1975 Cleveland Browns season

1975 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Forrest Gregg
Owner Art Modell
Home field Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Record 3–11–0
Division place 4th AFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify

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 QB 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.


NFL Draft

The following were selected in the 1975 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
15Mack MitchellDefensive end Houston
357Oscar RoanTight end SMU
482Tony PetersCornerback Oklahoma
5109John ZimbaDefensive end Villanova
5119Jim CopeLinebacker Ohio State
6150Charles MillerCornerback West Virginia
6154Henry HynoskiRunning back Temple
7161Merle WangOffensive tackle TCU
8186Barry SantiniTight end Purdue
9213Larry PooleRunning back Kent State
9215Floyd HoganSafety Arkansas
10238Stan LewisDefensive end Wayne
11265Tom MarinelliGuard Boston College
12290Dick AmbroseLinebacker Virginia
13317Willie ArmsteadWide receiver Utah
14341Tim BarrettRunning back John Carroll
15369Willie MooreDefensive tackle Johnson C. Smith
16394J.K. McKayWide receiver USC
17421Dave GrafLinebacker Penn State


Exhibition schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 August 10, 1975 at San Francisco 49ers L 17–13
2 August 16, 1975 Philadelphia Eagles W 14–6
3 August 22, 1975 at Washington Redskins L 23–14
4 September 1, 1975 Buffalo Bills L 34–20
5 September 7, 1975 vs. New York Giants at Seattle W 24–20
6 September 13, 1975 Detroit Lions L 27–24

Regular season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 21, 1975 at Cincinnati Bengals L 24–17
2 September 28, 1975 Minnesota Vikings L 42–10
3 October 5, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers L 42–6
4 October 12, 1975 Houston Oilers L 40–10
5 October 19, 1975 at Denver Broncos L 16–15
6 October 26, 1975 Washington Redskins L 23–7
7 November 2, 1975 at Baltimore Colts L 21–7
8 November 9, 1975 at Detroit Lions L 21–10
9 November 16, 1975 at Oakland Raiders L 38–17
10 November 23, 1975 Cincinnati Bengals W 35–23
11 November 30, 1975 New Orleans Saints W 17–16
12 December 7, 1975 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 31–17
13 December 14, 1975 Kansas City Chiefs W 40–14
14 December 21, 1975 at Houston Oilers L 21–10


AFC Central
Pittsburgh Steelers(1) 12 2 0 .857 6–0 10–1 373 162 L1
Cincinnati Bengals(4) 11 3 0 .786 3–3 8–3 340 246 W1
Houston Oilers 10 4 0 .714 2–4 7–4 293 226 W3
Cleveland Browns 3 11 0 .214 1–5 2–8 218 372 L1


1975 Cleveland Browns roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics Jack Jorgensen UCLA


Awards and records



  1. "1975 NFL Draft Listing – Pro-Football-Reference.com". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  2. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/1975_roster.htm
  3. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 443

External links

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