Dave Logan spent eight seasons with the Browns from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The angular wide receiver was not what you'd call spectacular. Just dependable. And that was more than enough to endear him to the club's faithful fans.
When a clutch catch was essential to keep a drive alive, the 6-4
In the second of this two-part Orange & Brown Report interview with Logan, we find out how he decided on football after being drafted by teams in the NBA and Major League Baseball; how two Hall of Famers helped ease his transition to the NFL; just how close the Kardiac team was; his thoughts on the Browns' move to Baltimore; and what he thinks of today's Browns.
The OBR: All right, let's build a bridge to the
Dave Logan.: I had broken my ankle playing basketball three weeks before the NFL draft. I had that surgery. We sent out a letter to all NFL teams that the ankle eventually would heal and I would be fine, but when I was drafted by the Browns, at that point I'm thinking that very well might be my future. The (NBA's Kansas City) Kings had drafted me and what they said was, "If you go back to school" – I had one year left in basketball because I had red-shirted one year due to a football injury – they said, "If you go back and just play basketball and not have to worry about playing basketball immediately after you play football, we'll contractually give you this, this and this." I just was ready for the challenge (of playing in the NFL). I thought that was the right way to go.
The OBR: How much of a shot did baseball have?
D.L.: It really didn't because at that point, when (the Cincinnati Reds) drafted me, if I had signed a contract with them, I could not have played any sport in college. They've since changed that rule.
The OBR: OK, you get to
D.L.: I had never been to the state of
The OBR: Then Sam Rutigliano comes on board as the coach and a lot of good things began to happen and you were part of that. What was that like, the Kardiac Kids days? How would you describe them?
D.L.: The ultimate rollercoaster ride. Plenty of thrills. A few bumps and bruises. Just an immense amount of fun. I'm not sure how, but we developed a personality that no matter what happened during the course of a game, we always felt like we could come back and find a way to win the game and I think it started a little bit in 1978, which was Sam's first year. It continued in 1979 and really blossomed in 1980 and if you look at the 1980 team, we started the season 0-2 and wound up winning 11. And of those 11 wins, I think nine of those we came from behind in the last two minutes of the game. So we really developed a great deal of confidence and trust in each other and it was kind of a magical season.
The OBR: It looked like you guys were having a lot of fun out there. How much of a trickle down was that from the coach?
D.L.: It was a really close team. I still talk to some of the guys on that team on a semi-regular basis. Reggie Rucker and Ozzie Newsome and Brian Sipe and Doug Dieken and Robert Jackson. I could name the whole team. We were not only teammates on the field, we were good friends off the field. We would hang out together. We developed a really cool camaraderie that frankly you don't see a lot of today in professional sports, certainly in the NFL.
The OBR: In 1995, when you saw what was happening in Cleveland and what turned out to be the move to Baltimore, what went through your mind having been here and played for this team? What were your immediate thoughts?
D.L.: I was really saddened. I was doing a talk show in
The OBR: Now we have come full circle.
D.L.: It looked like last year they kind of got things back on track. They've got an exciting team. You look at them offensively and look at guys who can make plays. They have started to accumulate some of those guys in Kellen Winslow Jr. and Braylon Edwards and I like (Derek) Anderson the quarterback. You look at Jamal (Lewis) at running back. They've got some of the pieces that I think you have to have. In order to win today in the NFL, you have to have playmakers on offense. You have to have the ability to make plays at crucial times. Guys who will catch the ball when they're covered, running backs who can pick up tough yards in the fourth quarter, quarterbacks who choose the right place to throw the ball. They look like they're starting to really kind of have a nucleus of guys like that. And I believe, even though defense is important and you have to be able to stop people when you need to, you still have to be able to make a play on the offensive side of the ball and I think they're real close to having all the components for an outstanding team.
The OBR: And if you see the Cleveland Browns in a championship atmosphere, how will you as a former Brown who now lives in Denver and calls Broncos games, how is that going to make you feel?
D.L.: I would be immensely proud and if there was any way if I were
not working, I would be at that game. There's no question about that. I spent
eight years in