PACKERS BUILDING NEW MORALE FOR SUNDAY ENCOUNTER WITH PITTSBURGH AT MILWAUKEE
OCT 23 (Green Bay) - Assessing that "it's a different ball team" following its drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Lions last Sunday, Coach Curly Lambeau sent his Green Bay Packers into another extensive drill today, preparing for an invasion of Milwaukee next Sunday. When the Packers meet the Pittsburgh Steelers at State Fair park, the occasion will mark the last appearance of the NFL champions on Wisconsin soil this season. Should they win through to the Western division championship, the playoff game this season is scheduled for the East. Yesterday afternoon Lambeau called the Packers, one by one, into his office and spent the entire period in a personal discussion with each. Out of the long series of conferences, he believes, will come a team capable of sinking its teeth into the meat of its remaining opposition. "I've talked with everyone on the squad," he said, "and I am convinced that we have a good bunch of boys. We have lost two games, but we see the reasons for it and we shall be a new outfit from now on." In general, he believes, the Packers have been playing good football, but they have not been playing well enough to win. A new face appeared on the Green Bay drill field this week as Bobby Woods, 235-pound tackle from the University of Alabama, joined the squad. Woods' professional career has been brief but varied. He was drawn as the first line choice of the Cleveland Rams in the 1940 draft, and reported to Cleveland, but didn't fit into the Rams' system. Coach Dutch Clark runs his tackles ahead of the ball carriers instead of the guards, as in the Green Bay system, and Woods was too big to handle that assignment. So Cleveland sent him to the Chicago Cardinals, where he arrived just as Coach Jimmy Conzelman was trimming his roster. The Cards were making no additions at the time, and Woods fell with the rest...TAKEN BY PACKERS: Tackle replacements have been a crying need of the Packers all season, and Lambeau has taken on Woods. He won't be eligible to play for awhile, but he is working out and is regarded as having a good chance to make the grade. Don Hutson, who coached Woods in spring practice at Alabama, is one of his top boosters. The Packer squad is in pretty fair shape physically, discounting, of course, the ailing Joe Laws, who remains a doubtful quantity. Cecil Isbell, who played last Sunday with an attack of grippe which handicapped his work seriously, is expected to be o.k. for the trip to Milwaukee, which the Packers will make Saturday afternoon. The afternoon-long conferences left Curly in the best frame of mind he has displayed since the weekend. "I feel better about the team right now," he said, "than I did last week before we played the Lions. We have been in this spot before, and have won through to championships, and we can do it again."...ALL WANT TO WIN: "We haven't a man on the squad who does not want to win, and I believe we can come through." The Steelers are not a high ranking team, but they are tough enough. With Billy Patterson slinging forward passes, and Boyd Brumbaugh to lug the freight, they are a rough, rugged team specializing in defensive play, but also capable of making a lot of first downs. The Steelers are not flashy, but teams throughout the league regard them as formidable opponents. The Packers will travel to Milwaukee late Saturday afternoon on the Milwaukee Road Chippewa.
RAMS RELEASE TRIO
OCT 23 (Cleveland) - Earl (Dutch) Clark, Cleveland Rams' coach, continued to shake up his NFL squad by releasing three players who had seen little action this season. Clark released Ken Heineman, 171-pound halfback, who once played with Texas Mines; Earl Crowder, 195-pound quarterback from Oklahoma U.; and Harvey Murphy, 194-pound end formerly with Mississippi U. The Rams have added to their roster Connie Mack Berry, former North Carolina State end who had a tryout with Green Bay this season.
