SID GILLMAN INSTILLS NEW SPIRIT IN RAMS
OCTOBER 12 (Milwaukee Journal) - Desire, an elusive
quality, and defense, a real, solid things, set Sid Gillman's
first Los Angeles Rams team apart from earlier Ram
teams. Gillman's formula apparently has worked wonders.
The Rams, who will meet the Green Bay Packers at
County Stadium Sunday afternoon, share first place in the
NFL's western division with the Baltimore Colts. Of the
league's 12 teams, only the Rams and Colts remain
undefeated. Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay coach, was
asked Wednesday what the scouting reports told about the
Rams. "First, that they're a real good team," Blackbourn
said. "What impressed our men most was how much more
desire Gillman's team has than last year's Rams. They are
like high school boys now - jumping up and down and
waving their arms. They really want to play football, hustle
100% all the time. Their defense has been very sound, but
I honestly don't believe it could be any tougher than the one
Baltimore threw against us last Saturday night." Bill
Sherman and Don Burroughs of the Rams stand one-two in
the league in pass interceptions. Sherman has five and
Burroughs four. Blackbourn was asked what the scouts
said about them. "Keep the ball away from their areas,"
Blackbourn said, "or they'll take it away from you. They are
the two deep men in Los Angeles' secondary." Off their
exhibition season, the Rams appeared to be the same old
Rams, who had finished fourth in the western division last
year. But Gillman, former Minneapolis high school and Ohio
State star end who went to the Rams from the University of
Cincinnati, had prepared them well for the games that
count. The Rams broke even in six preseason games,
scoring 155 points and giving up 159. One of their defeats
was by the San Francisco 49ers, 31-10. When the league
season started, thought, it was a different story. The Rams
whipped the 49ers, 23-14. They followed up by shading the
Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-26, on Les Richter's 33 yard field
goal as the gun sounded in a highly controversial finish.
Then last Sunday they handed the Detroit Lions their third
straight licking, 17-10. After the Lions game, the Detroit
News said that the Rams turned in their "finest defensive
performance against Detroit within memory." "Sid Gillman,
the new coach, deserves ample credit for imparting
defensive tactics to football's Hollywood glamor boys," the
paper said. The Rams have intercepted 11 passes, high in
the league, in three games. By comparison, the Packers
have intercepted eight. Against Detroit, Los Angeles
recovered two fumbles and intercepted four passes, an
unusual showing for a team that used to try only to
outscore the other side on most occasions.
COLTS CLAIM MOVIE SHOW CONE'S FIELD GOAL
WAS NO GOOD
OCTOBER 12 (Baltimore) - Motion pictures of last
Saturday's Baltimore-Green Bay NFL game showed that
Fred Cone's 47 yard field goal attempt passed under the
goal post cross bar - not over it as officials rule, the
Baltimore Sun said Wednesday. The Colts won the game,
24-20, but if the officials had not ruled the kick good for a
Packer field goal, the Sun said, the score at that point
would have been 24-17, and the Colts would have had the
ball on their own 20 by virtue of a touchback. The Colts won
regardless of the call and plan no protest, the paper said.
Charlie Winner, assistant Colt coach, ran the film of the
field goal attempt in slow motion and then stopped the film
entirely. The flight of the ball was followed panel by panel,
and at the point it reached the cross bar its downward flight
the ball blotted out that portion of the bar.
BLACKBOURN SAYS COLTS CAN HAVE THE POINTS
OCTOBER 12 (Green Bay) - "They can have those three
points if they want them," Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay
Packer coach, said Wednesday when informed of what the
Baltimore Colts' movies has showed on Fred Cone's 47
yard field goal in their game at Milwaukee last Saturday.
"We lost anyway," Blackbourn said. "I did not study that
part of our film closely - it makes no difference."
PACKERS BEST ON PASS DEFENSE
OCTOBER 13 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packer have the
best pass defense in the league, at least at the moment.
