Hickerson blocked for three different Hall of Fame runners – Bobby Mitchell, Jim Brown, and Leroy Kelly
The Browns never suffered a losing season during Hickerson’s career, 1958-1973.
When Hickerson retired following the 1973 season, two of the runners he served as lead blocker for were ranked No. 1 and No. 4 on the all-time rushing chart. Jim Brown was the game’s all-time leader and Leroy Kelly was the fourth-ranked rusher.
Gene started at right guard in four NFL title games including the Browns’ 27-0 shutout of the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game.
Hickerson, who starred at right guard, played left guard during his final two seasons.
Before Hickerson joined the Browns, there had only been seven runners in NFL history ever to rush for 1,000 yards. During Gene’s first 10 seasons, the Browns had a 1,000-yard rusher every year but one.
"Even going into the 1970s and entering his 15th year, he was as good as any guard that there was. He was our best lineman. They drafted guys to take his place, but they didn't take his place. Gene left on his own terms." – Doug Dieken, former Browns tackle
“He was a great pulling guard because he had real fine speed. He could get downfield. That’s why we had those high averages. You don’t get that if you don’t have a line that can get downfield and throw when they get down there.” – Hall of Famer Jim Brown
“Publicity, who needs it? Hickerson appears the thorough professional who put away such childish things long ago. He forgot about glory when he started playing guard.” - Excerpt from a newspaper account in the late 1960s
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