OZZIE NEWSOME

OZZIE NEWSOME

Class of 1999
Tight End >>> 6-2, 232
(Alabama)
1978-1990 Cleveland Browns

Ozzie Newsome, Jr. . .Browns’ first round draft pick, 1978. . . Nicknamed “Wizard of Oz”. . .Became instant team leader. . . Retired as all-time leading tight end receiver, fourth among all receivers. . . Career stats: 662 receptions 7,980 yards, 47 TDs. . .Recorded career-best 89 catches in 1983, repeated feat in 1984. . .Caught pass in 150 consecutive games. . .All-Pro, 1979, 1984. . .Named to three Pro Bowls. . .Born March 16, 1956, in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Throughout his 13-season, 198-game NFL career with the Cleveland Browns from 1978 to 1990, Ozzie Newsome was a fixture at tight end, a true team leader in every respect, and one of only five players in Browns history to play in parts of three decades.

Nicknamed the “Wizard of Oz,” Newsome became the leading tight end receiver in NFL history with 662 receptions for 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns. He ranked as the fourth leading receiver when he retired.

Newsome, who was born March 16, 1956, in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, was an All-America at the University of Alabama in 1977 and he became one of two first-round draft selections of the Browns a year later. The first rookie in 25 years to be named the Browns’ Offensive Player of the Year in 1978, Ozzie earned all-pro honors in his second season in 1979, and again in 1984.

He was a vital cog in the potent offensive machine that took the Browns to three AFC championship showdowns against the Denver Broncos in a four-year stretch between 1986 and 1989. He also was a Pro Bowl choice following the 1981, 1984 and 1985 seasons.

An outstanding citizen as well as a consummate team player, Newsome won the NFL Players Association Whizzer White award for community service in 1990. Four years earlier in 1986, he won the Ed Block Courage Award for continuing to play in spite of injuries.

A long-time Browns offensive captain, Newsome played in 198 consecutive games. He had 89 receptions both in 1983 and 1984. Ozzie caught at least one pass in 150 consecutive games, the second longest streak in NFL annals at the time, a streak that ended in 1989. The 6-2, 232-pound tight end caught 50 or more passes six seasons, had three or more receptions in 112 games and eight or more catches 13 times. His biggest single game came against the New York Jets in 1984 when he caught 14 passes for 191 yards.

Year
Team
G
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1978 Cleveland
16
38
589
15.5
2
1979 Cleveland
16
55
781
14.2
9
1980 Cleveland
16
51
594
11.6
3
1981 Cleveland
16
69
1002
14.5
6
1982 Cleveland
9
49
633
12.9
3
1983 Cleveland
16
89
970
10.9
6
1984 Cleveland
16
89
1001
11.2
5
1985 Cleveland
16
62
711
11.5
5
1986 Cleveland
16
39
417
10.7
3
1987 Cleveland
13
34
375
11.0
0
1988 Cleveland
16
35
343
9.8
2
1989 Cleveland
16
29
324
11.2
1
1990 Cleveland
16
23
240
10.4
2
Career Total
198
662
7980
12.1
47
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 18-135, 2 TD; Punt Returns: 2-29

Championship Games

1986 AFC – Denver Broncos 23, Cleveland Browns 20
Newsome started at tight end but did not catch a pass.

1987 AFC – Denver Broncos 38, Cleveland Browns 33
Newsome started at tight end. He caught three passes for 35 yards.

1989 AFC – Denver Broncos 37, Cleveland Browns 21
Newsome started at tight end but did not catch a pass

All-Pro: 1979 (PFWA) • 1984 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN, PW)

All-Pro Second Team: 1979 (AP) • 1980 (NEA) • 1981 (AP) • 1982 (NEA) • 1983 (AP, NEA) • 1985 (AP)

All-AFC: 1979 (UPI, SN) • 1984 (UPI, PW)

All-AFC Second Team: 1983 (UPI) • 1985 (UPI)

(3) – 1982, 1985, 1986

(at time of his retirement following 1990 season)

• [2nd] Most Consecutive Games with a Reception – 150 (1979-1989)

Browns' records held by Newsome at the time of his retirement following the 1990 season

• [1st] Most Receptions, Career – 662
• [1st] Most Receptions, Season – 89 (1983, 1984)
• [1st] Most Receptions, Game – 14 (vs. New York Jets, Oct. 14, 1984)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games with a Reception – 150 (1979-1989)
• [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Career – 7,980
• [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Game – 191 (vs. New York Jets, Oct. 14, 1984)
• [1st] Most Seasons, 50 or more catches – 6 (1979-1981, 1983-1985)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Seasons – 13 (1978-1990)
• [3rd] Most Yards Receiving, Season – 1,002 (1981)
• [4th] Most Yards Receiving, Season – 1,001 (1984)

 

AFC Statistical Championships
Receiving Titles: 1984

Team Statistical Championships
Receiving Titles: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985

• 1980s All-Decade Team

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1978 Cleveland Browns 8 8 0 (3rd)
1979 Cleveland Browns 9 7 0 (3rd)
1980 Cleveland Browns 11 5 0 (1st)
1981 Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 (4th)
1982 Cleveland Browns 4 5 0 (8th*)
1983 Cleveland Browns 9 7 0 (2nd)
1984 Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 (3rd)
1985 Cleveland Browns 8 8 0 (1st)
1986 Cleveland Browns 12 4 0 (1st)
1987 Cleveland Browns 10 5 0 (1st)
1988 Cleveland Browns 10 6 0 (2nd)
1989 Cleveland Browns 9 6 1 (1st)
1990 Cleveland Browns 3 13 0 (4th)
* AFC regular season finish in strike-shortened season.
Full Name: Ozzie Newsome, Jr.

Birthdate:
March 16, 1956

Birthplace: Muscle Shoals, Alabama

High School: Colbert County (Leighton, AL)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame:
January 30, 1999

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 7, 1999

Presenter: Calvin Hill, Former Browns' teammate

Other Members of Class of 1999:
Eric Dickerson, Tom Mack, Billy Shaw, Lawrence Taylor

Pro Career: 13 seasons, 198 games

Drafted:
1st round (23rd overall) by Cleveland Browns

Uniform Number: 82

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