Sunday, January 17, 2016

1977 Profile: Richie McCabe

Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backfield Coach
"Newly-appointed defensive coordinator Richie McCabe is not new to his assignment or his surroundings. He conceived the Cleveland defensive strategy during his final two years of a five-year stint with the Browns (1971-75). Richie has been a member of the Buffalo organization twice previously- as a player in the formative years of the franchise (1960-61) and later as an assistant coach (1966-68).
A native of Pittsburgh, McCabe was a starter on both offense and defense for the Pitt Panthers. He was selected by the Steelers in the 22nd round of the 1955 college draft and played four seasons in his hometown before going to the Redskins in 1959. He signed with the Bills a year later and made the 1960 American Football League all-star teams selected by the Associated Press and the Sporting News. A 1961 knee injury forced an early end to his playing days. He had five interceptions in his abbreviated Buffalo career.
Returning to Pittsburgh, McCabe taught high school for two years before entering coaching at Carnegie Tech where he worked during the 1964-65 seasons. Richie broke into professional coaching with the Bills in 1966. His 1967 secondary established a team record that stood until 1974, permitting opponents only 1,825 passing yards in one season. Two of his defenders, George Saimes and Butch Byrd, won All-AFL honors during McCabe's tenure. Moving to Oakland for the 1969-70 seasons, McCabe helped the Raiders to a pair of Western Division championships, working with all-star performers Willie Brown and Dave Grayson. Four of the five years he was with the Browns, McCabe's pass defenders ranked among the top 10 in the NFL. His 1972 Cleveland group was third in the League."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

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