Hall of Fame blocker Joe DeLamielleure
When venerable offensive lineman Joe DeLamielleure joined the Cleveland Browns in time for the 1980 season, he was well on his way to earning a spot in the hall of fame. However once he came to Cleveland, DeLamielleure became the first offensive lineman in NFL history to block for a 2,000 yard rusher and a 4,000 yard passer.
The latter came courtesy of Brian Sipe, who threw for 4,132 yards and 30 touchdowns, during his NFL MVP season in 1980. That was also the season the Kardiac Kids made their thrilling run into the playoffs that season. He also blocked for O.J. Simpson as a member of the Electric Company offensive line while with the Buffalo Bills, when Simpson became the NFL’s first 2,000 yard rusher.
Five other linemen have joined the exclusive club that DeLamielleure founded the club. The other members include Jackie Slater, Doug Smith, Irv Pankey, Kevin Glover and Tom Nalen, however only Joe D’s duo were both named the NFL’s MVP and the won the league’s passing crown.
Joe D’s first season in Cleveland was his sixth and final trip to the Pro Bowl. Throughout his 13-year NFL career, DeLamielleure proved to be one of the most durable lineman in the history of the league by playing in 185 consecutive games.
After five seasons with the Browns, Joe D returned to Buffalo in 1985 for one final season in the NFL. Before landing in Cleveland, he played seven seasons with the Bills after being drafted in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft out of Michigan State University.
DeLamielleure was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and was named to the NFL’s 1970 all-decade team.
In 1992, DeLamielleure briefly played with the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League. He also served Duke University’s tight end coach in 2000.