GAME RECAP (STEVENS POINT JOURNAL)
(MILWAUKEE) – It's not often in pro football, even in exhibitions, that a team holds it adversary without a touchdown. But the Green Bay Packers did just that in beginning their non-league warmups on Saturday night. The Bays trounced the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-6, as 12,000 plus fans braved threatening weather to watch the proceeds in Marquette Stadium in Milwaukee. Coach Liz Blackbourn was naturally pleased with the outcome although admitting the Eagles, who took a physical beating from the Baltimore Colts in their first game a week earlier, were not the stiffest competition the Packers will face this season. Blackbourn takes his charges - the number was pared from 53 to 51 this weekend - to Green Bay this coming Saturday night for the second exhibition, this time against the New York Giants. The New Yorkers are playing the Colts tonight at Baltimore. Blackbourn said Sunday that George Cummins, a tackle from Tulane has been placed on waivers. And Russ Dennis, a fine-looking two-way end from Maryland, was placed on the military reserve list. Dennis was to report this week for his tour of duty in the service. Just about everybody looked good in the Milwaukee fracas, and everybody got to play with the exception of injured Bill Howton and Jim Capuzzi and the two College All-Star rookies, Jack Losch and Bob Skoronski. That means a total of 49 men saw action in the opening exhibition as Blackbourn substituted early and often. One of Blackbourn's comments after the game was that it's still a big drop down from the regular to the second stringers, meaning that even though many rookies did a good job they're still not in position to beat out most of the veterans. Two rookies who drew Blackbourn's praise were Hank Gremminger and Bart Starr. Gremminger is one rookie who appears to have a starting job. He has been doing well at the cornerback spot held down last year by Doyle Nix. Starr is the ace quarterback rookie of the Packers. He had a hand in two of the touchdown drives at Milwaukee. Blackbourn said he looked good all the way. He completed three of four passes. As the score indicates, the defense was especially impressive, and Blackbourn had praise for his first team in this category. Thinking back to last year, the coach added, "We're much better off because, for once, we've got good line strength. We've finally got some big boys who will make this a better team." He had reference to Tom Dahms, John Sandusky, Skoronski and Forrest Gregg. "We've still got a lot of work to do," added Blackbourn, "but this thing is coming along." Philadelphia scored all of its points on field goals, the first one coming late in the first period. Bobby Walston kicked it from 15 yards away with only seconds remaining in the stanza. Just before the goal, the Packers had held the Eagles to almost no gain in four plays after a penalty helped them get to the three-yard line. The Packers' offense looked much better in the second period and midway through the quarter with Tobin Rote at the helm the Bays took the lead. They marched on the ground for a touchdown with Rote going around end from two yards away on fourth down. Howie Ferguson had an 11-yard gainer along the way. Fred Cone's placement made it 7-3. The rest of the first half was featured by two Cone-manufactured field goals. Gremminger's interception and a Rote-Johnson pass set up the first. It was only 14 yards long but from a difficult angle. The second came with 20 seconds left in the half. Carmichael ran 29 yards with a punt and a couple of Rote passes plus a penalty set up the three-pointer. Cone hit from 20 yards away and it was 13-3 at the half. Val Joe Walker waylaid an Eagles' pass early in the second half and the Packers began a TD march of 40 yards after he returned 16 yards to the Eagle 40. Breezy Reid did most of the running with Starr at the throttle and Joe Johnson scored from the one. Cone's point made it 20-3. Late in the third period, Walston's second field goal finished the Eagle scoring. It came from 32 yards away.Green Bay made another sustained drive in the final period to score its last touchdown. Blackbourn alternated Starr and Paul Held at quarterback on nearly every play in this drive. Held was in the game when Johnson scored from 10 yards away. Cone's ninth point of the game wound up the scoring at 27-6. The Packers had a 20-11 edge in first downs and a 283-195 edge in total yards.
