(CLEVELAND) – Automatic Otto Graham, after
sitting out the entire first half, passed the Browns
to a 21-13 exhibition game victory Saturday night
over the Packers. The Packers were able to stop
the Browns handily in the first two quarters when
George Ratterman did the Cleveland passing.
Then Graham entered the game to settle the
outcome. He pitched 16 yards to end Dante
Lavelli minutes after the third quarter started for
the Browns' first touchdown and to Lavelli again
in the foruth period for 11 yards and the tying
tally. His pass to end Horace Gillom for 35 yards
provided an insurance touchdown. Lou (The Toe)
Groza converted all three.
The Packers, who open their regular NFL season against the Browns next Saturday at Milwaukee, built up a 13-point lead, mostly at Ratterman's expense. Marvin Johnson picked off one Ratterman throw on the Packers 44 in the first quarter and ran the ball back to the Cleveland 40. Nine plays later Tobin Rote threw a screen pass to Howard Ferguson for a touchdown from the Cleveland three. Johnson, intercepting Ratterman again in the second quarter, galloped 76 yards down the sidelines for the other Packer six-pointer. Fred Cone booted the first Green Bay conversion, but the pass from center was fumbled on the second and a passing attempt at the extra point was broken up. A rain-drenched crowd of 22,366 sat in on the thrilling preview to the regular season. Rain, which started before the game, continued most of the time, but still failed to halt Graham, whose passes seemed to hang in the air waiting for receivers. He connected on 15 of 17 passes for 213 yards, a little more than half the Browns' gains of 404 yards for the game.
During the nine-play Green Bay scoring march, Rote tossed to Bill Howton twice for a first down on the Brown 28 and then lateraled to Al Carmichael for another fresh start on the 14. Just before his touchdown toss, he flipped to Howard Ferguson for a first down on the three. Johnson's gallop followed a Browns' march through two first downs from their own 39 to the Green Bay 25. Graham's first scoring throw to Lavelli came the first play after Green Bay's Ace Loomis fumbled a punt by Gillom. His second six-point fling to Lavelli capped an eight-play, 82-yard march. Along the way, he threw first down pegs to Ken Carpenter, Darrell Brewster and Billy Reynolds. The last Brown touchdown march went 76 yards, all on passes by the Canny Flinger. Gillom grabbed the payoff toss from out of the hands of Bob Dillon and Ace Loomis and stepped two yards into the end zone. Babe Parilli completed six of 15 passes for the Packers and had two intercepted. He netted only 31 yards. Rote completed seven of 13 passes for 38 yards and had one intercepted. Carpenter, Brewster, Reynolds and Lavelli were about even for Cleveland in pass receiving. Brewster caught five for 47 yards, Reynolds two for 54, Lavelli four for 54 and Carpenter four for 52.
