'LONG ONES BEAT US,' SAYS RAY; 'NOT BEST GAME,' LIZ
SEPT 19 (Green Bay) - A thoughtful Ray Richards described what had happened to his Chicago Cardinals at Marquette Stadium here Saturday night in six words: "Those three long ones killed us." Richards, of course, had reference to the Packers' three long second half scoring strikes, one a 79-yard jaunt by Howie Ferguson and the others 77 and 72-yard aerial collaborations between Tobin Rote and Gary Knafelc-Bill Howton. "It wasn't a case of our being fooled so much as as the fact that they outmaneuvered us," the Big Red's new head man explained. "We were on top of the play every time." Richards, whose athletes now have lost three in a row after starting auspiciously with a pair of victories over the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, was "impressed by the accuracy of Rote's long passes." Take that one to Howton for example. If that had six inches or a foot either way, it wouldn't have been complete but it was right on the button. The former Los Angeles Ram line coach also was lavish in his praise of Ferguson. "He played a real good football game," Ray opined. "He's come a long way, hasn't he? Howie was with the Rams when I was with them, and we had three outstanding fullbacks, Tank Younger, Dick Hoerner and Dan Towler." How does he rate Ferguson, who was dealt to the Packers by the Rams in their palmier days, now? "On his performance tonight, he rates right up there with the best of them," Ray conceded. "Howton was in great form tonight, too, getting into the open," Richards continued. "It looked like Dick (Lane) was going to take pretty good care of him till Howton got that step on him on that long one." In the same breath, Ray admitted he was "disappointed in our pass defense because nobody has thrown on us like that all year. We haven't been the same since Charley Trippi was hurt, not only because of his own physical contribution but because he always kept everybody else in line." Trippi was hurt early in the Cardinals' 43-7 loss to San Francisco and the injury may have ended his career. How did he compare the Packers with the four teams the Cards have faced in grapefruit competition, particularly the Bears and Detroit? Richards reflected briefly and replied, “I think the Packers, off their performance tonight, will play both the Bears and Lion a good ball game.” “I think they’re going to win some ball games, too,” Ray insisted, “if they keep coming like they showed tonight.”…It might be expected that joy would be unrestrained among the Packers after it was all over, particularly in view of the fact that they had just ended a four-game losing streak with a resounding victory. But such was not the case on the player bus which transported Green Bay’s favorite sons back to the Hotel Astor headquarters immediately following the game. Conversation was subdued and there was only one topic – next Sunday’s league inaugural with the Lions at City Stadium. Rote summed up the prevailing sentiment by remarking: “We’re going to have to play better ball than that to beat Detroit next week.”…A light-hearted Blackbourn admitted “it was an important victory from the morale standpoint. Coming from behind is something new for us this year. We’ve been having it the other way so much. In fact, this one reminds me of our game with New York.” In that one, the Packers’ first and last victory until Saturday night’s edifying performance, they also came from behind to win in the second half, 31-24. Surprisingly enough, Liz didn’t think “this was our best ball game to date. We played real good football against the Redskins, you know, even though we did lose in the last minute. Those Redskins are an awfully good running team. As a matter of fact,” Liz went on, “this is a real tough league this year, you know. It’s all so well balanced you don’t know who’s going to be good. Take these Cardinals, for instance. They’re going to give a lot of people some trouble before this year is over.” Did he intend to pound any single phase of play in preparation for the Lions? “Yes,” he said, “we’re going after our defense pretty tough this week.” Like Richards, he was unstinting in his praise of Ferguson, allowing that the bruising Louisianan is “a real good one. Right now, I’d have to rate him 1-2-3 in the league at fullback.”…It was an historic night in the stadium’s “steam-heated” press box, the occasions marking the first time in his coaching career that George Halas, owner-coach of the Bears, has paid a visit to the “home” of the fourth estate. This information was volunteered by Clem Collard, custodian of the Packer press box both here and in Green Bay for the last 34 years, and later corroborated by George himself. “Yes, I believe this is the first time I’ve ever been in any press box,” he said. Halas, who sends his Bears against the Packers in City Stadium Oct. 2, was not alone. His entourage included his son, George, Jr., Walter Halas and his son, Pete, Bear line coach Phil Handler and backfield coach Paddy Driscoll. George, blandly insisting that it was “pleasure and not business” that brought him to Milwaukee, observed, not without a smile, that “it was a nice balmy night and the coaches had a holiday – there was no coaches’ meeting – so I came up.” Officially diagramming the action were Russ Thomas of the Detroit Lions; the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Bob Snyder, Tom Hughes and Paul Copoulos of the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants’ cherubic Jack LaValle…Halas was not, however, the only distinguished guest in attendance. Also in the stands were comedian Red Skelton, Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Stan (The Man) Musial, Red