:Philadelphia (PA) Gratz
College:Morgan State
NFL Draft:1964 / Round: 8 / Pick: 110
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:7,274
Average:4.2
Touchdowns:74
Player stats at NFL.com

Career

Kelly had attended Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia and Morgan State University in Baltimore. He was selected by the Browns in the eighth round of the 1964 NFL Draft. As a Cleveland rookie he was a key return man, contributing to the Browns' 1964 NFL championship, and backup running back behind featured fullback Jim Brown and blocking halfback Ernie Green. He moved up to become the Browns' featured running back after Brown's retirement at the end of the 1965 season.

When Jim Brown retired before the 1966 season, Kelly became the starter. For the next three years, he rushed for 1,000 yards, led the NFL in rushing touchdowns, and won All-NFL and starting Pro Bowl honors. Kelly also played in three other Pro Bowls following the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons, and earned first-team All-NFL in 1969 and 1971. In 1968, he scored a touchdown in a franchise-record 12 games, and two-or-more touchdowns in a franchise-record 7. In game 12 of the 1970 season, he passed Bill Brown as the career rushing-yards leader among active players, a position he maintained until his retirement in 1974. Kelly led the NFL in rushing for two consecutive seasons (1967–1968). He also was a talented punt and kick returner, who averaged 10.5 yards per punt return and 23.5 yards per kick return for his career.

Kelly ended his pro career with the Chicago Fire of the World Football League in 1974, rushing for 315 yards (4.1 average) and catching 8 passes for 128 yards (16.0 average).[1]

At the time of his retirement Kelly, had rushed for 7,274 yards (then 4th all-time to Jim Brown, Joe Perry, and Jim Taylor)[2] and 74 touchdowns (3rd)[3] on 1,727 carries for 4.2 yards per carry. He also caught 190 passes for 2,281 yards and 13 touchdowns. On special teams, he returned 94 punts for 990 yards and 3 touchdowns, and 76 kickoffs for 1,784 yards. Overall, he gained 12,330 all-purpose yards and scored 90 touchdowns. He was named All-NFL five times and to six Pro Bowls.

After his retirement as an active player, he remained in the World Football League as the Philadelphia Bell's offensive backfield coach, joining two other Hall of Famers on that staff, former Green Bay Packers defensive backfield standouts Willie Wood (the first black head coach in pro football history) and Herb Adderley (defensive coordinator).

Kelly was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

Family

Pat Kelly, his younger brother, was an All-Star outfielder who played for five teams during a 15-year Major League Baseball career. David Kelly, his eldest son, is sports anchor and reporter for KMSB-TV in Tucson, Arizona. Leroy Kelly II his second son, played 3 years in the AIFA and 1 year overseas in the GFL Germany League For the Kiel-Baltic Hurricanes. Leroy Kelly II was invited to 2 workouts with the Cleveland Browns and 1 with the Detroit Lions.

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ 1974 Rushing yards career leaderboard
  3. ^ 1974 Rushing TD career leaderboard

External links

1965 NFL Championship Game

The 1965 National Football League Championship Game was the 33rd championship game for the National Football League (NFL), played on January 2, 1966, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This was the first NFL championship game played in January, televised in color, and the last one played before the Super Bowl era.

The game matched the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Browns (11–3), the defending NFL champions, and the Green Bay Packers (10–3–1) of the Western Conference. A week earlier, the Packers defeated the Baltimore Colts in a tiebreaker Western Conference playoff at County Stadium in Milwaukee, while the Browns were idle. The Packers were making their first appearance in the championship game in three years, since their consecutive wins in 1961 and 1962. Green Bay was relegated to the third place Playoff Bowl the previous two seasons, with a victory over the Browns and a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The home field for the NFL title game alternated between the conferences; in odd-numbered seasons, the Western team was the host. Home field advantage was not implemented in the NFL playoffs until 1975.

With the 23–12 victory, the Packers won their ninth NFL title, sixth in the championship game era.

1966 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and New York Daily News selected All-Pro players following the 1966 NFL season.

1967 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1967. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1967 Cleveland Browns season

The 1967 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 18th season with the National Football League.

The Browns were back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. They finished 9–5, the same as in 1966, but this time, it was good enough for them to get in as they won the Century Division championship in the first year of play after the NFL split the Eastern and Western conferences into two divisions each. The division race was not close, as the Browns finished two games ahead of the runner-up New York Giants (7–7), their old arch rival in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Running Back Leroy Kelly went over 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight time, getting 1,205 to go along with 11 touchdowns, while Ernie Green, now out of the shadow of Jim Brown, went over 700 yards for the second year in a row, getting 710. Quarterback Frank Ryan, the architect of the 27–0 1964 NFL title game victory over the Baltimore Colts, was in his last full season as a starter. He had 20 TD passes and 16 interceptions. But Ryan, with his body, especially his shoulder, beat up, gave way to Bill Nelsen early the next year.

