NEWS AND NOTES
LIONS' DEFENSE BEAT US - LIZ
OCTOBER 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers had their sights set on making hay against Western Division toughies this season, but had an off day Monday to forget about their 20-16 loss to the Lions Sunday while their coach, Liz Blackbourn, tried to explain what went wrong. "Their defense did it," Blackbourn insisted from his Green Bay office. "They forced us to give up the ball too many times. We did a remarkable job holding them to 20 points." Blackbourn wasn't bitter, rather more disappointed at his Packers' ineffective offense. But realizing the Lions' defense kicked the daylights out of almost everything the Packers tried, Liz said there would be an immediate stepup in offensive preparations for next Sunday's annual slugfest with the Bears. Asked what was the best part of the Packers' showing. Liz shot back: "Defense. But when Detroit controlled the play so much it forced too much of a load on our defense. I thought they played a terrific game." Recalling the close games between these two clubs, Blackbourn added: "These Lion-Packer games have always been good games; they've always been close contests between a lot of good boys." The Packer boss made one point extra clear. "There are no changes, personnel-wise, in sight. Their first loss taught us many things. We've got to step up our scoring punch and be ready to smash the Bears. Sure, the boys were disappointed. But they'll be up for the Bears." Rote had good protection every time he went back to pass. Tackles Bob Skoronski and John Sandusky have plugged up glaring weaknesses of old. But what raised havoc with Rote's aerial performance was that Lion pass defense. Ends Gary Knafelc and Billy Howton had trouble shaking their pesky foes. Knafelc, it is hoped, just had a bad day. His five-yard touchdown catch was his only completion. Howton caught five for 76 yards - the big one being a 42 yarder in the fourth quarter which led to the Packers' second touchdown. One thing for sure, the Packers never gave up. Trailing, 20-9, in the fourth quarter, the Bays powered back 80 yards in nine plays for a quick touchdown to squelch for any thought that the Lions were going to break this game wide open. An inept first quarter, in which the Packers could not muster a single first down, hurt badly. The Lions won the ball game, but were a pretty physically beaten bunch after the game. No less than six had to be helped off the field. "Our boys were really smacking," Liz admitted. "They had to be to keep us in the game." No serious injuries were reported by Blackbourn, "just some real good bruises."
STARTED TO LATE, SAYS BLACKBOURN
OCTOBER 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - Lisle Blackbourn smiled a little grimly in the Packers' dressing room under the stands of City Stadium at Green Bay. It was late Sunday afternoon and the place was almost deserted. Most of the players had left after having lost to the Detroit Lions, 20-16. The veteran coach answered each question slowly and fully, but he had a snap to his voice and fire in his eyes. He does not lose easily. He wants to win too badly. "We lost it by wasting the whole first quarter," he said. "Not even a first down. It took us a long time to find out how good (Carl) Karilivacz, defensive back, is. Once we found out, we played well enough. Look over there," Blackbourn said, pointing at the blackboard, on which were circles and X's, depicting a play. "They played their
defense just the way we wanted them to. They rotated
their deep men to meet our power. That left one on one for
Knafelc. Now that's what we wanted. We can beat teams
when there's only one man to cover Knafelc. But we
couldn't beat Karilivacz. We tried and tried, but he was too
good. I don't know if he's that good all the time, but he was
that good today." Maybe it was that Knafelc wasn't having
a very good day? "It's hard to get down on him,"
Blackbourn said. "He won for us against them a year ago.
No, I'd say it was just too much Karilivacz." Blackbourn
stared at the floor a moment and then looked up. "After we
found out what we couldn't do against Karilivacz, we
opened 'em up in the middle and moved all right." he said.
"But you can't waste a whole quarter and hope to beat
Detroit, or any other team in this league. Say, that Detroit
line is good. Their whole defense is good, but I'd say our
defense did everything that could be expected of it, too.
Their running backs are good. We didn't do much on the
ground. Maybe we'll try Johnson more at halfback next
week - in place of Carmichael. That's the only change I
have in mind now." Someone mentioned that Baltimore had
beaten the Chicago Bears. The Bears will play the Packers
at Green Bay Sunday and Baltimore will meet Detroit at
Baltimore. "I didn't think Baltimore could do it," Blackbourn
said. "Well, they're all tough in this division. Detroit had
better watch out because they're going over to Baltimore
all crippled up. We hurt them today. Their halfbacks and
fullbacks are banged up. Layne's shoulder might have been
all right when he came back in today, but after it cools off
and stiffens he may have trouble. That's a chronic injury
and could put them on a spot. Sure, Gilmer did a good job
filling in - he's looked good all fall - but he's not Bobby
Layne." Someone asked Blackbourn if he realized how
completely Detroit had dominated the statistics. "Yes," the
coach said. "We expected that. We still could have just as
well won. We spotted them the first quarter and never
caught up. We had the chance, though. You always like to
win that first one - it means so much. Now we'll just have
to win more later."