GREEN BAY -  7  6  0  0 - 13
CLEVELAND -  0  0  7 14 - 21
GB – Ferguson, 3-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
GB – Marvin Johnson, 76-yard interception return (Kick failed) GREEN BAY 13-0
CLE – Dante Lavelli, 16-yard pass from Otto Graham (Lou Groza kick) GREEN BAY 13-7
CLE – Lavelli, 11-yard pass from Graham (Groza kick) CLEVELAND 14-13
CLE – Horace Gillom, 35-yard pass from Graham (Groza kick) CLEVELAND 21-13
SEPTEMBER 26 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - If it's true that the first 100 are the hardest and from then on it's comparatively easy sailing, rival pro football teams are going to have nothing but more trouble with the Cleveland Browns. By coincidence, the Browns will be playing exactly their one hundredth game as they collaborate with the state's own Packers in opening the NFL season Sunday at the Stadium. The big day will mark a couple of important firsts - the first football game in the magnificent $5,000,000 Stadium and the first appearance of a Cleveland team in Milwaukee. Take a look at what the Browns have done over the seven year span since the club was organized in 1946: 83 victories, 13 defeats and three ties. Winner of four straight championships in the All-America Conference (no longer in existence) and one in the NFL, and twice runner-up in the NFL! So it's no accident that the Browns have replaced the once mighty Bears as the perennial team to beat. Anyone who knows Paul Browns can be reasonably sure that the situation isn't going to change too much either. Certainly there is no indication this year. The boss man is too well
EXHIBITION - Cleveland Browns 21, Green Bay Packers (1-4) 13
Saturday September 19th 1953 (at Cleveland)
SEPTEMBER 21 (Milwaukee) - The transformation of County Stadium from a baseball diamond to a football field was begun by engineers and a crew of 18 workers even before stragglers in Sunday's closing baseball crowd of 36,011 had left the park. Green Bay will open its NFL season here against the Cleveland Browns next Sunday. The transformation will include there major changes: The pitcher's mound will be removed. Sod will be laid on all skinned parts of the infield. Left field bleachers will be moved to be used as a football stand. The rectangular football field, 120 feet by 160 feet, will be laid out parallel to the first base stands. The 18 men who took over Sunday evening worked until 11:30 o'clock laying sills on which the bleachers will rest. Monday morning the main crew of 60 workmen began the job of dismantling the bleachers and reassembling them in their new position. Sod two inches thick will be laid on the skinned part of the infield. The west sideline of the field will be 40 feet from the base of the grandstand - and parallel to it. The east sideline will be the same distance from the new east bleachers. Roughly 21,000 sears will be available between the end lines of the football field - 13,500 in the permanent grandstand, 6,700 in the east bleachers and 1,100 in the present right field bleachers which will remain where they are. The total capacity of the park for football will be 35,646. The north end of the football field will be about 10 feet south of the visiting team dugout. The dugout itself will be boarded up for football and fences next to it padded. The field markings, last touch in the transformation, will be made Saturday night after a soccer game. Green Bay will use the Braves dressing room, the visiting team the baseball visitor's room. Frederic Mendelson, Stadium manager, will have 10 hour shifts on the job each day until the work is completed. "This is the first time we're going through this, and we'll have to feel our way," he said. "We should be finished in ample time, however. And it will be a good football arena, just wait." Mendelson suggested that spectators with field seats should use the present right field bleachers entrance.
SEPTEMBER 21 (Los Angeles) - A new father is halfback Al Carmichael, whose touchdown meant Southern California's 7-0 Rose Bowl triumph over Wisconsin last New Year's day. An eight pound eight ounce son, Al, Jr., was born here Saturday. Carmichael now plays for the Green Bay Packers.
SEPTEMBER 21 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Monday asked waivers on two veterans and six rookies as they pressed to meet the league player limit of 33. Placed on waivers were veteran fullback Bobby Jack Floyd and tackle Washington Serini. The rookies released were tackle Bill Skyinkus of Syracuse, tackle Jack Morgan, Michigan State; halfback Paul De Van, Iowa State; end Bill Georges, Texas; end Bob Noppinger, Georgetown; and end Andy Hillhouse, recently acquired from the Bears. The Packer squad was thus reduced to 36, three over the league limit that be met Tuesday. Ronzani said that he would go along with the 36 men he still has left until Saturday night, taking advantage of a provision in the rule on player limits which permits a team to retain more than 33 men for four days beyond the Tuesday deadline, provided they receive their full salary for four full days. He