The 52–14 playoff loss to Dallas in the Eastern Conference title contest caused Browns head coach Blanton Collier to re-shape his team at other positions as well, as new players were brought in to replace some of the fading stars who had carried the club for years. For instance, this was the last season for Hall of Fame place-kicker Lou Groza, who retired for the second time – this time for good – after making 11 of 23 field-goal tries. Groza, the last member of the original Browns from the team's inception in 1946, would retire after 21 seasons, followed the next season by another Hall of Fame kicker, Don Cockroft.

1968 All-Pro Team

This is a list of players named as All-Pros based on their performance in the 1968 AFL and NFL season. These lists provide a perspective into how players were judged against their peers by critics of their time. Players representing both the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) are included.

1968 Cleveland Browns season

The 1968 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 19th season with the National Football League.

The Browns made it to the playoffs for the 2nd straight year thanks to an 8-game winning streak and the brilliant play of quarterback Bill Nelsen who replaced Frank Ryan as the starting quarterback prior to week 4 of their season.

1970 Cleveland Browns season

The 1970 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 21st season with the National Football League. The Browns attempted to improve on its 10-3-1 record from 1969. The team would fail to do so, and they finished with an even 7-7 record and missed the postseason. This was the first season that the Browns would play the Cincinnati Bengals, their new arch-rival in the AFC Central. The 2 teams split their 2 meetings in the first season series.

1971 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1971. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1971.

1971 Cleveland Browns season

The 1971 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 22nd season with the National Football League.

After missing the playoffs the previous year, the Browns got off to a good start at 4–1 only to stumble losing 4 straight to fall to 4–5. However, the Browns would rebound to win the final 5 games of the season for the AFC Central Division title. Just as the 1967 Browns returned to the playoffs following a one-year absence, so, too, did the '71 club, which was in its first season under new head coach Nick Skorich after Blanton Collier's final team in 1970 had finished just 7–7, ending a string of three consecutive postseason berths.

As was the case in 1967, the '71 Browns went 9–5 and won a division crown. They captured the AFC Central for the first time, finishing three games in front of the soon-to-emerge Pittsburgh Steelers (6–8). In the playoffs the Browns would fall in the first round 20–3 to the Baltimore Colts. Running back Leroy Kelly was on the downside of his Pro Football Hall of Fame career, but he did manage to rush for 865 yards and 10 touchdowns – still good for a 14-game season. Wide receiver Fair Hooker led the team in receptions with 45.

1972 Cleveland Browns season

The 1972 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 23rd season with the National Football League.

1975 Cleveland Browns season

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 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 worst three-game stretch they've ever had. Later in the year—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 in the middle of a major rebuilding phase, trying 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 Browns' 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 quarterback job in what became a major quarterback controversy.Asides from the progress of Sipe, another diamond in the rough was 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 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 1971.

Bo Scott

Robert Marilla Scott (born March 30, 1943 in Connellsville, Pennsylvania) is a former running back for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League. He played at the collegiate level for Ohio State University and was selected by the Browns in the third round of the 1965 NFL Draft. Because the Browns' backfield was already full of quality backs, such as future Hall of Fame rushers Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly, as well as Ernie Green, Scott elected to sign for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. In Canada, he was named a CFL all-star and helped the team to the 1968 Grey Cup championship. After joining the Browns in 1969, Scott rushed for 2,124 yards and 18 touchdowns in 554 attempts in his Cleveland career. Scott was the starting fullback for the Browns from 1970-1972. After his playing time diminished in 1973 and 1974, Scott was waived by Cleveland on August 8, 1975.

Gene Hickerson

Robert Gene Hickerson (February 15, 1935 – October 20, 2008) was an American Football offensive guard who played for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) in a fifteen-year career from 1958 to 1960 and 1962 to 1973. Hickerson was a six-time Pro Bowler from 1965 to 1970. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4, 2007.

Larry Benz

Larry Walker Benz (born January 28, 1941) is a former professional American football safety in the National Football League. He played three seasons for the Cleveland Browns.

List of Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl selections

This is a list of Cleveland Browns players who were elected to the Pro Bowl.

The year indicates when the game was played, not the season that it followed.

List of National Football League annual rushing touchdowns leaders

This is a season-by-season list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in rushing touchdowns. Although rushing has both an offensive and a defensive meaning, this list charts offensive rushing touchdowns, usually scored by a running back, either a halfback or a fullback.

Record-keeping for rushing touchdowns began in 1932, when Bronko Nagurski of the Chicago Bears led the league with 4 rushing touchdowns. Since then, LaDainian Tomlinson has set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season, when he led the league in 2006, with 28 rushing touchdowns, while playing with the San Diego Chargers. Prior to Tomlinson's setting of the record, Priest Holmes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks, jointly held the record with 27, reaching that mark in 2003 NFL season and 2005, respectively.