LOOKING UP IN THE REALM OF SPORTS
OCT 23 (Green Bay) - It was back on Oct. 10, 1932, when Art Bystrom called over from the sports desk and said, "Say, there's a lady in town who is a red hot Packer fan and who would like to meet Verne Lewellen. Can you go up there and get a story from her?" To make the story much briefer than it might be, we scooped up Mr. Lewellen, possessor of one of the NFL's greatest reputations, and then still active as a Packer, added Mr. Calvin Hubbard for bulk and dropped in at the home of Edwin C. Wendt, 1230 Chicago street, to hear the Packers talk football with Mrs. Ada Wendt, 2607A N. 48th street, Milwaukee. Mrs. Wendt's interest in the Packers might not have been so unusual had she not been 69 years old, a radio bug who never ventured from the machine when the Packers were playing, and a collector of Green Bay football lore which she plastered faithfully into a large scrapbook. Now when you interview a person who is crowding 70, and then eight years slide by, you sometimes wonder whether that person, at 77, still will be interested in the same things. Consequently it was a great pleasure the other day when Mrs. Wendt, who will be 77 years old four weeks from today, walked into the office, advanced to the sport desk and announced that she was back for a visit with some more Packers. She was in town to see the Packers play the Detroit Lions, and was very disappointed because the final score gave greater emphasis to the Detroit offense than it did to the Packer defense. But loyal Packer fan she always has been, and at 77, still remains. So we went back to the Chicago street address we had visited in 1932, and in tow two real live Packers - Donald Hutson of the pass-snatching Hutsons, and Larry Craig, that effective bit of blocking machinery from South Carolina. Mrs. Wendt pounced upon both with enthusiasm. "I'm always glad to see my boys," she said, and dove into a fresh discussion of Packer plays and prospects with Don and Larry. It was a pleasant occasion, and we thought it well worth a photo.
OCT 23 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "The closer the top the nearer the street". That's an old, old saw but the Green Bay Packers now know exactly what it means. After a marvelous 1939 season and with a host of fine new talent coming in the 1940 season outlook was indeed roseate. They started out okay enough against the All-Star, but since then have failed to get to clicking in the well known Packer style. Every club in the league is pointed for them. This factor, plus the additional fact some of the club individuals don't seem to have that title spark that flared so brightly a year ago, has served to put them on the spot where they'll have to go the rest of the route at top speed, where they'll have to subdue both the Bears and the Lions, among others, on foreign fields if they are to duplicate their title performance. The task is not impossible. They've done that very thing before, but this time the Bears and the Lions are both better fitted and the task will be an extremely difficult one - if not impossible...MISS SCORING CHANCES: Just what is wrong with the Bays this fall is hard to fathom. But not once have they shown that almost surefire Packer characteristic - ability to make opportunities count. In other years they were almost odds on cinches to score if they reached the opposing 30 yard stripe; this year they are not sure from the 10, or the eight or the five. They lack the class, finesse and poise of other years. In the past they did get by with a lot of passes deep in their own territory, but, in the main, the opportunities were there because of the defensive setup as well as the element of surprise. Last Sunday, when they were tumbled by the Lions, 23 to 14, they found this type of passing backfiring. An intercepted pass gave the Lions position for the first touchdown and another, with all but a minute of the last quarter to play, gave the Lions a score when a flat pass from behind the Bay goal was intercepted. On this play in particular the setup was not right - the play should never have been attempted, but, after all, it is hard to criticize too severely for tactics that have paid off big dividends in the past. The point is, however, these tactics should not be repeated when the setup is wrong...PACKERS MISS LAWS: I don't know just how anyone else feels about the thing, but Joe Laws bandwagon man I am, it is my belief the absence of Iowa Joe was costly Sunday. For some reason or other (probably because he is a corking field general and an excellent blocker) Joe seems to get more action out of the Packer offensive than any other general. His selection of plays and blocking whipsaw the ground attack and set up the chances for the scoring aerial plays. Here's hoping the pride of Colfax, Ohio, (and of his Packer mates who his team value) recovers in time for the Chicago Bears game on November 3 in Chicago. With Joe in there anything can happen, but without him the job looks awfully big.
