Last week's question, "Long time Dolphin's Coach, Don Shula was drafted
in 1951 by whom and for what position?" Don Shula was
drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1951 as a defensive back.
Shula graduated in 1951 and majored in sociology with a minor in
mathematics, and was offered a job teaching and coaching at Canton
Lincoln High School in Canton, Ohio for $3,750 a year ($34,188 in 2016).
The Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, however, had
selected him in the ninth round of the 1951 draft that January.
Cleveland had won the NFL championship the previous year behind a
staunch defense and an offense led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback
Marion Motley and end Dante Lavelli. Shula was joined in
the Browns' training camp by John Carroll teammate Carl Taseff, whom
Cleveland coach Paul Brown selected in the 22nd round.
Brown made the selections in part because John Carroll coach Herb
Eisele attended his coaching clinics and used similar schemes and
terminology as Brown did.
Shula and Taseff
both made the team and were its only two rookies in 1951.
Shula signed a $5,000-a-year contract and played as a defensive
back alongside Warren Lahr and Tommy James. Shula
played in all 12 of Cleveland's games in 1951, making his first
appearance as a starter in October, and recorded four interceptions.
The Browns, meanwhile, finished with an 11–1 record and advanced
to the championship game for a second straight year.
The team lost the game 24–17 to the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles.
Shula served for 11 months in the Ohio National Guard in 1952
during the Korean War. Shula was a member of an Ohio
National Guard unit that was activated the following January amid the
Korean War. Military service in Ohio and at Fort Polk
in Louisiana kept Shula away from football until the unit was
deactivated that November.
Returning to the
Browns, Shula signed a $5,500-a-year contract and played in five games
at the end of the season, having become a full-time starter because of
injuries to other players. The Browns again advanced
to the championship game and again lost, this time to the Detroit Lions.
In early 1953, Brown traded Shula along with Taseff and eight
other players to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for five Colts players
including tackles Mike McCormack and Don Colo. Before joining Baltimore,
Shula finished a master's degree in physical education at Case Western
Reserve University in Cleveland. Shula signed a
$6,500-a-year contract with Baltimore, which was preparing for its first
season after relocating from Dallas, where the franchise had been called
the Dallas Texans (not to be confused with the 1960 Texans which later
became the KC Chiefs). The team replaced an earlier
Colts franchise that folded after the 1950 season.
The Colts finished with a 3–9 record in 1953 despite leading the NFL in
defensive takeaways, including three interceptions by Shula.
Baltimore continued to struggle the following year under new head
coach Weeb Ewbank, a former Browns assistant.
The team again finished 3–9 for last place in the NFL West,
although Shula had a career-high five interceptions.
Shula had five interceptions again in 1955, but the Colts finished
5–6–1, well out of contention for the divisional championship.
Shula missed the final three games of the season because of a
broken jaw suffered in a 17–17 tie with the Los Angeles Rams.
Ewbank brought in future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback
Johnny Unitas as a backup in 1956, but the Colts posted a losing record
even after he became the starter partway through the season.
Shula had just one interception that year. The
Colts waived Shula at the end of training camp in 1957 season, and the
Washington Redskins picked him up. Shula spent one
season with the Redskins before retiring. In his seven NFL seasons, he
played in 73 games, intercepted 21 passes and recovered four fumbles.
Weeb Ewbank, under whom Shula had played in Cleveland and
Baltimore, was fired as the Colts' head coach in 1963 following a string
of losing seasons and disagreements over team strategy and organization
with owner Carroll Rosenbloom. Colts owner Carroll
Rosenbloom immediately named Shula as the team's next head coach, having
recruited him for the job earlier. Shula was
only 33 years old, making him the youngest coach in league history at
the time, but Rosenbloom was familiar with his personality and approach
from his playing days in Baltimore. While Rosenbloom
said he realized he was "out on a limb" in hiring Shula, he felt it
would bring a sense of team spirit back to the Colts.
While Shula had only been an average player, he was "always... taking
pictures, talking football", said Rosenbloom. "He had always wanted to
Shula would remain with the Colts
from 1963 to 1969. After the 1969 season, Joe Robbie, owner of the Miami
Dolphins, signed Shula to a contract to become Miami's second head
coach. As a result of Shula's signing, the team was charged with
tampering by the NFL, which forced the Dolphins to give their
first-round pick to the Colts. The decision was
controversial because Shula and Robbie's negotiations and signing were
conducted before and after the official NFL/AFL merger, respectively.
Had the negotiations been concluded before the merger, while the NFL and
AFL were rivals, the NFL's antitampering rules could not have been
applied. Shula coached the Dolphins from 1970 to 1995
and most remembered for the 1972 Season. The Dolphins
were unbeaten in the regular season, 14–0–0. They swept the playoffs and
This week's question, "Who was the only Jet in
the 20th century to score four touchdowns in a single game?"
a. Adrian Murrell
c. Wesley Walker
d. Curtis Martin
This week's winnners will receive a 12 month supply of Mark
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hemorrhoids by 22%. Just ask his team! All trivia answers should be submitted to