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Metcalf back in town

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  • Metcalf back in town

    Metcalf back in town
    Steve King, Staff Writer
    How good of a player for the Browns was running back/returner Eric Metcalf?

    So good that even though his exploits -- two punt returns for touchdowns -- in a 1993 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers were picked by the Browns as one of their 60 most memorable moments in conjunction with their 60th anniversary celebration, it's not even his biggest moment with the club.

    "Actually, it was earlier in that 1993 season," Metcalf said Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium before the Browns-Kansas City Chiefs game, for which he served as the honorary coin toss captain as the club celebrated the 1990s era.

    It came on Sept. 19 when he scored a touchdown on a one-yard run as time expired to lead the Browns, who were down 16-3 in the fourth quarter, to a 19-16 victory over the Los Angeles Raiders at Memorial Coliseum.

    "That was special because it was the first and only time in my entire football career -- Pop Warner, high school, college or the pros -- that I ever scored the winning TD on the final play of the game," said Metcalf, the Browns' first-round draft choice in 1989 who played with them through '94. "And also, in that game, I hadn't done anything all day. The Raiders had really bottled me up. So it was great to be able to make a play like that in the end."

    In the aforementioned game against the Steelers later that year, on Oct. 24 at Cleveland Stadium, he had a 91-yard punt return for a TD in the first half and then took a 75-yarder for another TD in the closing minutes that served as the difference in a 28-23 Cleveland win. It marked the first time in NFL history that a player had had two punt returns of 75 yards or longer for TDs in the same game.

    "Sure, that was a big day, too, for me," said Metcalf, who lives back in his hometown of Seattle. "The Stadium was so loud when I got that second score. I had never heard anything like that before. But still, it wasn't the final play."

    OK, but his knee was banged up and his availability for that game had been iffy at best all week.

    "I was only about 75 percent that day," Metcalf said

    Doesn't that count for something?

    Yes. But not everything.

    However, that begs the question: What would he had done had he been 100 percent?

    "I wouldn't have had to make as many moves, and my teammates wouldn't have had to hold their blocks as long," he laughed.

    Joke about it if you will, Eric Metcalf, but you speak the truth. You really were that talented.

    As such, he had a lot of big plays -- in a lot of different ways -- during his six seasons with the Browns, including a four-TD day against the Raiders in L.A. in 1992. One of the most versatile players the Browns have ever had, he is their 10th all-time leading rusher with 2,239 yards, eighth on their receptions list with 297, tied for third with current team member Dennis Northcutt on their punt return average list at 10.6, second in kickoff return yards with 2,806 and fourth in combined yards with 9,108.

    So how would Metcalf have used himself if he had been coaching with the Browns then?

    "I'll use Reggie Bush as an example, because he's like I was in that he's able to do a lot of different things," Metcalf said. "With him and with me when I played, you try to get the ball in our hands a lot, but not with just runs.

    "I had a game against Houston one year when I had 80 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving. So I would use me the way the Browns used me that day. I'd run me about 12 times, but they would be plays where I was in position to make something happen. It wouldn't be a bunch of smash-mouth stuff.

    "And I'd throw me a lot of swing passes. Those are almost like extended hand-offs, where I get the ball on the edge while I was on the run."

    But the Browns didn't do enough of that. That was bad enough, but the situation would have been exacerbated had Metcalf complained. He kept his mouth shut, which is a testament to him.


    "It doesn't do any good to be a distraction," he said.

    Metcalf wants all of his athletes to be team players, too. He coaches high school football and AAU track, but he likes the latter sport the best. And he likes college football better -- especially that played at his alma mater of Texas -- than the NFL variety, although he remains a big Browns fan.

    He is the father of three children -- a 10-year-old girl and 6-year-old twins, a boy and girl. He said his son might end up being pretty good in track.

    Metcalf was pretty good in track as well at one time, but it's football where he made the biggest name for himself.

    And although he went on to play for six other teams before ending his career in 2002 with the Green Bay Packers, he said he will always consider himself a Brown.

    "That was the team that drafted me," he said. "It's where I got my start. It's where I made the bulk of my relationships in the NFL."

    And Cleveland is where, in 1993, he had his greatest day as a pro. Just pick one.

    The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

    The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

  • #2
    even though i am a casual browns fan........eric metcalf,bernie kosar,clay matthews,ozzie newsome and jim brown have always been my favorite browns players .............he was on the cleveland browns post game show after the kansas city was nice seein what he been up too
    I support Kaepernick 100%