Schoendienst and Solly Hemus. The Cardinals helped the Braves close out their home series Sunday afternoon…ROCK AND SOCK: The Cardinals’ Ollie Matson was the victim of a crushing gang tackle in the third quarter that drew a sympathetic “ooh” from the 18,000 witnesses. It happened on the kickoff following the Packers’ second touchdown in the second quarter. Charlie Brackins, the kicker, rushed downfield and rocked Matson low. Almost simultaneously, Tom Bettis and Bob (Footsie) Clemens hit him high, in midair. The three-pronged blow threatened to break him in two, but Ollie was able to continue…RARE STOP: When any NFL team has a third down and one situation, a first down is almost automatic. It didn’t hold true, however, on one occasion Saturday night. The Cards called upon Johnny Olszewski and their chances looked good but big John Martinkovic roared up, wrestled Johnny-O to the ground at the line of scrimmage and held him there, forcing a punt…ALMOST A TD: Jim Philbee came within an ace of going all the way in his first Wisconsin appearance as a Packer. Returning the kickoff, following the second Cardinal touchdown in the second quarter, Philbee, a :09.7 man in the 100-yard dash, would have gone the distance with the aid of one more block. As it was, he brought the ball back to the Packer 40…’QUICK KICK’: Under the circumstances, Cardinal punter Dave Mann did nobly on a late third quarter “quick kick”. He fumbled the perfect pass from center, started to run with it, then changed his mind and got a low “line drive” off the side of his foot. The ball bounced to the Packer 21, a distance of 24 yards…PAGEANTRY: With 25,000 Shriners from seven states in Milwaukee for a Great Lakes convention over the weekend, the pregame and halftime ceremonies for this sixth midwest Shrine classic were even more colorful than usual. A highlight of the production was the appearance of the Minneapolis Zuhrah Temple Drum and Bugle Corps.
TWO ON WAIVERS
SEPT 19 (Green Bay) - The Packers today asked waivers on two players - tackle John Bove and end Bob Peringer. Additional cuts may be made Tuesday, pending the completion of trade talks with several other clubs, Coach Liz Blackbourn indicated today.
PACKERS LOOKED BETTER - HALTED SLIDE, DIDN'T TIGHTEN UP, BUT -
SEPT 19 (Milwaukee Journal) - Lisle Blackbourn's Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Cardinals here Saturday, 37-28, and that was good. It broke a four game losing streak. They ran the ball for 225 yards and passed for 295 more and that was very good. A week ago against Washington they gained a measly 26 yards on the ground. They got three very easy touchdowns among their five, and that was good. Howie Ferguson ran 79 yards for one, Gary Knafelc took a 77 yard pass from Tobin Rote for another and Bill Howton a 72 yard pass for the third. Why bat your brains out smashing the ball down the field on short digs? They didn't tighten up down the stretch as they have so disturbingly before and that was good, too. In fact, they played their best football down the stretch, scoring 24 of their points in the second half - 17 in the fourth quarter - and yielding only 14. They needed something like this to restore their wavering confidence. They didn't drop cinch passes as they did against the Philadelphia Eagles a couple of weeks ago or against Washington in the disastrous fourth quarter a week ago, and that was good. They showed they have some football players - Howie Ferguson, who gained 155 yards rushing alone; John Martinkovic, a giant on defense; hard working Rote, of course; Tom Bettis, and that was good. They gave the 18,000 spectators a rare offensive show, coming back three times from deficits, and that was very good. They need all the friends they can win in Milwaukee. But - and this almost sounds like heresy in Packerland after a victory - for all they did and showed, they still did not leave the impression they were a football team ready to take on the champion Detroit Lions in the league opener Sunday or geared up to go any place in particular in the NFL race. Maybe, though, after earlier bumps, this was just what they needed really to start jelling. They played very spotty football. When they were good, they looked very good as on their long touchdowns. When they were bad, especially on defense, they looked very bad. They were punctured at times. They need help for Rote at quarterback. Charlie Brackins who gave promise earlier of giving Rote the support he needs, has yet to settle down. They need better protection for their passers. The blocking of the halfbacks was exceedingly sloppy at time. They need defensive ends. The loss of Jim Temp to the Army, although he may still be available for part of the season, and the injury to Gene Knutson have created a real problem. Martinkovic and Nate Borden can't possibly carry the load alone. The Cardinals, with Johnny Olszewski the chief tormentor, did real damage Saturday night inside and outside the ends. They need some running from the halfbacks, some offensive blocking on their own wide stuff, to give Ferguson ball carrying support. All that was not good. Monday, Blackbourn cut the first two of seven he must still release to get within the player limit of 35 by Tuesday night. Placed on waivers were offensive end Bob Peringer and tackle John Bove. The others will be cut Tuesday. This week will probably be spent in making a lot of adjustments. Not only will Knutson and Temp not be available for the opener, but Len Szafaryn has a split toe which may keep him out and Al Carmichael has a shoulder separation which will definitely keep him out. Injuries have really raise up with the team. "Oh My Ulcers" by Lisle Blackbourn could become a best seller.
