OTTO GRAHAM

OTTO GRAHAM

Class of 1965
Quarterback >>> 6-1, 196
(Northwestern)
1946-1955 Cleveland Browns (AAFC/NFL)

Otto Everett Graham, Jr.. . .College tailback, switched to T-quarterback in pros. . .Guided Browns to 10 division or league crowns in 10 years. . . Topped AAFC passers four years, NFL two years. . . All-league nine of 10 years. . .Four TD passes in 1950 NFL title win. . .Had three TDs running, three TDs passing in 1954 NFL title game. . .Career passes for 23,584 yards, 174 TDs. . .Scored 276 points on 46 TDs. . .Born December 6, 1921, in Waukegan, Illinois. . .Died December 17, 2003 at age of 82.

When Paul Brown began organizing the Cleveland Browns team to play in the new All-America Football Conference (AAFC), the first player he signed was Otto Graham, a tailback from Northwestern University. Brown eyed Graham as the perfect quarterback for his new pro team.

Graham planned to concentrate on basketball at Northwestern. He was "discovered" playing intra-mural football as a freshman and although he became a fine passer in three varsity seasons, he had no experience in the T-formation. Brown never wavered in his decision. "Otto has the basic requirements of a T-quarterback – poise, ball-handling and distinct qualities of leadership."

It turned out the coach was right. Once Graham joined the Browns, he not only quickly mastered the mechanics of the T but he became the heart of a dynamic football machine. With Graham at the controls, the Browns won four straight AAFC titles and compiled an awesome 52-4-3 record.

Still, pro football "experts" theorized Otto and the Browns would get their comeuppance once they faced the NFL in 1950, but both the quarterback and the team proved more than equal to the occasion. In the Browns' 30-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the 1950 NFL Championship Game, Graham threw four touchdown passes.

His finest title-game performance came four years later when he scored three touchdowns and threw for a trio of scores in a 56-10 lacing of Detroit. Graham retired after that game but responded to Paul Brown's SOS early in 1955. In the final game of his career, the NFL championship against the Los Angeles Rams, he ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more in a 38-14 victory. For the ninth time in 10 seasons, Otto was named first-team all-league quarterback.

While Graham was guiding the Browns, Cleveland played in 10 straight title games and had four AAFC and three NFL championships.

Year Team
G
Att.
Comp.
Pct.
Yds.
TD
Int
Rating
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1946 Cleveland - AAFC
14
174
95
54.6
1834
17
5
112.1
30
-125
-4.2
1
1947 Cleveland - AAFC
14
269
163
60.6
2753
25
11
109.2
19
72
3.8
1
1948 Cleveland - AAFC
14
333
173
52.0
2713
25
15
85.6
23
146
6.3
6
1949 Cleveland - AAFC
12
285
161
56.5
2785
19
10
97.5
27
107
4.0
3
1950 Cleveland
12
253
137
54.2
1943
14
20
64.7
55
145
2.6
6
1951 Cleveland
12
265
147
55.5
2205
17
16
79.2
35
29
0.8
3
1952 Cleveland
12
364
181
49.7
2816
20
24
66.6
42
130
3.1
4
1953 Cleveland
12
258
167
64.7
2722
11
9
99.7
43
143
3.3
6
1954 Cleveland
12
240
142
59.2
2092
11
17
73.5
63
114
1.8
8
1955 Cleveland
12
185
98
53.0
1721
15
8
94.0
68
121
1.8
6
                           
Career Total (AAFC)
54
1061
592
55.8
10,085
86
41
99.1
99
200
2.0
11
Career Total (NFL)
72
1565
872
55.7
13,499
88
94
78.2
306
682
2.2
33
Career Total
126
2626
1464
55.8
23,584
174
135
86.6
405
882
2.2
44
                           
Additional AAFC Statistics: Punt Returns: 23-262; Interceptions: 7-102, 1 TD
Additional NFL Statistics: Fumble Recovery for TD: 1

1946 AAFC - Cleveland Browns 14, New York Yankees 9

1947 AAFC - Cleveland Browns 14, New York Yankees 3

1948 AAFC - Cleveland Browns 49, Buffalo Bills 7

1949 AAFC - Cleveland Browns 21, San Francisco 49ers 7

1950 NFL - Cleveland Browns 30, Los Angeles Rams 28

1951 NFL - Los Angeles Rams 24, Cleveland Browns 17

1952 NFL - Detroit Lions 17, Cleveland Browns 7

1953 NFL - Detroit Lions 17, Cleveland Browns 16

1954 NFL - Cleveland Browns 56, Detroit Lions 10

1955 NFL - Cleveland Browns 38, Los Angeles Rams 14


All-Pro: 1947 (AP), 1948 (AP), 1949 (AP, IN)

All-Pro Second Team: 1948 (SN)

All-NFL: 1951 (AP, UPI, NY), 1952 (UPI, NY), 1953 (AP, UPI, NY) , 1954 (AP, UPI, SN, NY) , 1955 (AP, UPI, SN, NY)

All-NFL Second Team: 1950 (UPI), 1952 (AP), 1955 (NEA)

All-AAFC: 1946 (UPI, OA), 1947 (NY, OA), 1948 (UPI, OA), 1949 (UPI, NY, OA)

All-AAFC Second Team: 1946 (NY), 1948 (NY)

 

(5) – 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955

Full Name: Otto Everett Graham, Jr.

Birthdate:
December 6, 1921

Died: December 17, 2003

Birthplace: Waukegan, Illinois

High School: Waukegan (IL)

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: September 12, 1965

Presenter:
Paul Brown, Hall of Fame coach

Other Members of Class of 1965:
Guy Chamberlin, Paddy Driscoll, Dan Fortmann, Sid Luckman, Steve Van Buren, Bob Waterfield

Pro Career: 10 seasons, 126 games

Drafted: 1st round (4th overall) in 1944 by Detroit Lions; signed with Cleveland Browns of AAFC in 1946

Uniform Number: #14 and #60

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