Frank Ryan, a three-time Pro Bowler who twice led the league in touchdown passes, threw three touchdowns to Gary Collins during the 1964 title game against the Baltimore Colts.

The recent passing of Frank Ryan, a pivotal figure in Cleveland Browns history and a key part of their most recent NFL championship, occurred at the age of 87 in a Connecticut nursing home, as reported by the Associated Press. The cause of death has not been officially disclosed.

Ryan, celebrated not only for his achievements on the football field but also as a renowned mathematician, made a lasting impact on Cleveland, where he spent most of his 13-year career. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Ryan played at Rice University before being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1958. Despite a modest athletic career, he balanced playing in the NFL with pursuing higher education.

His breakthrough came in 1962 when he joined the Browns after a trade, and under coach Blanton Collier, Ryan’s passing game thrived. His stellar 1964 season, culminating in the NFL Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts, marked a highlight as he connected with Gary Collins for three touchdowns, securing a memorable victory for the Browns.

While Ryan continued to excel in subsequent seasons, leading the league in touchdown passes in 1966 and making his mark in Browns history, his career eventually transitioned beyond football. After retiring, he earned a PhD from Rice and pursued a career in academia, later contributing significantly to modernizing technology in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Despite his multifaceted career, Ryan’s legacy remains deeply tied to his time with the Cleveland Browns, where he achieved impressive statistics and contributed significantly to the team’s history, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise and its fans.

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