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Former Browns running back passes at 77

Oakland Raiders 2009 Football Headshots AP

In 1956, the Browns made Arkansas running back Preston Carpenter the 13th overall pick in the draft.  As a rookie, Carpenter rushed for 756 yards during a 12-game season.

The next year, Carpenter moved to receiver.  But not because he wanted to.  He made the move because the Browns drafted another running back in 1957.  A former Syracuse tailback named Jim Brown.

So Carpenter became a receiver, eventually making it to the Pro Bowl with the Steelers at that position in 1962.  According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (and as mentioned in the Sunday one-liners), Carpenter has died after a brief illness, at the age of 77.

Our condolences go out to Carpenter’s family, friends, and teammates.

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6 Responses to “Former Browns running back passes at 77”
  1. trickbunny says: Jul 3, 2011 12:23 PM

    “Now there’s a haircut you could set your watch to!”- Grandpa Simpson

    RIP, Mr. Carpenter.

  2. tomthebombtracy says: Jul 3, 2011 1:04 PM

    I will never forget something Preston Carpenter did and thanks to Wikipedia and the other auspices of the internet, I have located the occasion.

    The NFL, for ten years leading up the merger, had something called the Playoff Bowl where the two second place finishers in each conference squared off in the Orange Bowl for an official claim to third place.

    The Steelers, who had only been to one other real playoff when they finished tied with the Eagles and then lost a 21-0 playoff game to them maybe in the 40s, played in their one and only Playoff Bowl, January, 1963 against Detroit. They lost.

    My moniker played for that team…Tom The Bomb Tracy, an oft time drinking and carousing buddy of Bobby Layne.

    Preston Carpenter was a Pro Bowl player for the Steelers that year. And on the nationally televised individual introductions, Preston Carpented winked at the camera. I was 12. I thought was so cool.

    A site I visited said that was also the first game the Steelers wore black helmets. They looked good so they dropped the gold ones. We only have to see those hideous things again when the Steelers wear their vintage unis….which make the big lineman look like school buses.

  3. tashkalucy says: Jul 3, 2011 3:34 PM

    Loved watching Preston with the Browns.

    When Preston moved to WR to make room for Jim Brown, Paul Brown also traded for Preston’s brother Lew who in turned backed up Brown and oftentimes played in the same backfield as a blocking back or Jim.

    Ah…..when the Browns were good!

  4. footballisfun says: Jul 3, 2011 11:14 PM

    Great story, tomthebombtracy. Thanks for posting.

  5. paulbrownsrevenge says: Jul 4, 2011 1:33 AM

    I agree. I Love the Browns!!!

  6. tomthebombtracy says: Jul 4, 2011 10:18 AM

    Steelers fans of that era know how good the Browns were. They used to routinely kill the Steelers. And Jim Brown is still the best football player I’ve ever seen. Walked away a young man totally on top, too. When’s the last time that happened that wasn’t related to injury.

    Fans may remember from that era the Steelers traditional Saturday night games at Municipal Stadium. The Steelers used to organize train trips for their fans….it was called the Ham & Cabbage Express. Only Steelers highlight I can remember is John Henry Johnson, also recently passed, running for 200 yards there and in one game being ejected for hitting a Browns player over the head with one those giant yard line markers.

    The Cleveland games at Pitt Stadium were drunkfests. Fans rolling down Cardiac Hill. Only highlight I remember is Steelers winning once, 9-7, having tackled Brown for a safety. The rest were mostly one way blowouts for the Browns.

    Like it or not, Steelers and Browns fans have some important connections. Chuck Noll was a messenger guard on those great Browns teams. Bill Cowher played and coached in Cleveland.

    Browns fans hate the Steelers now the way it was the other way around…..jealousy. Be good for all if they were both good!

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