December 21, 2014

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Browns announce Ring of Honor; Mike Holmgren ‘trusts’ Jim Brown will attend ceremony

BEREA — The Browns announced Thursday they will place a Ring of Honor inside Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The 16 Hall of Famers from team history will make up the initial group of inductees, and their names will be prominently displayed on the facade of the upper deck. The induction ceremony will be at halftime of the home opener against Kansas City on Sept. 19.

“We have a great tradition, a great history,” president Mike Holmgren said. “I’ts one of the reasons I’m here. The Browns are one of the great organizations and have a tremendous legacy.

 

“This is long overdue.”

The team’s Legends program will also return after a year off, honoring people who’ve contributed to the franchise’s success.

The 16 Hall of Famers are: Jim Brown, coach Paul Brown, Joe DeLamielleure, Len Ford, Frank Gatski, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, Gene Hickerson, Leroy Kelly, Dante Lavelli, Mike McCormack, Bobby Mitchell, Marion Motley, Ozzie Newsome, Paul Warfield and Bill Willis.

I’m overwhelmed,” said Warfield, who joined Holmgren and DeLamielleure at the introduction. “It’s a great and significant honor for me personally. This is the ultimate honor from this organization.”

Brown had worked as an adviser to owner Randy Lerner for years, but is no longer with the club and the relationship is strained. Holmgren said he called Brown on Tuesday, they had a good conversation and Brown will get back to him about his attendance.

“Jim Brown is synonymous with the Cleveland Browns,” Holmgren said. “He’s one of the great players ever in the NFL.

“It will be a great celebration for all of us and all 16 families. I trust he’ll be part of that.”READ MORE IN FRIDAY’S C-T