Blackbourn, will arrive here early this afternoon and stage their final practice session in the Carnegie Tech Bowl for tomorrow night's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams have already lost in two preseason contests but the oddsmakers have established Rooney U. as an early 3 1/2 point favorite. Green Bay was whipped by the Chicago Cardinals, 27-10, then was nosed out by the Cleveland Browns, 14-13. The Steelers have been on the short end with the Chicago Bears, 21-14, and the Baltimore Colts, 27-21. Packer travel plans today call for departure from their Stevens Point, Wis., training camp early this morning by bus for Oshkosh where they will board a chartered plane which arrive here at 2:30 p.m. They will be quartered in Hotel Schenley Park. Three rookie backs, Veryl Switzer from Kansas State, Joe Johnson from Boston College and Clyde Sanders from Bethune-Cookman, ran wild last Saturday night as the Packers outgained the Browns overland, 190 yards to 147. This trio will provide a stern test for the Steelers' defense. The big attraction, of course, will be Bobby Garrett, the bonus pick of the NFL last winter. The Stanford University quarterback star was grabbed by the Cleveland Browns but traded recently to Green Bay for Vito (Babe) Parilli, at present in the Armed Forces. Tommy Allman, fullback of West Virginia University's Sugar Bowl team last season, has quit the Packers. He joined them after the College All-Star game in Chicago but has given up quest of a regular pro job. Garrett isn't expected to start but Coach Blackbourn said he will see plenty of action under the center. More discouraging news came from the Steeler camp at Olean, N.Y. yesterday. Leo Elter, fullback from Duquesne and Villanova, who resumed practice after a long layoff due to a bruised heel, was again sidelined with a recurrence of the same hurt. He's lost for the Packer tussle. Coach Joe Bach will bring the Steelers here from Olean tomorrow. They will stay at Hotel Schenley Park.
PACKERS THROW ROOKIES AT STEELERS
AUGUST 27 (Pittsburgh Press) - Four of the first 12 men drafted in the NFL last January will be in the Green Bay Packers' lineup tomorrow when they meet the Steelers at Forbes Field. In addition to Bonus Choice Bobby Garrett, the Packers have Art Hunter of Notre Dame, their own first draft choice; Veryl Swtizer of Kansas State, the New York Giants' No. 1 choice, and John Bauer of Illinois, the Cleveland Browns' selection in the first round. It's the biggest landslide of talent into Green Bay since Curly Lambeau was winning NFL championships there in the early thirties. Despite the migration of stars to the northwoods, however, the oddsmakers rate the Steelers three-and-a-half point favorites, a spread that may have even the most cautious Packer fan reaching for his wallet. Switzer is the players who may pull the Pack out of its recent doldrums. The chunky, hard-running halfback has starred in the three post-graduate games he's been in - the East-West Shrine game in San Francisco, the College All-Star game in Chicago, and last week's Packer battle with the Cleveland Browns. Against the Browns, Switzer, with his blazing start, tremendous speed and reckless running spearheaded a second half drive that moved the Packers from a 14-0 deficit to a 14-13 loss. Yet Green Bay might have won had it not been for a Cleveland interception with a minute-and-a-half to go and the Packers on the 17 yard line. Garrett, who missed most of Green Bay's training season, will get his first test tomorrow. So far, Tobin Rote has been doing the quarterbacking, but the Stanford all-American is rated a sure comer by Coach Lisle Blackbourn. Blackbourn, who succeeded Gene Ronzani, has been experimenting with his new team. His latest move was to switch 230-pound Clarence Johnson, a tackle from Northwestern, to fullback. It's designed to give added protection to the passer. Moving is nothing new to Johnson. He was a defensive end with Northwestern in 1952, a tackle with Toronto of the Canadian League last year, and now a fullback. Another promising rookie, although not a draft choice, is Nick Aducci, stumpy, 205-pound halfback from Nebraska. Balckbourn moved to Aducci into a linebacking berth where he turned in an excellent job against Cleveland. The rookie came at the right time. Deral Teteak, a good one, and George Timberlake, both linebackers, are out with a broken foot and arm respectively. Meanwhile, the Steelers' Joe Bach continues to overwork Franny Rogel rather than experiment with a lineman in the fullback role. Rogel faces another "emergency" tomorrow for Leo Elter, slated to work with him, has reinjured his heel. Another veteran who must go all the way, risking injury, is Bill McPeak, an end who doesn't have a substitute. McPeak isn't the type to squawk, but he hardly relishes the 60-minute treatment, particularly since he knows he'll have to do it the entire 19-game schedule. Both teams are looking for their first victory. The Steelers lost to the Bears and Colts, the Packers to the Cards and Browns.