PHILADELPHIA -  3  0  0  3 -  6
GREEN BAY    -  0 13  7  7 - 27
PHIL – Bobby Walston, 15-yard field goal PHILADELPHIA 3-0
GB – Rote, 2-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 7-3
GB – Cone, 14-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-3
GB – Cone, 20-yard field goal GREEN BAY 13-3
GB – Johnson, 1-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 20-3
PHIL – Walston, 32-yard field goal GREEN BAY 20-6
GB – Johnson, 10-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 27-6
Upon Commissioner Bert Bell's intervention, the players, who had retained a lawyer at a secret meeting Saturday, and the owners agreed to retroactive arbitration at the season's end. The players asked for salaries of from $50 to $75 a week. It is almost certain that the practices of all other clubs in this matter will now come under scrutiny, too, and what the Rams eventually get, players elsewhere, too, will ask. Out of all of it, in fact, may come an exhibition season wage scale established by the league. Different clubs have different plans at the moment. The Green Bay Packers, for instance, give their players $25 a week, which is deducted from each man's season contract if he makes the grade. If he doesn't, it is just plain salary. "We feel a player should have some money while he's with us, especially a rookie," Blackbourn said Tuesday. "He needs a little money for such things as laundry and other necessities until his league salary goes into effect (first week of the regular season). But whether we could afford to pay what the Rams have asked, I don't know. It's a front office matter. I doubt it. Our exhibition games barely pay for our camp expenses, but we're not one of the fortunate clubs playing exhibitions before 40,000 or 50,000 people. I can see where some of the clubs under the present arrangement can make real money. If anything comes of all this, and it very well could, we simply would have to shorten our training season and bring fewer men to camp. We couldn't stand a heavy exhibition salary scale." Blackbourn said he felt there were plenty of lawyers around, like Norman Lewis who now handles major league baseball players' grievances, only too eager to take the cases of the football players, too.
​PACKERS TRADE DUVALL
AUGUST 21 (Stevens Point) - Coach Liz Blackbourn of
the Packers announced Tuesday that Gordon Duvall,
the 200-pound fullback from Southern Cal who was the
Bays' ninth draft choice, has been traded to the
Philadelphia Eagles for an undisclosed 1957 draft.
LAND PURCHASED FOR PACKERS' NEW STADIUM
AUGUST 21 (Green Bay) - The deed for the 48.8 acre
site of a new home for the Green Bay Packers was filed
at the Register of Deeds office in Brown County
Tuesday. The land was purchased from Victor
Vannieuwenhoven in the Town of Ashwaubenon at a
purchase of $1,500 per acre. The down payment was
$75,000 and the remaining amount will be made in
equal installments over a three-year period. The new
stadium is expected to be ready for the 1957 season.
It will seat 32,000.
EAGLES GIVE DRAFT PICK FOR BAYS' BEIGHTOL
AUGUST 23 (Stevens Point) - The Packers Thursday
traded rookie quarterback Lynn Beightol of Maryland to
the Eagles for an undisclosed 1957 draft choice.
Beightol had been placed on waivers earlier this week,
but when Coach Liz Blackbourn found several clubs
showing interest in the Terrapin back, he recalled
Beightol. Beightol now joins fullback Gordon Duvall, who
was sent to Philadelphia on a similar deal. The Packers
may lose the services of veteran defensive end Nate
Borden Saturday night when they face the New York
Giants at City Stadium. Borden was summoned to his
Jersey City home Thursday because of a death in the
family. Gene Knutson and rookie Emery Barnes are
being primed to replace Borden if he is unable to play.
PACKERS PLAY GIANTS IN GRID EXHIBITION
AUGUST 24 (Green Bay) - The home folks will have
their first peek at their Packer football heroes here
Saturday night when Coach Liz Blackbourn brings his
team over from the training camp at Stevens Point 90
miles away for an exhibition with Jim Lee Howell's New
York Giants. The kickoff is scheduled at 8 o'clock.
Green Bay defeated Philadelphia, 27-6, in an impressive
debut at Milwaukee a week ago, and the Giants, hailed
as one of the strongest clubs in the Eastern Division,
walloped the crippled Baltimore Colts, 28-10, in an even
more impressive debut. Blackbourn, who used 50 men
in the romp over the Eagles, expected no such easy
time Saturday. Howell will put on the field one of the strongest defensive lines in the league with tackles like Roosevelt Grier and Dick Modzelewski, ends like Jim Katcavage and Walt Yowarsky, and linebackers like Harland Svare and Bill Svoboda. Against them the Colts got 20 yards rushing. The hope, as it so often does in Green Bay's case, rested largely on the good passing arm of Tobin Rote, supported by his understudies Bart Starr and Paul Held, and the excellent receiving of ends Bill Howton and Gary Knafelc, and the halfbacks. The solid punch in the victory over the Colts suggested that Howell might have one of the best running attacks in the league this season. The offensive line with men like Dick Yelvington, Bob Schnelker, Ken MacAfee, Jack Stroud and Ray Wietecha looks as formidable as the defensive line. And such backs as Alex Webster, Mel Triplett, Kyle Rote and Frank Gifford have all proved their class in earlier campaigns. The Packers will be at full strength except for veteran end Nate Borden, who was called home to Jersey City by the death of his grandmother, who raised him.
