Share this article

print logo


The Browns will pay tribute Sunday to a former player who died in the Vietnam War and has gone unrecognized by the NFL for decades.

It has long been reported that Bob Kalsu, a Buffalo Bills lineman, was the only former NFL player killed while serving in Vietnam.

But it recently came to the attention of the Pro Football Hall of Fame that Air Force Maj. Don Steinbrunner, a rookie offensive tackle with the Browns in 1953, died in Vietnam in 1967.

Steinbrunner, who joined the Air Force ROTC while at Washington State University, was called to active duty after his rookie season. After a two-year tour as a navigator, he decided not to return to the Browns.

He remained in the Air Force for 13 years and spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy.

He began his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1966. As a navigator with the 12th Air Command Squadron, he was shot down over Kontum Province, South Vietnam.

The Browns are asking all military veterans to come to Sunday's game against Pittsburgh in uniform.

Steinbrunner will be represented at the game by his widow, Meredyth, and their three children.

"I cannot explain to you what a thrill this is for me and my family," Meredyth said. "We are so honored to have this wonderful event in honor of Don."

Spielman not safe

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins General Manager Rick Spielman might be less secure than he's suggested.

Team President Eddie Jones said Thursday the makeup of the front office will depend on who's hired by owner Wayne Huizenga in the wake of coach Dave Wannstedt's resignation Tuesday.

Jones' comments came after Spielman said he received assurances from Huizenga that he'll remain general manager next season.

The Dolphins have begun their search for a coach. They'll also hire a new president because Jones plans to retire next spring. Jones said the makeup of the front office, which includes the job of general manager, will hinge in part on who becomes coach.

"For example, if that person came in and said, 'Wayne, I'm tickled to death to have this job, but I don't need Eddie around anymore,' I'm out of here," Jones said.

Spielman has been widely criticized since being promoted from his player personnel position last January. The Dolphins have the NFL's worst record at 1-8.

Around the league

Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair took part only in a seven-on-seven drill, but coach Jeff Fisher is hoping the quarterback can do some more work today. McNair bruised his chest twice in five games, the latest in a hit on Oct. 24 in a loss to Minnesota. Running back Chris Brown also didn't practice, but Fisher said he hopes he might work today.

Bears quarterback Craig Krenzel practiced and is set to play Sunday against Tennessee despite bruised ribs. Coach Lovie Smith said he's also hoping to have running back Thomas Jones back from an injured toe. Anthony Thomas will start if Jones can't go.

New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington will need a second MRI before coming back to ensure the initial exam didn't miss any damage because of fluid or swelling. He strained his right rotator cuff and is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks, pending the second exam. Defensive end John Abraham missed practice again because of food poisoning.

There are no comments - be the first to comment