PACK, STEELERS MEET TONIGHT
AUGUST 28 (Pittsburgh) - The Green Bay Packers will seek their first victory under their new coach Lisle Blackbourn tonight when they meet the Pittsburgh Steelers in their third exhibition football game of the season. The game, in Forbes Field, will be a preview of the Packers' NFL season opener September 26 when the Steelers visit Green Bay. Game time is 6:30 p.m. (CST). The Packers lost their first exhibition game to the Chicago Cardinals, 27-10, at Minneapolis August 14 and were edged, 14-13, by the Cleveland Browns at Green Bay last Saturday. Blackbourn and a 44-man squad arrived here by plane on Friday. The only men left behind at the Packers' training camp at Stevens Point State College are three injured players. Linebacker Deral Teteak has a broken ankle, linebacker George Timberlake has a fractured arm and halfback Dick Curran has a severe knee sprain. Two other injuries have forced a change in the offensive lineup. Halfback Floyd (Breezy) Reid will start at fullback because Fred Cone and Howie Ferguson are on the injury list. Cone, who hurt his back in the Cardinals' game, probably will enter the game only for placekicking. Ferguson, suffering from bruised ribs, is not expected to play at all. Rookie Joe Johnson of Boston College is slated to start in Reid's regular spot. Joe Bach, coach of the Steelers, has announced that all but four of his injured players will be available to play. The four are Tom Calvin, Jack Zachary, Ray Matthews and Joe Zombek. Bach has decided to give Johnny Lattner, a Notre Dame All-American, a chance to play defensive right halfback against the Packers.
STEELERS GET FIRST TASTE OF BLACKBOURN
AUGUST 28 (Pittsburgh Press) - Green Bay Packer Coach Lisle Blackbourn
prefers the Split-T, but like every other coach in the NFL, he'll depend on the
Straight-T against the big, burly pros. The graying Blackbourn, the Paul Brown
of Wisconsin's high school ranks, send his first pro club against the Steelers
tonight at Forbes Field. The kickoff is at 8:30. Alternately discussing football
and glancing out of the corner of his eyes at the sweating gridders working out
at Tech Bowl yesterday, the new Packer coach said he'd like to use the Split-T
but admitted that he'd probably run out of quarterbacks before he could make it
work. "The defenses," remarked Blackbourn sadly, "would knock the quarterbacks out of commission, particularly on the option plays." Otherwise, the smiling, hard-working organizer behind the Packers is thrilled with his work with the pros. A little easier than coaching collegians perhaps, but much more intriguing and much more demanding as far as defenses are concerned. The new Packer coach, an unknown in this part of the country, made quite a name for himself in Wisconsin as his Milwaukee high school team won 11 championships in 22 years. He moved on to the University of Wisconsin in 1948, but lost out at the end of the season when Harry Stuhldreher's regime fell. Following Stuhldreher's resignation, Blackbourn took over at Marquette where he was in the process of building the Hilltopppers into one of the midwest's most powerful independents. Blackbourn has faced obstacles with the Packers. But he is beating them down one by one. To begin with, he signed 85 players this year - 25 over the league limit - but just as he got to worrying about the rules infraction, training camp started and only 43 players showed up. That put Blackbourn in the clear, yet in hot water, too. It required him to further canvass his candidates and talk them into coming to Green Bay. In that respect, he proved as adept a recruiter as he is a coach. Shrewd trading landed the bonus choice and three first draft choices in Green Bay and three free agents have further enhanced the looks of the Green and Gold squad. The free agents, all of whom have been impressive so far, are Nick Aducci of Nebraska, Don Miller of Southern Methodist and 212-pound Clyde Sanders of Bethune-Cookman. But Blackbourn realizes he has a long way to go, particularly in tonight's game with the Steelers. Two days ago, he was looking at the game movies of last year's game between the two teams. "I had to turn them off in a hurry," he said. But at the same time, he promised a debacle like that won't occur again. "Not against this ball club," he said. "We're coming along and we'll cause somebody some trouble this year."
STEELERS FAVORED OVER PACKERS BY 3 POINTS
AUGUST 28 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - The Pittsburgh Steelers will stage a preview of their NFL opener tonight at Forbes Field when they oppose the Green Bay Packers with the kickoff at 8:30. A crowd of 16,000 is expected. Odds favoring the Gold and Black have dropped slightly to three points. Both teams have lost a pair of exhibitions thus far. This is the last of three games here from which the local daily newspapers will receive part of the proceeds for their charities. Coach Joe Bach's proteges are scheduled to open the NFL season against the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday, September 26. Poor starts have handicapped Rooney U. for years; they haven't won an opener since 1949. That's why tonight's result means so much to the victory-hungry players and the long-suffering fans. There's another angle which adds a bit more interest than the ordinary preseason affair. Gene Ronzani, backfield coach of the Steelers, was fired late last campaign by Green Bay and he is eager to knock off the Wisconsin eleven. The Steelers will field their strongest possible lineup of veterans at the start in hopes of grabbing a lead and then inserting recruits. They have numerous injured players in both offensive and defensive platoons but are counting on a lot of help from halfbacks Johnny Lattner and Paul Cameron, who have made only token appearances thus far after reporting late from the College All-Star game. The Packers flew here yesterday, hurried to Forbes Field to don grid togs, then went to the Carnegie Tech Bowl for a final drill. Lisle Blackbourn, new Packer coach, had to shift Floyd (Breezy) Reid, 5-foot-11, 190-pound halfback, to the fullback slot due to injuries suffered by Howard Ferguson and Fred Cone. The latter will be available for placekicking duties only. Otherwise the Packers are ready and eager for action. Bob Garrett, the NFL bonus pick last winter, will spell off the veteran Tobin Rote at quarterback. Veryl Switzer, sensational rookie from Kansas State, promises to pep up the running attack. And Bob Mann and Bill Howton, veteran pass-snatching ends, will make trouble for the home aerial defense, which has proved leaky in the two previous tests. This is the last chance to see the Steelers here until Saturday night, October 2, when the Washington Redskins are at Forbes Field for the local NFL opener.