6 WESTERN DIVISION CONTENDERS - HALAS
OCTOBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Papa Bear himself,
George Halas, said Tuesday he was hardly discouraged
watching his much heralded Bruins bow in their opener
against the Colts, 28-21, at Baltimore Sunday. "I'll be
delighted if we win just one of our first three games," said
the Bear owner, who turned over the coaching reigns to his
old assistant Paddy Driscoll this season. "That would be a
100 percent improvement over last season," Halas coyly
observed. (The Bears lost their first three games under
Georgie last fall and then went on to win six in a row, the longest winning streak in the NFL). Halas tried to brush off the champion-in-the-making tag predicted by most preseason observers. "That was a figment of the imagination by the typewriter boys. No coach in his right mind would predict such a silly thing. There are six contenders in the Western Division, six of them." Getting back to the Colt game, Halas pointed out that quarterback George Shaw had an exceptional "hot" afternoon. "I doubt if he will be that effective the rest of the season. (Shaw completed 19 of 25 passes for 253 yards). But that Baltimore club is coming up with something. Lenny Moore, Alan Ameche and L.G. Dupre are fine runners. They hurt us." Owner George wasn't too pleased with the Bears' pass defense. "We've got a job to do there. Our offensive unit is a good one with Ed Brown, Rick Casares, Gene Schroeder, Harlon Hill and Bobby Watkins. We've got some fine guards (Stan Jones and Bill George)." Asked about the Wisconsin boys, Harland Carl and Jim Haluska, Halas was in the praising mood again. "Carl looks like he's going to be a good pro halfback. He likes the game and is learning fast. He teamed with Watkins against the Colts and handled himself well." Haluska didn't play against Baltimore, but Halas wants to keep him, insisting "I think we've got one here." Perry Jeter, the scatback rookie, also was mentioned. "He raced 51 yards on a punt return against the Colts. He sure has speed." The Bears came out of the Baltimore game physically sound. Halas then said, "Heard the Packers really beat up the Lions. Green Bay always played a socking game." Halas' parting shot was "don't count those Packers out. They'll be in this thing to the end with the rest of us."
HARDLY ANY CHANGE
OCTOBER 3 (Milwaukee Journal) - The NFL has hardly changed from last year. Favorites are still getting their lumps. Oddsmakers had San Francisco, Green Bay, Washington, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles and Cleveland all favored from three to nine points. All lost but Los Angeles...The openers were rough on new coaches - Paddy Driscoll of the Bears, Frank Albert of San Francisco and Hugh Devore of Philadelphia...Packer alumni will get together at the Beaumont Hotel in Green Bay after Sunday's game with the Bears...In a way, Jim Lee Howell, New York coach, outsmarted himself as the Giants beat San Francisco. He started quarterback Don Heinrich to test the 49ers' defense. He planned to bring in veteran Charlie Conerly to take advantage of the findings. Heinrich passes for two touchdowns, and had the Giants head, 24-0, before Howell took him out...The Chicago Cardinals used the split-T (college variety) to get position for their winning field goal against Cleveland. This is not recommended for the health of a pro quarterback, but the Cardinals got away with it...George Shaw, Baltimore quarterback, completed 14 out of 15 passes in the first half against the Bears...Paddy Driscoll, Bears' new coach, assays Baltimore thusly: "Vastly improved over last year. More depth. Shaw a great quarterback against us."...The Bears' offense was not bad, just spotty. Ed Brown played most of the game at quarterback and did not get too good protection. Penalties and fumbles cost the Bears dearly...The Packers are looking for more running help from their halfbacks and some openings for fullback Howie Ferguson to run through.
SPINKS TO GIANTS
OCTOBER 4 (Green Bay) - The Packers Thursday traded offensive guard Jack Spinks to the Giants for a future draft choice. Spinks, in his fourth season of NFL play, was drafted by the Steelers as a back in 1952 and traded to the Cardinals the following year. The Packers acquired the 6-1, 240-pound Negro last year and converted him into a guard. He attended little Alcorn, Miss,. A&M.