EXHIBITION - Green Bay Packers (1-0) 27, Philadelphia Eagles 6
Saturday August 18th 1956 (at Milwaukee)
NEWS AND NOTES
BLACKBOURN HAPPY, WITH RESERVATIONS
AUGUST 20 (Milwaukee Journal) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn expressed pleasure with reservations after his Green Bay Packers whipped the Philadelphia Eagles in their Shrine pro football exhibition game at Marquette Stadium Saturday night. "Sure," Blackbourn said, "it's nice to win, especially by 27-6. I thought the boys did a good job generally. But I'm afraid the Eagles weren't too good. Maybe they made us look good." Blackbourn said that he was happy that he was able to use 50 men, alternating almost complete teams on both offense and defense almost from the start. "That's the idea of the preseason games," the coach said. "We've got to find out what these young fellows can do and you can't find out without giving a chance in competition. We want to win all the time, of course, but getting the team ready for the 12 league games must come first." Someone mentioned that he would get his quarterbacks in shape, the way he ran them in and out on practically every play of the second half. The dogfight among Bart Starr and Lynn Beightol, rookies, and Paul Held, last year's understudy to Tobin Rote, was mentioned and Blackbourn was asked if all that battling below him had affected Rote in any way. "I've never seen Tobin so relaxed," Blackbourn said. "Did you see how he lobbed that pass to Joe Johnson that one time? You know how Tobin usually throws the ball," and Blackbourn drew back his arm, brought his hand swiftly past his ear and said, "Zing." The coach laughed and said, "The way Tobin lobbed the ball into Johnson's arms over those three Eagles made him look like Otto Graham (retired quarterback of the champion Cleveland Browns). Maybe Tobin figures he's going to be the new Graham. Well, if he turns out to be that, it will be perfectly fine with me." The name of Henry (Hank) Gremminger, rookie defensive halfback from Baylor, was mentioned. He is the fellow being groomed to replace Doyle Nix, rookie star of last season who has gone into service. "I was glad to see Hank get off to a good start like that," Blackbourn said, referring to his interception and three spectacular saves on Eagle passes into his territory. "Having a night like that should be good for his confidence. Luck enters into a night like that, too, though. If the passer is sharp, he often beats you, no matter how well you cover, but if he's off just a little bit, you can have yourself quite a night. Hank did all right." Earlier, Val Joe Walker, veteran defensive back, was talking about Gremminger. "That Henry is okay," Walker said. "He's so much like Nix that we call him Nix, Jr."
THE AX FALLS
AUGUST 20 (Stevens Point) - The Green Bay Packers Monday placed George Cummins, rookie tackle from Tulane, on waivers and put Russ Dennis, rookie end from Maryland, on the military reserve list. Dennis will leave shortly for Army duty.
PACKER DEFENSE IN MIDSEASON FORM
AUGUST 20 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - What does a 27-6 preseason win indicate to Coach Liz Blackbourn? "Our defense looked pretty tough, especially our first unit," said Blackbourn from his Stevens Point office. "That was the best part of the game against the Eagles." And Blackbourn, comparing this season's start to a year ago, said "we're much better off because, for one, we've got some good line strength." Here, then, is the key to Green Bay's chances in the '56 race. They hardly come any better than John Martinkovic, Bill Forester, Deral Teteak and Roger Zatkoff. And the trio patrolling the outer spaces, Val Joe Walker, Bobby Dillon and Billy Bookout, ranked with the best last season. But two defensive aces, Doyle Nix and Veryl Switzer, were lost to military service. However, Saturday night in the Shrine game a candidate from Baylor looked like the man to fill Nix's shoes, although Blackbourn says he had four good ones to choose from. Hank Gremminger turned in a sparkling performance, intercepting and blocking just about everything thrown his way by Eagle flipper Adrian Burk. Blackbourn praised the Baylor rookie's work but said boys like Max Burnett, Alton Romine, Jim Capuzzi and Glenn Young deserve every consideration. Liz beams when he talks about his offensive forward wall. "We've finally got some big boys who will make this a better team." Tom Dahms, 245; John Sandusky, 250; Bob Skoronski, 240; and Forrest Gregg, 230, were mentioned with pride. "Once we like them up where they belong, we're going to be much better off." Blackbourn, who usually indulges in a Sunday game of golf, was all business as he prepared to sift and winnow his best talent since he came to Green Bay. "We've got a lot of work to do yet, but this thing is coming along." Liz liked Howie Ferguson's early game running, the passing of quarterbacks Tobin Rote, Bart Starr and Paul Held. "Sure, there were some bad spots, but I would rather check the pictures before commenting on them," said the Packer boss. Blackbourn reported no injuries in the hard hitting game. He said Jack Losch, Billy Howton and Skoronski sidelined Saturday night would play against the Giants next Saturday at Green Bay. The only player cut Sunday was George Cummins, a 6-2, 280 pound rookie tackle from Tulane. Rookie end Russ Dennis left for military service.