'NEW BAY TEAM' SAYS LAMBEAU
OCT 23 (Green Bay) - Coach Curly Lambeau today said his Green Bay club is a "different ball team" and, furthermore, that it's going to be "different" at least for Sunday's game at Milwaukee with the Pittsburgh Steelers. "They've got a new outlook," he beamed, following personal chats with each of his Packers. The Packers were sorely beaten here Sunday by the Detroit Lions, and some say it was because veteran signal caller Joe Laws was on the bench with injuries. Laws, it was said, is not likely to be playing for a couple of more weeks yet. Lambeau announced an addition to his tackle staff - Bobby Woods, Alabama, who was drafted this season by the Cleveland Rams and later sent to the Chicago Cardinals. Observers are quite certain the Packers will be "different" against Pittsburgh, because (1) they're getting on to themselves, and (2) they always make up for a defeat with a rattling good game right after. Two of the masterminds of professional football, Lambeau, Green Bay, and Walter Kiesling, Pittsburgh, will match their gridiron wits when the Packers and Steelers tangle. It wasn't so many years ago (1936 to be exact) that Kiesling played guard for the national champions and Lambeau figured he was one of the smartest forwards in the game. Before playing with Green Bay. One of the bright spots on the Pittsburgh record was the 10 to 7 victory over the Lions in Detroit. In this game Kiesling made several substitutions at crucial moments and the replacements were just what the doctor ordered to produce victory.
STEELERS HIT HARD
OCT 23 (Pittsburgh) - Coach Walter Kiesling of the Pittsburgh Steelers was informed tonight that guard Jack Sanders, thought to have suffered a slight concussion Sunday against the New York Giants, has a skull fracture instead. That makes five Steeler players unable to take part in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers in Milwaukee. Other are quarterback Hank Bruder and tackle Ted Doyle, each with a broken leg; center Joe Maras, broken ankle; halfback Coley McDonough, torn cartilages in left side.
SANDERS, BRUDER ADDED TO STEELERS' CASUALTY LIST
OCT 23 (Pittsburgh) - To add to their ever-growing list of casualties, the Pittsburgh Steelers learned today that Jack Sanders, 225-pound rookie guard from Southern Methodist, suffered a skull fracture in last Sunday's game with the Giants. The Steelers' team physician declared the injury to Sanders to be a linear fracture of the frontal bone and fortunately not as serious as most fractures, but one that will keep the big Texan out perhaps for the rest of the campaign. Sanders' injury at first was thought to be a concussion which, with rest and quite, would permit him to be ready for the game Sunday with the Green Bay Packers at Milwaukee. Hank Bruder, veteran blocking back who played nine seasons with Green Bay, was fitted with a cast about his broken ankle today and definitely declared out of the game against his former teammates. Absence of Bruder and Sanders reduces the Steeler traveling squad to 26 players. Carl Nery, Stan Pavkov and John Perko are the only able-bodied guards available, so coach Walter Kiesling plans to use Rocco Pierro, blocking back, who had been groomed to take over the center job. Bruder's blocking post will be handled Sunday by Ev Fisher, second string blocker, and Jack Noppenberg, shifted from right halfback. Other Steeler casualties, a sprained toe for Don Campbell and an aggravated leg ailment for Merlyn Condit, are not expected to keep these huskies from performing against Green Bay. Coach Walt Kiesling, disgusted with his team's offensive showing in recent games and showing them no mercy in workouts, is still pleased with the spirit of the Steelers. The fact that they have taken it on the chin in their last four starts hasn't caused them to lose heart. They believe they will bounce back and cause trouble for several teams, and they hope the bounce starts Sunday against the Packers.