NFL statistics released Wednesday show that opponents
have completed only 36.4 percent of their passes against
Green Bay. League statistics also show that the Rams are
second only to the Browns with pass completions, proving
Norm Van Brocklin is up to his old tricks with an accuracy
rating of 59.1 percent. Something will have to give Sunday
when the undefeated Rams battled the once-beaten Packers at Milwaukee. Green Bay should bump into a quarterback at his very best and Los Angeles will be up against the toughest pass defense. It's true the Packers didn't find Bobby Layne anywhere near the Layne of old as they defeated the Lions, 20-17, in the league opener at Green Bay. Layne completed eight of 19 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. He had one intercepted. Bobby didn't have too bad a first half as he triggered a 14-6 halftime lead, but he could only complete one of two passes the rest of the game. The Bears had similar problems, rotating George Blanda, Ed Brown and Bob Williams without success. Consequently, Chicago completed six of 19 passes and had four intercepted. The Packers won handily, 24-3. Against Baltimore two lapses allowed rookie quarterback George Shaw to hit Buddy Young on an 82-yard touchdown play and Jim Mutscheller on a 40-yard scoring strike - and the Colts kicked off to a 21-7 first quarter lead which ultimately proved too much of a deficit to overcome. The Packers came back to rush Shaw off his feet after those two fatal shots and the Oregon flash could only hit four receivers for 40 yards the rest of the night. Patrolling the outer spaces for the Packers is a quartet of two veterans and two rookies. Doyle Nix, an 18th draft choice from Southern Methodist, and Billy Bookout, a free agent from Austin, are two cornerbackers who have performed as if pro football was old stuff. Both possess speed and can diagnose plays with uncanny ability. Val Joe Walker and Bobby Dillon are the seasoned operators who make many a coach worry about the Packers' pass defense. Walker is a hard man to outmaneuver, staying atop his man. Dillon, All-Pro selection last season, is the Packers' Mr. Pass Defense. He has been Green Bay's best ballhawk for four seasons and is a bruiser of a tackler. A 217-pound Al Ameche was hit by 180-pound Dillon last Saturday night. The impact resulted in an Ameche fumble, an indication that Dillon can take care of the big boys. After disposing of Layne, Brown, Blanda, Williams and almost getting even with Shaw, the Packers can now stew their poison for Van Brocklin. For the record, here is Norm's performance through three league games: He has completed 39 of 66 passes for 424 yards and four touchdowns. His longest completion was 74 yards. He has averaged 6.42 yards per completion and has had five intercepted. By comparison, the Packers' Tobin Rote has completed 48 of 96 tosses for 542 yards and four touchdowns. His longest completion was 38 yards. He has averaged 5.65 yards per completion and has had only one pass intercepted.
RAMS' BURROUGHS A SURPRISE
OCTOBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - The scouting report which the Los Angeles Rams received on Dan Burroughs when he played at Colorado A. and M. said that he was a great passer and ball handler and faker at quarterback, but only "fair" on defense at safety. Either the scout's evaluation was all wrong, or Burroughs changed a lot while he was in the service. The thin (176 pounds stretched over 6 feet 4 inches) Ram will bring into the game with the Green Bay Packers at County Stadium Sunday afternoon a rating as one of the finest defensive backs in the NFL. Only his teammate, Bill Sherman (6-3, 194 pounds) has intercepted more passes than Burroughs in the entire league this season. Sherman has intercepted five, Burroughs four. Burroughs, who was signed as a free agent, came to the Rams' camp last summer with aspirations to be offensive quarterback. One look at Norm Van Brocklin and Bill Wade and he asked to be tried on defense. He really clinched a spot on the Rams in the league opener when he knocked down three San Francisco passes and intercepted three others. The Rams won that one, 23-14, and two more as well. The skinny man is no small factor in their undefeated season. Burroughs is another of a long line of Colorado A. and M. players to burn up the pro league. Others to come out of this relatively small school and star in the NFL include Thurman McGraw, Jack Christiansen and Jim David of the Detroit Lions and Dale Dodrill of the Pittsburgh Steelers...RYMKUS PRAISED: Otto Graham, Cleveland Browns quarterback, calls Lou Rymkus, Packer line coach, "the best blocker on pas protection to ever play in front of me." Rymkus was all-pro tackle with the Browns a few years ago. Lisle Blackbourn, Packer coach, and Sid Gillman, Ram coach, last met in a football game when Blackbourn's Marquette team ruined a perfect season for Gillman's Cincinnati Bearcats in 1952. The score was 31-7. "Don't mention it, though," Blackbourn said the other day. "I don't want Sid to get mad over ancient history." Of the Baltimore game, Blackbourn said, "You can't overemphasize the importance of the pressure the Colts' big line put on our passer. It made their pass defense job easy. We could afford to send out only two or three receivers at any time. We needed all the blocking we could get to give Tobin (Rote) any chance at all." The Rams hold a 14-4 edge over the Packers in their series. Green Bay broke a 10 game losing streak against Los Angeles by winning here last year, 35-17...The Packers' defense apparently gets better as the game progresses. Detroit and the Bears each kicked a field goal in the third quarter and Baltimore one in the fourth. Those nine points, and no touchdowns, are all that Green Bay has given up after the intermission.