Bill Glass has not lined up at defensive end for the Cleveland Browns since 1968, but he recently picked up a couple of team honors.
Thanks to the work of John Turney and Nick Webster, both members of the Pro Football Researchers Association, who spent decades researching NFL game statistics, fans now have a better understanding of sack totals dating back to the 1960 season.
While the NFL only started recording sacks as an official stat in 1982, Turney and Webster’s research was thorough enough that Pro Football Reference posted new individual and single-season sack totals, which is where Glass enters the picture.
A first-round selection of the Detroit Lions in 1957, Glass arrived in Cleveland in 1962 as part of a multi-player trade with the Lions that centered on an exchange of quarterbacks Milt Plum to Detroit and Jim Ninowski to the Browns. Glass played for the Browns from 1962 to 1968, earning four trips to the Pro Bowl and being a member of the 1964 NFL Championship team.
During that time, Glass also totaled 77.5 sacks in 94 career games, which puts him 2.5 sacks ahead of linebacker Clay Matthews, who had 75 sacks in 232 career games during his 16 years with the Browns.
In addition to being the career leader in sacks, Glass also now holds the top three single-season marks with 16.5 sacks in 1965, 15.5 sacks in 1962, and 15 sacks in 1966. Those all beat out defensive end Reggie Camp’s previous single-season record of 14 sacks, set in 1984.
Those new numbers give defensive end Myles Garrett a couple of higher targets to shoot for. In his four seasons with the Browns, Garrett has amassed 42.5 career sacks, with a single-season high of 13.5 in 2018. Glass’ single-season record will always be in play as long as Garrett plays an entire season, while the franchise mark is only two to three good seasons away.
Glass is not the only former Cleveland player to suddenly find himself on the franchise’s all-time list for sacks. He is joined in the Top 10 at No. 3 by defensive tackle Jerry Sherk, who had 70.5 sacks from 1970 to 1981; at No. 4 by defensive tackle Walter Johnson, who had 66 sacks from 1965 to 1976; at No. 5 by defensive end Paul Wiggin, with 60.5 sacks from 1957 to 1967; and at No. 8 by defensive end Jack Gregory, with 41 sacks from 1967 to 1979.