PACKERS EYE LIONS WITH GO-GO ATTACK
SEPT 19 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers came up with a surprising running attack Saturday night, thanks to Howie Ferguson's 155 yards, and it proved the winning ingredient to Tobin Rote's passing. Last week, Green Bay could measure a measly 26 yards on the ground and the consequence was their fourth straight exhibition setback to the Redskins. But add 225 yards on the ground to 296 through the air and it gives the Packers a double-barreled attack. something absolutely necessary in the tough Western Division race which opens against the Lions in Green Bay next Sunday. "We were happy to get this one," said Coach Liz Blackbourn Sunday, "but I can't tell you how good we played despite the score. The films will tell the story. I can tell you one thing, though, our defense will have to more consistent if we expect to stay with the fast company coming up. Several lapses allowed the Cardinals to score too easily." Blackbourn had called a staff meeting for later Sunday night in which a detailed study of the films would be made. "I can't measure a darn thing until I've done that." While the Packers were taking the day off after their 37-28 conquest over the Cardinals, they were probably quite concerned after hearing their Sunday playmates, the Lions, had pounded the Giants, 27-17. At least Blackbourn was. "We figured the Giants were one of the better clubs we faced during the exhibition season," added Blackbourn. The Packers defeated New York, 31-24, in their first game. Now the Lions look very, very good. "I'm not going to say anything about our opener Sunday, only that we're going to study and study ANY Detroit weakness our scouts point out. At this stage of the game we still haven't come up with a left end as good as Max McGee. Our offensive line appears somewhat stronger than last season," was the extent of Blackbourn's appraisal of his '55 club. An improved forward wall was certainly evident in Ferguson's 79 yard gallop against the Cardinals. Bill Howton, Joe Johnson, and Tom Dahms were the key blocks after the line opened up for Fergy, Blackbourn pointed out. Rote gave notice to Lion scouters that he is up to his old running tricks again. On a keeper play against the Cards, rovin' Tobin gained 13 yards to Chicago's four to set up the second Packer touchdown. Incidentally, when Rote's first pass was intercepted by Jim Keane on the Cardinals' five. It marked the first time in three games that the passing Packer had lost the ball to an opponent. Adequate protection was all that Tob needed. Blackbourn reported that tackles Len Szafaryn and Gene Knutson would definitely miss the Lion game as would halfback Al Carmichael. Knutson's injury is the more serious. Knee trouble will probably keep him out the remainder of the season. Szafaryn has a split toe and Carmichael is laid up with a dislocated shoulder. However, both Szafarn and Carmichael should be ready for the Bear game the following week. This is the Packer picture as the club opens its 37th season of pro football. Saturday night against the Cardinals resembled some of those more pleasant memories of the past. Sunday against the Lions the opponent is the defending champion. But even though Blackbourn is mum, there must be optimism growing. Liz can remember two defeats to the Lions last season in four days by the total of six points. A break (like hanging on to the football) could have meant the difference.
BLACKBOURN MULLS TRADE AFTER BAYS WIN 38-27
SEPT 19 (Green Bay) - The murmer of trade wins rustled the air after the Green Bay Packers stamped a 37-28 defeat on the record of the Chicago Cardinals in the Shrine exhibition football game Saturday night. Coach Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn indicated the Packers might make a deal for a defensive end or a defensive halfback, depending on the outcome of the Sunday's exhibition slate in the NFL. "An injury in any of the games could change the picture," he said. "But, we'll know more about it by Monday." Blackbourn said the Packers probably would give up a draft choice if a deal went through. The Bays still owe the Los Angeles Rams a draft choice for tackle Tom Dahms. Not long ago the club was set at defensive end, but the situation has been altered drastically by the trade of Carlton (Stretch) Elliott and an undisclosed draft choice for Dahms; the unexpected entry into service of Wisconsin's Jim Temp; and the injury that put Gene Knutson out of business. Aside from the defensive problems he must still solve, Blackbourn said he was very pleased with the showing of the club against the Cards. "It was an important victory for morale," he said. "Coming from behind was something for us. And those three long-distance touchdown plays were another thing."