Former Cleveland Browns great Bill Glass passed away Sunday. He was 86 years old. The former defensive end played for 12 years including his best statistical years with Cleveland from 1962-1968. He retired a Brown.
Glass attended Baylor University and every professional scout had him penciled in as a high first-round draft pick. He was voted to the All-American Team in 1956 plus was All-Southwest Conference. He lasted until pick #12 in the 1957 NFL draft selected by the Detroit Lions. Instead, Glass signed with Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League for one year, then signed with Detroit for four seasons before being traded to Cleveland.
When Glass retired from football in 1968, he was listed as most All-Time in sacks for the Browns’ franchise. Then LB Clay Matthews broke that standing during his 16 years with Cleveland.
That all changed this year. Two researchers from the Professional Football Researchers Association spent decades going back into every single National Football League and American Football League game since 1960 to tally up new and accurate sacks stats. The new totals were announced this past July.
This led to numerous players who would be given more sack totals than originally assumed because prior to the 1980s the category of “sack” was loosely governed and in many cases was only logged as a rushing loss of yardage. The official stat of sack began in 1982.
With the new findings, Glass now has 77.5 sacks accumulated in just 94 games while Matthews’ new totals are 75 sacks received in 232 contests.
Glass also owns Cleveland’s top single season sack records: 16.5 sacks (1965), 15.5 sacks (1962), and 15 (1966). Reggie Camp, Jack Gregory and Myles Garrett are next on the list with 14 sacks each registered in 1984, 1970 and 2021, respectively. Garrett’s efforts are for the first 12 games in this current season with five remaining.
Glass played at 252 pounds and stood 6’5” which in today’s standards would most likely be attached to a linebacker or tight end. But his speed off the edge was his best friend and he was a lot stronger than opposing offensive linemen assumed with tenacity interlaced.
In a list of the 100 greatest Browns players, Glass was listed at Number 31 on cleveland.com compiled in 2013.
When Glass played for Cleveland he was the highest paid defensive lineman in the league. Glass was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and in 1987 was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Cleveland inducted him into their Browns Legends Program in 2007.
As good a football player as Glass was, his greatest achievements were developed after he hung up his cleats.
He founded “Bill Glass Ministries” in 1969 with the focus on prisoners that were incarcerated who may not have access or guidance to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The premise of his ministry is to be a voice in areas that normal Christians aren’t in attendance such as biker rallies, prison yards, sporting events and other venues where the gospel isn’t the norm in order to spread the word of God. Glass has authored a dozen books.
Now that Glass is Cleveland’s All-Time career sack leader, he has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.