NEW PACKERS ARE SHOWING IMPROVEMENT IN SQUAD DRILLS FOR GAME WITH PITTSBURGH
OCT 24 (Green Bay) - The probability that several new starters would push off at State Fair park, Milwaukee, when the Green Bay Packers play the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon, was indicated by the Packers' lineup during rough work yesterday. For one thing, Coach Curly Lambeau indicated, for the first time this season almost all the men on the squad have reached the point where they can be played safely without endangering the outcome of the game. "We do not underestimate Pittsburgh, which we believe has a tough ball club," Lambeau said, "but at the same time we believe that many of our men who have been developing this season how have reached the point where they can carry the assignments." The scrimmage yesterday, conducted with pads, produced no new casualties, and the Packers will be able to send onto the field the same squad which played against the Lions last Sunday. The Green Bay team will leave for Milwaukee on the Milwaukee Road Chippewa Saturday afternoon, and as usual will headquarter at the Schroeder hotel. Some of the new men looked better yesterday than they have all year, and bore out the coach's statement regarding their availability. For one thing, it is probable that Lou Midler, the giant Minnesota lineman who has seen service at Pittsburgh, will start at right tackle. Midler is familiar with the Steelers' style of play and has been looking strong in practice...PLAYED GREAT FOOTBALL: Pete Tinsley, who performed well against Detroit, and bore up in the succeeding days at drill, will get a stiff workout Sunday and George Svendsen, after a two years' layoff from competition, definitely has found himself again. Svendsen played a magnificent game with a losing team last Sunday, and appears ready to take his former place among the best centers in the National league. Gust Zarnas is a good bet to play an increased amount of time at left guard, and Leo Disend, recent import from Brooklyn, will be used Sunday at left tackle. Disend was eligible to play last Sunday, but did not get into the game. Particularly gratifying is the work of Bob Adkins, who followed Larry Craig to the Packers by a year and is treading the same course. Adkins has acquired the needed smoothness on defense and offense, and his 50-yard touchdown run after grabbing Arnold Herber's forward pass against the Lions was one of the plays of the season...SWITCHED TO HALFBACK: Then there is Larry Buhler. Larry started the season at fullback, and when Joe Laws was injured he was switched to right halfback. For the last three weeks he has had trouble with his legs, but yesterday he was beginning to run the ball as he did in the early part of the season. He is sure to get a strenuous workout against the Steelers. One backfield combination which is working well is that of Adkins at blocking quarterback, Hal Van Every and Buhler at the halves and Eddie Jankowski at fullback. This setup provides the Packers with four good blockers in the same backfield, and will be hooked up with Ray Riddick, another fine blocker, at right end. It is likely to be especially effective when the Packers are faced with the necessity of going along the ground.
WHIZZER WHITE IS LEADING IN GROUND GAINING AT MIDSEASON
OCT 24 (New York) - Byron (Whizzer) White, Detroit Lions quarterback, became the leading ground gainer of the NFL at the halfway mark of the season's schedule, according to individual statistics. Whie was the league champion ball carrier as a freshman with Pittsburgh in 1938, following a sensational college career at Colorado university which won him All-America rank in 1937. He retired from grid play after one year in the National league to extend law studies at Oxford and Yale. No National league player has ever been crowned ground gaining champion two successive playing seasons. The race for ground gaining laurels is closer than it was a week ago. White has 247 yards, which dropped Banks McFadden, Brooklyn Dodgers rookie All-America from Clemson who has 240 yards, from the lead for the first time this season. Only one yard behiand McFadden is Tuffy Leemans, New York Giants league leader in 1936. Another slim yard behind is Parker Hall, Cleveland Rams ace passer who was judged the most valuable player in the National league a year ago. Marshall Goldberg, Chicago Cardinals, moved up a notch to fifth place with 212 yards. The first 10 ground gainers are the same as a week ago with the exception of the entrance into the select group of two Chicago Bears backs, Gary Famiglietti and Joe Maniaci, who are now seventh and eighth...BAUGH GETS BETTER: Slingin' Sammy Baugh, Washington, continues to improve upon his forward passing efficiency average as the season progresses contrary to the law of averages. He now has 58 completions in 81 rosses for 814 yards. His efficiency rose for the second week another 