Jim Brown holds the record for most league-leading seasons in rushing touchdowns, with 5 (1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, and 1965). Dutch Clark became the first player to lead the league in consecutive seasons (1936 and 1937), although in 1937 he co-led the league. The first sole rushing touchdowns leader in consecutive seasons was Johnny Drake, when he led in 1939 and 1940. Steve Van Buren was the first to lead the league in 3 consecutive seasons, from 1947 to 1949, a figure later matched by Jim Brown (1957 to 1959) and Leroy Kelly (1966 to 1968). Marcus Allen is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing touchdowns while playing with 2 different teams; in 1982, Allen led the league while playing with the Oakland Raiders, and in 1993, he led the league while playing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 1943, Bill Paschal became the first NFL player to post a 10+ rushing touchdowns season, when playing for the New York Giants. 40 seasons later, in 1983, John Riggins posted the league's first 20+ rushing touchdowns season. Steve Van Buren was the first player to lead the league with consecutive 10+ rushing touchdowns seasons, in 1947 and 1948; he would add a third consecutive in 1949. Emmitt Smith posted the first consecutive league-leading 20+ rushing touchdowns seasons in 1994 and 1995–an achievement later matched by Priest Holmes, in 2003 and 2004.

Morgan State Bears football

The Morgan State Bears football team competes in American football on behalf of Morgan State University. The Bears compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, currently as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Bears play their home games at Hughes Stadium, a 10,000 seat facility in Baltimore, Maryland.

Morgan State began playing football in 1898, 31 years after the school was founded. The team's all-time record is 405 wins, 379 losses and 38 ties. 173 of those wins came between 1929 and 1959 when Edward P. Hurt was the head coach and the Bears won 14 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championships. Earl Banks won four CIAA championships during the 1960s and an additional championship in 1971 after Morgan entered the MEAC. The Bears have won three MEAC Championships (1976, 1979 and 2014).

Nick Skorich

Nicholas Leonard Skorich (June 26, 1921 – October 2, 2004) was an American football player and coach.

Skorich played guard at Bellaire High School and the University of Cincinnati before joining the United States Navy in 1943. After the end of World War II, he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had taken him in the 1943 NFL Draft. He played three years for the Steelers.

Skorich then went into coaching, first at the high school level, then as an assistant with the Steelers from 1954 to 1957. After one year with the Green Bay Packers, he moved to the Philadelphia Eagles, who promoted him to head coach after Buck Shaw retired following the Eagles' 1960 championship season.

The Eagles remained competitive in 1961, winning 10 of 14 games, but fell to 3–10–1 in 1962 and 2–10–2 in 1963. Fired from the Eagles, Skorich took a job as a defensive assistant under Cleveland Browns coach Blanton Collier in 1964. The Browns promoted him to offensive coordinator four years later and head coach upon Collier's retirement after the 1970 season.

In 1970, the Browns had gone 7–7 in only their second non-winning season since beginning play in 1946. Under Skorich, the Browns went 9–5 in 1971, winning the AFC Central Division before losing to the Baltimore Colts in the divisional playoffs. The following year, the Browns earned a wild card spot with a 10–4 record. In the playoffs, they came as close as anyone else that season did to beating the Miami Dolphins in that team's perfect season, losing 20–14 on a late Jim Kiick touchdown.

But by then Browns greats like Leroy Kelly, Gary Collins and Gene Hickerson had retired or were winding down their careers, and quarterback Mike Phipps was proving to be a disappointment. Cleveland dropped to 7–5–2 in 1973 and, in its first last-place finish ever, 4–10 in 1974. The Browns replaced Skorich with former Green Bay Packers star Forrest Gregg. Several players drafted under Skorich, including Brian Sipe, Doug Dieken and Greg Pruitt would play well for Gregg and his successor, Sam Rutigliano.

After leaving Cleveland, Skorich served as supervisor of officials for the National Football League. He is credited with developing mechanics for umpires, the most demanding position on an officiating crew since the umpire is positioned behind the defensive line and is often caught in the middle of heavy traffic during play. The mechanics for umpires was changed by the NFL for the 2010 season, moving the umpire behind the quarterback, parallel to the referee, except for the last two minutes of each half.

He died in 2004, after complications from heart surgery. In his memory his family started the Nicholas L. Skorich scholarship fund, which, holds a yearly golf outing.

Pat Kelly (outfielder)

Harold Patrick Kelly (July 30, 1944 – October 2, 2005) was an American Major League Baseball right fielder with the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians between 1967 and 1981. He batted and threw left-handed. He is the brother of Leroy Kelly, a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back.A native of Philadelphia, Kelly debuted with the Twins in 1967. He played in 20 games over two seasons with Minnesota before spending two years with the Royals.Kelly made the American League All-Star team as a member of the White Sox in 1973, during a season in which he hit .280 in a career-high 144 games. Some of his best seasons were as a clutch-hitting, platoon player for the powerful Orioles' teams of 1977-80, including an appearance in the 1979 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kelly made the last out of the 1979 World Series, flying out to Pirates outfielder Omar Moreno.

Kelly finished his major league career when he hit .213 (16-for-75) in 48 games for the Cleveland Indians during the strike-shortened 1981 season.In a 15-season career, Kelly was a .264 hitter with 76 home runs and 418 runs batted in in 1,385 games played. He added 1,147 hits, 189 doubles, 35 triples and 250 stolen bases.Following his retirement as a player, Kelly moved to Towson, Maryland, and became an ordained minister for Lifeline Ministries. He died suddenly from a heart attack in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, at age 61 and is buried at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

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