HOF Spotlight: Paul Brown

Name: Paul Brown
Position: Coach
Pro Career: 1946 – 1962
Team Affiliation(s): Cleveland Browns
College: Miami (OH)
Induction Class: 1967

Brief Bio: One of the greatest coaching innovators of all time, Paul Brown, perhaps more than anyone else, deserves to have a professional franchise named after him. Brown organized the Cleveland Browns in 1946 for the new All-American Football Conference (AAFC). In the league’s four years of existence, the Browns lost just four games en route to sweeping all four league titles. When the AAFC disbanded and the Browns were merged into the NFL, success came no less easily. The Browns played in the NFL championship game every year from 1950 through 1955, claiming the title in 1950, 1954, and 1955. In total, Brown amassed an incredible 167-53-8 record with the Browns. A great innovator, Brown changed the landscape of professional coaching as he was the first to hire a year-round full-time staff of assistants, institute a scientific approach to scouting college talent, use intelligence tests to gauge players’ learning capacity, use notebooks and classroom techniques, set up complete film clip statistical studies, grade his own players based on film study, use a sideline play-calling system (using alternating guards as messengers) and hold his team together at a hotel the night before game day for both road and home games. Brown was also a mastermind at creating pattern passing schemes to take advantage of early defensive strategies and then developed a superior defensive plan to counteract his new offense.

1952 Bowman #14

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #14. While many football coaches never get their own card, Paul Brown earned that right (as did several other coaches included in the 1952 Bowman set). I assume that once the decision was made to include coaches in the set, Brown was the first obvious choice. Trivial Beckett value of this card is $250. Current listings on eBay range from $60 to $350 with most coming in around $100. There does not appear to be an obvious price difference between the small and large variances, but all of the highest priced listings do happen to be from the large set.

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