1 1/2 percent to 71.6 percent. He leads the league with eight touchdown passes and has surpassed Davey O'Brien in yards gained on passes by 81 yards. Baugh has now completed three more passes, though he has thrown 15 less than during the the entire 1939 season. Cecil Isbell, Green Bay, has overtaken O'Brien for second place in passing with 38 completions out of 80 tosses for 47 percent, the third best completions and second best efficiency. O'Brien has 62 out of 143 for 43 percent, first in completion but sixth in efficiency. Ward Cuff, New York, and Dick Todd, Washington, moved into a four-way tie for scoring honors with Don Looney, Philadelphia, and Carl Mulleneaux, Green Bay. Each has 30 points. Cuff has two touchdowns, four field goals and six conversions, while the others have five touchdowns each...HUTSON IS FIFTH: Don Hutson, Green Bay end, is fifth in scoring with 25 points, and broke his tie with Gaynell Tinsley, Chicago Cardinals, for second in pass receiving with 22 catches. He is also tied with Kent, Ryan, Detroit, with five interceptions of opponents' passes. Looney continues to lead the pass receivers with 29 catches, only five away from last year's final league leading total of Hutson. Mulleneaux has caught five touchdown passes. Cuff moved into a three-way tie for field goals with Clarke Hinkle, Green Bay, and Armand Niccolai, Pittsburgh. Each has four, but Hinkle has attempted only five compared with seven for Cuff and 10 for Niccolai. Niccolai has booted two 48 yards, longest of the season. Baugh, Parker Hall, and George McAfee, Bears, each have punting averages of 45 yards from the line of scrimmage, the best in the circuit. A 75-yard boot by Hall is the longest.
OCT 24 (Milwaukee Journal) - If the Pittsburgh Steelers, who play the Packers at State Fair park Sunday, had only half the men they sold or traded in the last few years they undoubtedly would be well up in the race instead of down near last place. The men they have disposed of for one reason or another just about constitute an all American roster. In the last three years they have Whizzer White, now with Detroit; Sam Francis, Pug Manders and Steve Petro, now with Brooklyn; Eggs Manske and Sid Luckman, now with the Bears; Frank Filchock, now with Washington; Joe Kuharich, now with the Cardinals, and Mike Bazrak, the old Duquesne all American who quit the game because he could not get the salary he wanted. As it is, they have a fair club with backs like Boyd Brumbaugh, Merlyn Condit and Billy Patterson, and ends like Wilbur Sortet and George Platukis, but they haven't anything like what they should have. Art Rooney's financial difficulties with the club, it is said, explain the big turnover...LAW IS LAID DOWN: You probably will see an entirely different Packer club here Sunday. So disappointed was Curly Lambeau with the showing of his team against the Lions Sunday that he called the players into his office individually Monday and laid down the law. It isn't often that the smiling Belgian goes to such extremes, and when he does, you can bet on results. "I've talked along with every one of the squad," he said over the phone Thursday, "and I think from here in we will go. We have made mistakes, but I don't think we will make them again. I feel better about the team now than at any other time this season. We have been in spots like this before and smashed through, and I feel we will do it again." The Packers figure to take Pittsburgh pretty much in stride and have started to point for the Bears a week hence...Connie Mack Berry, the lanky end, is bouncing around this season like a rubber ball. He started the season with the Packers, was transferred to Kenosha, then was switched to the New York Yanks, and now finds himself with the Cleveland Rams...The Packers got a lot of criticism Sunday for attempting a pass into the flat from their own end zone and having it intercepted for a touchdown. Well, maybe they deserved it. A score of times, however, they have tried the same play, made it work, and been called smart and daring.
NEW FACES IN PACKER LINEUP
OCT 24 (Green Bay) - Several players will see lots of action for Green Bay against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Milwaukee Sunday, Coach Curly Lambeau indicated today, following reports five strong Pitts are out with injuries. "We don't underestimate the Steelers," said Curly, "but at the same time we think that many of our men who have been developing this season, now have reached the point where they can carry a major part of the assignments." From the way they're being used in practice, it looks like these seven chaps, at least, are going to be able to trot out their stuff for more than a few minutes: Lou Midler, former Steeler tackle; Bob Adkins, back; Larry Buhler, back; Pete Tinsley, Leo Disend, tackle; Gus Zarnas, guard, and George Svendsen, who came back to the Packers after two years at high school coaching.