Otto Graham

Knowledge Identifier: +Otto_Graham

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Otto Graham

American football quarterback who played for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and National Football League add

Category: Football

Born in 1921.

Countries: United States (56%), Ohio (9%), California (6%)

Main connections: Blanton Collier, Frankie Albert, Sacramento Kings

Linked to: National Football League, College All-Star Game, New York Yankees, Colgate University

 

Timeline


 

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Otto Graham was born in 1921 add something


1940

Graham excelled in athletics, and attended Northwestern University on a basketball scholarship in 1940 add something

 

He entered Northwestern University in 1940 on a basketball scholarship, but football soon became his main sport add something

 

Lou Rymkus - Playing as a tackle for the Cleveland Browns in the AAFC and NFL in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Rymkus provided pass protection for quarterback Otto Graham as the team won five league championships


1941

After scoring another pair of touchdowns in a win against Wisconsin, Graham passed to his wide receivers for two touchdowns in a victory over Ohio State, coached by Paul Brown, the team's only loss of the 1941 season add something


1942

The Wildcats struggled in 1942 as their players joined the war effort, winning only one game add something


1943

The 1943 season was a strong one for Northwestern add something


1944

He played basketball for Colgate before moving to North Carolina Pre-Flight later in 1944, where he played on the Cloudbusters football team under coaches Glenn Killinger and Bear Bryant add something

 

Graham's career at Northwestern officially ended in February 1944, when he moved to Colgate University in Hamilton, New York in the Navy's V-5 cadet program, a pilot training course add something


1945

Large numbers of athletes came home as the conflict wound down in Europe with Germany's surrender in the summer of 1945 add something


1946

After a brief stint in the military at the end of World War II, Graham played during the 1946 season for the National Basketball League's Rochester Royals, who won the league championship that year add something

 

By the time Graham was discharged from the Navy late in the summer of 1946, training camp for Brown's new team, the Cleveland Browns, had already begun add something

 

Graham is regarded by critics as one of the most dominant players of his era, having taken the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955, winning seven of them add something

 

He averaged 10,5 yards per pass and had a quarterback rating of 112,1 in 1946, a professional football record until Joe Montana surpassed it in 1989 add something

 

Many of the players who joined the 1946 team had retired or were nearing the end of their careers add something

 

The AAFC's first season was not set to start until the fall of 1946, and Graham occupied the intervening months by joining the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League , a forerunner of the National Basketball Association add something

 

The team won each of the AAFC's four championships between 1946 and 1949, and had professional football's first perfect season in 1948 by finishing undefeated and untied add something

 

In March 1946, the Royals swept a best-of-five series against the Sheboygan Redskins to win the NBL title add something

 

Bob Chappuis - Despite any difficulties in re-adjusting to civilian life and football, Chappuis broke Otto Graham's Big Nine Conference record for total offensive yards during the 1946 football season

 

Mac Speedie - He spent four years in the service before joining the Browns in 1946, where he played as an end opposite quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and fellow receiver Dante Lavelli

 

Frank Gatski - Known for his strength and consistency, he helped protect quarterback Otto Graham and open up running lanes for fullback Marion Motley as the Browns won seven league championships between 1946 and 1955


1947

Graham was named the AAFC's Most Valuable Player in 1947 and shared the Most Valuable Player award with Frankie Albert of the San Francisco 49ers in 1948 add something

 

He led the league in passing yards between 1947 and 1949 add something


1948

Frankie Albert - In 1948 he was named AAFC co-Most Valuable Player with Otto Graham


1949

The AAFC dissolved after the 1949 season, and three of its teams, including the Browns, merged into the more established National Football League add something


1950

With Graham at the helm, the Browns continued to succeed when they joined the NFL in 1950 add something


1954

Before the start of the Browns' 1954 training camp, Graham was questioned as part of the Sam Sheppard murder case add something

 

The 1954 season was a transitional one for the Browns add something


1955

After Graham's potential replacements struggled during the 1955 training camp and preseason, Brown convinced Graham to come back and play one more year add something

 

After he left football in 1955, Graham coached college teams in the College All-Star Game and became head football coach at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut add something

 

He was the NFL's passing leader and Most Valuable Player in 1955 add something

 

Blanton Collier - The Browns scored 10 points in the third quarter and a further 17 in the fourth, clinching the team's first title since Otto Graham's departure after the 1955 season


1956

George Ratterman - In 1956, he became the Browns' starting quarterback, succeeding Otto Graham, and was first player in the history of football to wear a radio receiver in his helmet, which allowed Cleveland Coach Paul Brown to call plays using a microphone instead of sending in messenger players for each play


1957

In 1957, however, Graham signed on as an assistant coach for the college squad in the annual College All-Star Game, a now-defunct contest between the NFL champion and a selection of the best collegiate players from around the country add something


1963

The team went undefeated in 1963, earning the academy its first-ever post-season bowl appearance add something


1964

Despite his reservations about the professional game, Graham, who moonlighted as a television and radio commentator for the American Football League's New York Jets in 1964 and 1965, left Coast Guard after seven years in 1966 to become head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins add something


1965

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965 add something

 

Mike McCormack (American football) - In 1965, he was hired as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins, spending the next eight seasons working under four different head coaches, including former teammate Otto Graham from 1966-1968


1966

Graham's tenure as the Redskins' coach between 1966 and 1968 was unsuccessful, however add something

 

Don Doll - In 1966, Doll was hired as an assistant coach for the Washington Redskins under head coach Otto Graham


1969

After Lombardi took over as the Redskins' coach in 1969, Graham returned to the Coast Guard Academy as athletic director and said he planned to stay there until he retired add something


1970

He coached the college team in the College All-Star Game in 1970 for his tenth and final time add something


1971

He was replaced in 1971 by Blanton Collier, who had retired after succeeding Brown as Cleveland's head coach add something

 

Blanton Collier - He was the coach of the college team in the 1971 College All-Star Game, a now-defunct matchup between the NFL champion and a selection of the best college players from around the country, replacing former Browns quarterback Otto Graham


1974

In 1974, Graham was named Coast Guard's football coach once again, although he resigned two years later to focus on his duties as athletic director add something


1977

Graham overcame colon cancer in 1977, but was later plagued by heart ailments and other health problems add something


1984

Following his resignation, he returned to the Coast Guard Academy, where he served as athletic director until his retirement in 1984 add something


1999

Graham became the Browns' uncontested leader, but he was "just one of the guys," tackle Mike McCormack said in 1999 add something


2001

He was diagnosed as being in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease in 2001, and died of a heart aneurysm in Sarasota, Florida on December 17, 2003 add something


Otto Graham died in 2003 add something

 

George Steinbrenner - At the funeral of his long-time friend Otto Graham in December 2003, Steinbrenner fainted, leading to extensive media speculation that he was in ill health


2013

In 2013, Northwestern's fundraising department created The Otto Graham Society to honor his achievements at the school and support its athletics programs add something


2014

In 2014 a new gymnasium at Waterford Country School was dedicated to Otto Graham's memory add something