PACKERS 12 OVER PLAYER LIMIT; 45 FIGHTING FOR PRO GRID JOB
SEPT 5 (Green Bay) - The Packers were still a full team – plus one – over the league limit of 33 players today, with the dispatching of two rookies. But there is no cause for alarm, since head coach Gene Ronzani still has 22 days in which to probe his squad for the 12 individual faces who must depart by midnight of Saturday, Sept. 27 – approximately 14 hours before the league opener here against the Chicago Bears. Ronzani shaved the roster to 45 athletes tonight by putting halfback Johnny Pont of Miami, O., on waivers and returned tackle John Knispel of La Crosse to the Cleveland Browns. Knispel was here on a look-see basis and any further disposition will be made by the Browns. Packer coaches have three more games in which to seek out the 33 men who will gain the honor of representing Green Bay in its NFL comeback campaign. The first of the final three battles, and probably the most important, will take place in Chicago’s Comiskey park Sunday afternoon when the Packers engage the Cardinals. Next, the Packers face Curly Lambeau’s Washington Redskins in Kansas City Sept. 14. As a final tester before the Bear struggle, the Packers will meet Pittsburgh in Minneapolis Sept. 17. The present Packer group is composed of 19 simon-pure rookies, 20 holdovers from the 1951 team and six men who played with other pro clubs last fall. Of the rookies, six are backs and 12 play in the line. The backs are quarterbacks Babe Parilli, fullbacks Bill Reichardt and Bobby Jack Floyd, and halfbacks Roger Stephens, Rusty Russell and Bobby Dillon. Russell and Dillon are defensive specialists, while the remaining four confine their activities to offense. Three of the 13 rookie linemen play outside of the line – in back of it, to be more specific. They are promising linebackers Chuck Boerio, Tito Carinci and Deral Teteak. Other simon-pure linemen are tackles State Dowden, Tom Johnson, Dave Hanner and Elmer Costs; guards Art Kleinschmidt, Steve Rusich and Dick Logan; centers George Schmidt and Dan Makowski; and end Bill Howton. The pro-experienced boys obtained this season from other clubs are split evenly between the line and backfield. In the wall are guard Ray Bray, obtained from the Chicago Bears; tackle Chubby Grigg of the Browns; and defensive end Ed Berrang of Detroit. Two of the three backs are defensive workers – Dan Sandifer, obtained from the Philadelphia Eagles, and Clarence Self of Detroit. Offensive back Bobby North played during the preseason campaign with Philly last year. Packer holdovers are also split evenly between the backfield and line, with 10 in each unit. All of the backs play offense, which means that the Packers’ defensive halfback corps – Russell, Sandifer, Self and Dillon – is all new this year. The running backs are headed by the unretiring Tony Canadeo, the league’s No. 2 all-time ground gainer, who is returning for his 11th campaign. Other halfbacks are Floyd Reid, Ray Pelfrey, Billy Grimes, Harper Davis and Dom Moselle. Fred Cone and Jack Cloud are battling in the fullback spot. The roster lists two veteran quarterbacks, Tobin Rote and Bob Forte, although Bob is a linebacker by trade. Forte filled in as a QB during Parilli’s all-star absence during the early training. The Packers can field an “all-holdover” line with Jay Rhodmyre at center; Dick Afflis and Dave Stephenson at guards; Ed Ecker, Howie Ruetz and Joe Spencer at tackles; and Bob Mann, Ab Wimberly, John Martinkovic and Stretch Elliott at ends…The Packers worked out again at the Bluejay baseball park and concentrated on a defense for the Cardinals’ powerful offense, headed by such backs as Ollie Matson, Charley Trippi, Elmer Angsman, Don Paul and Emil Sitko. The Packers worked without one of their coaches today, Chuck Drulis, who is in San Antonio, Tex., to scout the Washington-Dallas game in preparation for the Packers-Redskin battle. The Packers will leave for Chicago on the 11 o’clock North Western Saturday morning.
CARDS ACQUIRE JOE GERI FROM PITT STEELERS
SEPT 5 (Green Bay) - Halfback Joe Geri, brilliant workhorse of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday was obtained by the Chicago Cardinals for a player and a “big bundle” of cash. The NFL deal sent tackle Lou Ferry, a former Packers, to the Steelers for whom Geri had been an all-around star for three seasons. Geri, 27, had failed to report to the Steeler training camp this season, protesting the club had slashed his reported $10,000 salary too drastically. Walter Wolfner, Cardinals’ managing director, did not disclose the sum involved, but said it was “considerable.”