will make his final cut Saturday to reach the limit of 33 by Sunday's game. Meanwhile, coach Gene Ronzani stepped up drills in preparation for the league opener against the Cleveland Browns at Milwaukee County Stadium Sunday. Regarding the perennial tough Cleveland, Ronzani believed it was the finest team the Packers played during the exhibition season. "They've got a lot more horse than we've got," said Ronzani, "plus a lot of good holdovers from a championship team." Not bitter with his club's 1-4 exhibition slate, Ronzani implied that the Packers would go all out for the one that counts Sunday. "We're going to drill on both offense and defense this week. Still, it's going to take a lot of guess work to beat those Browns." The Packers will leave by train Saturday noon for the Milwaukee engagement. The Browns are expected to arrive in Milwaukee Friday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SEPTEMBER 27 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - They'll be playing for the blue chips Sunday, and Coach Gene Ronzani's Green Bay Packers figure to give the powerful Cleveland Browns a run down to the wire in the NFL opener for both teams at Milwaukee County Stadium. Game time is 1:30 p.m. A crowd of upwards of 25,000 is expected to take in pro football's debut at the Stadium. While the Packers sport a none too impressive 1-4 exhibition record and will be going without their star end, Bill Howton, the club as a whole is rarin' to pin the Browns' ears back. Psychologically, the Ronzanimen won't be giving an inch to the Paul Brown-coached Browns. At Cleveland last week, the Packers roared off to a 13-0 halftime lead only to see Otto Graham pass the Browns to a strong second half finish and a 21-13 victory. In none of the losses has the margin been greater than eight points. So it looks like the Packers, once they find themselves, are capable of giving the best of them a rough go. The loss of Howton cannot be minimized. His presence on the receiving ends of Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote's passes constituted 50 percent of the Bay's offense. In 1952, Howton's first pro year, he led the league in yards gained on pass receptions with a total of 1,231. Included were 53 catches, 13 of them for touchdowns. Stretch Elliott will replace Howton at end, with Bob Mann at the other flank. Familiar faces in Green Bay's lineup will include Fred Cone, Breezy Reid, Dick Wildung, Bob Forte and Bobby Dillon, among others. Sure to share the spotlight are halfback Gib Dawson and Val Joe Walker, a pair of top-flight rookies. The Browns, as usual, will feature the aerial artistry of Graham along with a strong running game. Graham's No. 1 target will be end Dante Lavelli, one of the loop's top flankmen. The Packer Football Knothole Club will have 500 boys attending the game. Other games Sunday, Chicago Bears at Baltimore; New York at Los Angeles; Philadelphia at San Francisco; Pittsburgh at Detroit and Washington at Chicago against the Cardinals.
loaded with talented operators. In fact, only a half dozen rookies have been able to make the regular squad this year. Which is a typical experience at Cleveland, proving that Brown built mighty well from the start. Among the newcomers who already have earned their spurs is Doug Atkins, giant defensive end from Tennessee. Atkins stands 6 feet 8 and weighs 250 pounds. Wouldn't you like to try to push him around for a living? But don't get the idea that Atkins is the biggest man in the five man defensive line that the Packers and other league rivals will try to outfox and overpower. On the contrary, he is lighter than three of the other four and is close to 10 pounds under the average of the five. The other end, Lenny Ford, packs 255 pounds on a 6-4 frame. Tackles Don Colo and Darrell Palmer weigh 260 and 240, respectively, and the middleman, Jerry Helluin, a cool 290. Does anyone still believe size means nothing in big time football? Here's a tipoff on longevity as it applies to football: Only eight of the original cast are still in there giving their all for the dear old Browns and the attractive paychecks they are assumed to be getting regularly. No. 1 among the eight, now as in 1946, is Otto Graham, great passer and occasional fancy runner. The mechanical man, as he is called, chalked up his very best passing average last year - 235 yards per game in 12 league games. Apparently he is taking up where he left off in '52 despite the mileage he has piled up. Frank Gatski, all-league center the last two years; Lou (The Toe) Groza, who has yet to miss a try for point in league play, and Dante Lavelli, Graham's favorite passing target and one of the very best in the pro business, also are about as prominent as ever. Lin Houston, offensive guard; George Young, defensive end; Marion Motley, 238 fullback, and Bill Willis, defensive middleman are easing off a bit. But, like the other originals, they show no signs of being through. The latter observation may be unnecessary, for it's a matter of record that a player is either a Brown or through - not both.