Sam Rutigliano

Sam Rutigliano

Sam Rutigliano was brought in as coach of the Browns because management felt he could relate to the players better than the stern Forrest Gregg. Sam had been given a club that didn't have a direction, even though it had stars such as Greg and Mike Pruitt, Doug Dieken, Paul Warfield, and a defense loaded with talent. Sam's first order of business was Brian Sipe, the 13th round draft selection and starting QB. Sam saw talent in the young but erratic Sipe, and was able to turn him into not only a productive starter, but the league MVP as well. After a couple of seasons on .500 ball, Cleveland had a breakout year in '80. Brian Sipe was named the league MVP as he threw for 30 TD's. This club came to be know as the Kardiac Kids for their late game nail-biting victories. 9 of their 11 victories were won by less than a TD, and most of them were of the come-from-behind nature. Sam will be remembered not for his accomplishments, however, but for one mistake. It came in the 1980 playoff game against the Raiders. Cleveland trailed 14-12 late in the 4th when the Kids started to mount a comeback. Late in the game, Sam decided to pass up a field goal opportunity in the swirling winds of Cleveland Stadium and throw toward the endzone. Red Right 88 was the name of the play, and as Sipe's pass floated in the brisk wind on the open end of the stadium, a Raiders defender stepped in front of Ozzie Newsome in the endzone to catch it. The play is forever remembered as the "Mistake on the Lake," and unfortunately that's almost all that is remembered of Sam, Sipe, and the Kardiac Kids. Sipe went on to the USFL after the '83 season, and the Browns fell apart the next year. That's what cost Rutigliano his job.

 

Yr:
Team
W
L
T
Pct
Finish Playoffs
1978
Cleveland
8
8
0
.500
3rd AFC C -
1979
Cleveland
9
7
0
.563
3rd AFC C -
1980
Cleveland
11
5
0
.688
1st AFC C 0-1
1981
Cleveland
5
11
0
.313
4th AFC C -
1982
Clevlenad
4
5
0
.444
8th AFC 0-1
1983
Cleveland
9
7
0
.563
2nd AFC C -
1984
Cleveland
1
7
0
.125
3rd AFC C -
NFL
Totals
47
50
0
.485
0-2

 

This page has been visited 612 times since 6/22/01
Cleveland Browns History is an independent football site dedicated to giving all fans free access to a complete library of Cleveland Browns information. This site is not affiliated with the Cleveland Browns, the National Football League, or any of their affiliates. This site does not generate profit, nor does it have expenditures. All photographs are property of their respective owners and may not be reproduced.
All code, content, and format is copyright 2000-2001 FDM Netertainment Services, Frank D. Mann, and/or the Cleveland Browns History Site unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. All articles and editorials may be reproduced provided appropriate credit is given to this site.