CARDINALS GET STAR JOE GERI FROM STEELERS
SEPT 5 (Chicago Tribune) - The Chicago Cardinals' offense assumed new importance in the National league race with the addition of holdout Joe Geri, workhorse of the Pittsburgh Steelers' attack, who was acquired yesterday in a trade for tackle Lou Ferry and cash. Geri, for three years one of the outstanding halfbacks in professional football, reported last night to Lake Forest college, where the Cardinals are preparing for their exhibition engagement against the Green Bay Packers in Comiskey Park on Sunday. Coach Joe Kuharich announced the former Georgia star would face the Packers, even if only to kick. Geri, 27, did not report to the Steelers' camp as a protest against what he called a "too drastic" slash in his $10,000 salary. Walter Wolfner, the Cardinals' managing director, declined to reveal the terms Geri accepted with the Cardinals, nor would he discuss the amount of money sent along with Ferry to the Steelers, but said it was"considerable". Ferry, a Villanova star, had been with the Cardinals for two seasons, after breaking in with the Packers in 1948. Addition of Geri gives the Cardinals a new passing, running and kicking threat. Five feet 10 and 185 pounds, Geri ranked third among National league ground gainers and third among passers in 1950. He scored 176 points for the Steelers in three seasons and had a punting average of 40.7 yards for 171 kicks. With Geri to help the offense, the Cardinals, who have had three strikes whizzed by them on the exhibition trail, refused to admit anything as they went about preparations for Sunday's home debut. If defeats dealt by the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams dampened the Cardinals' morale, Kuharich has a pretty fair bunch of thespians assembled at the Lake Forest training camp. As they go through two classroom sessions and one workout daily, veterans and rookies alike give the impression they are looking for more worlds to conquer. The Cardinals can find a kindred spirit in the Packers. Green Bay also is looking for its first victory after run-ins with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.
PACKERS TO PUSH OFFENSE AGAINST CARDINALS SUNDAY
SEPT 6 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers won’t throw their entire book of offenses at the Chicago Cardinals here Sunday afternoon – just part of it. Packer head coach Gene Ronzani reserves the right to keep some of his offensive plans under those proverbial wraps for the 1952 NFL schedule, but he does intend for the Packers to score some points. At least more than the current average of one in the last three non-conference engagements. Sunday’s fray in Comiskey park, scheduled to start at 12:30 Green Bay time, will be the fourth non-looper for both clubs. And they’ll both be seeking their first victories. The Cardinals, under new head coach Joe Kuharich, will be making their debuts before the home folks and for this reason the Packers are expected to face a keyed-up Big Red squad. It will be the first pro football game of the season in this windy burg, although the local sporting gentry got an insight into pro football during the recent College All Star-LA Ram spectacle. Sunday's event is sponsored by the Herald-American and is known as the Charles W. Bidwell Memorial game in honor of the late Cardinal owner. Proceeds of the contest will go into the H-A’s huge fund to assist crippled servicemen. A crowd of more than 20,000 is expected. The contest likely will go a long way in determining the 33 players who will represent Green Bay in the Nationl league race. The first three games were devoted largely to testing more than 20 rookies, but this figure has been reduced to 18 and Ronzani may give the entire group an all-out test. Ronzani is seeking the reactions of such rookie backs as fullback Bobby Jack Floyd and Bill Reichardt and defensive halfback Rusty Russell, and linemen Bill Howton at end, Tom Johnson, Dave Hanner, Elmer Costa and Steve Dowden at tackle and Steve Ruzich, Dick Logan and Art Kleinschmidt at guard. Howton has been “held off” since his successful break-in against the Cleveland Browns in Green Bay, but he may be tried on more advanced plays Sunday. Babe Parilli, the Packers’ new quarterback, may start along with the five other Packers who played in the College All Star game – Howton, Reichardt, Johnson, Chuck Boerio and Bobby Dillon. The Cardinals also will start their College All Stars, including the swift Ollie Matson. With such backs as Charley Trippi, Matson, Elmer Angsman and Emil Sitko, the Packers’ defense, which has held its first three foes to an average of one earned TD per effort – and no scores by passing, will get another rugged test. Special attention will be on the young line and the new linebackers, Boerio, Deral Teteak and Tito Carinci, and defensive halfbacks Russell and Dillon. The Packers will be handicapped some Sunday by injuries to halfbacks Billy Grimes and Ray Pelfrey. They may make token appearances. Grimes was hurt in the New York Giant game Aug. 16, and Pelfrey drew his injury in the Pittsburgh test a week ago last night. The Cardinals will start veteran Charley Trippi at quarterback along with Don Paul at left half, Sitko, Angsman or Johnny Karras at right hald and Matson at fullback. Also expected to play at left half is Joe Geri, the veteran back obtained from Pittsburgh Friday. Don Stonesifer is expected to carry most of the Cards’ pass receiving load. Probably lost for the game is Elmer Polsfoot, a sharp pass catching wing. The Packers will headquarter at the Hotel Knickerbocker here. They’ll return to Green Bay on the 10 o’clock North Western Sunday night.