PACKERS RELEASE EIGHT MEN; THREE MORE TO GO BY SATURDAY
SEPTEMBER 22 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Tuesday acquired a fullback and a tackle in trades with the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. Fullback Johnny Papit, a two-year Redskin veteran, and tackle Gus Cifelli, three year man with the Lions, are expected to be in Green Bay Wednesday as the Packers drill for the league opener against the Browns at Milwaukee County Stadium Sunday. The Packers gave up an undisclosed draft choice to both the Redskins and Lions. Papit, a standout ball carrier at Virginia in his collegiate days, played little with the Skins in 1951 because of injuries. Last year he averaged three yards per carry in gaining 102 yards in 34 tries. Cifelli, who stands 6-1 and weighs 240, was the Lions' regular offensive tackle. He graduated from Notre Dame, where he helped the Irish to an unbeaten season in 1949. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns released six men, including halfback Fred Bruney who was sent to the San Francisco 49ers. Bruney was a former Ohio State star. Others released by the Browns include tackle Ed Rowland, end Don Steinbrunner, end Bob Schnelker, guard Cleo Wallace and fullback Willie Carter.
CAN'T MATCH BROWNS, SAYS RONZANI, BUT....
SEPTEMBER 23 (Green Bay) - "Position for position, we don't belong on the same field as the Cleveland Browns," mused Green Bay Packer coach
Gene Ronzani Wednesday as he looked
forward to the NFL opener at Milwaukee
County Stadium Sunday afternoon. "But, our
boys feel pretty good after that 21-13 loss at
Cleveland last week, so maybe there's some
hope for us," Ronzani added. Some of the
Packers still were hobbling through drills, but
as yet no one has definitely been ruled out of
the opener. John Papit, new fullback acquired
from the Washington Redskins, took part in his
first workout while tackle Gus Cifelli,
purchased from Detroit, arrived too late to drill.
"I don't know how much help they'll be to us
against the Browns," Ronzani said, "but they
should be ready to go in our next game." One
of the brighter points of the Packers'
performance has been the defense, especially
against passes. "Cleveland's Otto Graham is
the only player to toss a touchdown pass
against our first string secondary," Ronzani
said. One key to the outcome of the opener
lies in the continued improvement of fullback
Howard Ferguson, Ronzani pointed out. "He
bowled over a few Browns and that's the kind
of running we need," said Gene. Ferguson is
six feet, one inch tall and weighs about 215
pounds, making him the largest fullback on the
squad. He was purchased from the Los
Angeles Rams last spring. The hard-running
Ferguson never went to college.
PACKERS STRESS PASS DEFENSE IN
SEPTEMBER 24 (Green Bay) - Pass defense
was emphasized Thursday as coach Gene
Ronzani pushed his Green Bay Packers
through a strenuous workout for Sunday
afternoon's game against the Cleveland Browns
at Milwaukee County Stadium. The way star passer Otto Graham punished the Packers last Saturday was the major reason for the accent on pass defense. Graham pitched three touchdowns for the Browns, tossing to Dante Lavelli, his chief target (two TDs), and a flock of fast backs headed by Ray Renfro and Billy Reynolds. Graham, who hurled 17 passes and completed 15 for 213 yards, was in the game only during the third quarter and part of the fourth. While Graham was in there, the major Packer defensive burden falls on John Martinkovic and George Hays and the defensive backfield of Bobby Dillon, Bennie Aldridge, Marv Johnson, Ace Loomis and Val Joe Walker. Fans can depend on the Packers for a bit of passing, too, with Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli at the trigger and Bill Howton, Bob Mann and Stretch Elliott on the receiving end. In last Saturday's game, an exhibition affair, Howard Ferguson, fullback, was selected as the outstanding Packer player. He carried the ball 14 times for 56 yards and scored the first Packer marker.
PACKERS LOSE HOWTON FOR CLEVELAND GAME
SEPTEMBER 25 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers suffered a brutally tough break - one of the worst in recent years - practically on the eve of their Milwaukee County Stadium debut when it was definitely determined Friday that Bill Howton will not be able to play against the Cleveland Browns Sunday. Howton suffered a chest injury in the exhibition duel with the Browns at Cleveland last Saturday night, and it turned out to be so serious that he will be sidelined for three or four weeks. Howton was a pass catching sensation as a pro freshman last year when he was tabbed "the new Don Hutson". His loss naturally puts a crimp in the overhead game, which, with Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote throwing, is considered at least 50 percent of the Packer offense. Stretch Elliott will take his place at end, with the veteran Bobby Mann as his running mate. Howton led the league in yards gained on pass receptions in 1952 with a total of 1,231 on 53 receptions, 13 of which were turned into touchdowns. Following the last intensive pre-game workout at Green Bay Friday, Gene Ronzani announced the release of two rookie tackles, Floyd Harrawood of Tulsa and Vic Rimkus of Holy Cross, reducing the squad to 35, two over the league limit. The Bays continued to bear down on polishing their offense and defense against Cleveland's wicked overhead game, spearheaded by Otto Graham. A final light drill is billed for Saturday morning before the squad leaves for Milwaukee. The Browns will fly in from Cleveland Saturday morning and will limber up at the Stadium in the afternoon. They will stay at Pfister Hotel while the Packers establish headquarters at the Schroeder.
PACKERS HERE FOR OPENER
SEPTEMBER 26 (Milwaukee) - Gene Ronzani's Green Bay Packers and Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns both arrived in Milwaukee at about the same hour Saturday noon and the cast was complete, except for the officials, and the stage set for the opening of the NFL season at the Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Browns arrived from Cleveland by air, the Packers from Green Bay by train. Despite the licking suffered in an exhibition at Cleveland a week ago, 21-13, and the loss of end Bill Howton because of injuries Friday, Ronzani had a surprisingly chipper outfit in tow. There was an an undercurrent of feeling that they could give the Browns an interesting afternoon, and with a bit of luck even beat them. "We're not in the best of shape," Ronzani said, "but the boys have showed a lot of spirit and hustle the last few days. We have a chance." Stretch Elliott will start in place of the injured Howton. While only Don Barton, who has a broken ankle; guard Len Szafaryn, who has a torn ligament, and Howton will not play, the Packers have other men with injuries which may slow them down. Dick Wildung, Dick Logan, Babe Parilli, Jim Ringo, Val Joe Walker, Gib Dawson and Fred Cone all have bruises and cuts of some kind. The Browns arrived not in best of shape themselves, however. Fullbacks Marion Motley and Harry Jagade and guard Lynn Houston did not work out at all this week because of injuries. Cleveland pitched its camp at the Pfister Hotel, Green Bay at the Schroeder. The Browns ruled two touchdown favorites. All work has been completed on the field with only the markings to be made. A crowd of 27,000 or 28,000 is expected.