PACKERS OFF TO ENCOURAGING START IN WIN OVER EAGLES
AUGUST 21 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - There is no point in becoming too excited and doing handsprings over one exhibition game. That goes double when there is reasonable doubt about the quality of the opposition. So this should not be construed as going overboard on the Packers as the result of their decisive opening victory over the Eagles in the Midwest Shrine game last Saturday night. But everyone must agree that it was an encouraging start of the club now being whipped into shape by Head Man Liz Blackbourn and his assistants. Despite the fact that there were frequent changes and some of the newcomers obviously haven't had time to get the hang of things, the offense was remarkably well advanced. Although the Eagles' defensive lapses might have contributed something to the total result, certainly a lot of it was of the Packers' own making. The line blocking was outstanding at time, and the backs did their share with fine ball handling, faking, cutting and hard running. Bart Starr lived up to expectations and Paul Held did surprisingly well. Which was a hopeful sign that Tobin Rote, a one man quarterback corps for several seasons, is due for some help long overdue....SECONDARY FOURSOME LOOKS GOOD: A great goal line stand that forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal after they had first down on the two highlighted defensive operations. That took a lot of doing even if the Eagles were considerably less than balls of fire in the running and pitching department. The visitors' passing in particular was below par. Definitely not of the type that loosens up the defense and helps the running game go. Blackbourn's foursome of secondary defenders - Bobby Dillon, Val Joe Walker, Billy Bookout and Hank Gremminger - looked especially good. They should save the Packers a lot of yards and possibly a vital ball game or two along the way. As a group, they reacted quickly and flashed the necessary speed to cover on any type of play. Newcomer Gremminger, the man really on the spot, met his first test well. Visiting scouts, including Jack Lavelle of the New York Giants, who tackle Blackbourn's charges at Green Bay this Saturday, seemed generally impressed with the Packers' solid, purposeful showing. If the Bays keep on going from there, this could be quite a season.
LEAGUE SALARY SCALE ON EXHIBITIONS POSSIBLE
AUGUST 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - The demands of the Los Angeles Rams players Monday for at least nominal salaries during the exhibition season and their threat not to go through with the Cleveland game in Los Angles Friday night unless the demands were met is almost certain to have repercussions all around the league. The owners have been sitting on this little powder keg for years, have known it, and now that this spark has occurred, they may well have an explosion. The Los Angeles case was amicably adjusted.
GIANTS AFFORD STIFF TEST FOR PACKERS TONIGHT
AUGUST 25 (Green Bay) - The New York Giants, considered by many the best bet to snap Cleveland's domination in the NFL should be a more worthy opponent Saturday night to slug it out with the fast starting Packers. Coach Liz Blackbourn's club, running away in its pre-season opener against the not-so-hot Eagles last Saturday, will be out to show some 18,000 home folks what ticks after five weeks of drills. After Green Bay had clubbed Philadelphia, 27-6, New York kicked the daylights out of Baltimore, 28-10, Monday. Blackbourn was impressed with his defense after the Eagles game but wants to test his bulky 49-player squad against a sure-fired team. He is certain New York will give his recruits more than a workout. "I won't risk crippling our veterans to win." said the Packer coach. "We've been jockeying platoons considerably and I want to see just where the best talent fits. Mistakes will crop up but now is the time to experiment." Rookie quarterback Bart Starr from Alabama will start with a veteran backfield of Breezy Reid and Al Carmichael at halfbacks and Howie Ferguson at fullback. Ferguson has been nursing a bruised ankle and will be used only sparingly, Reid will spell him. Blackbourn is also anxious to see what gives with the Al-Star boys, tackle Bob Skoronski, guard Forrest Gregg and defensive back Jack Losch. "They lost much ground dickering whether to play or not and now have to show us what they can do," Blackbourn said. Skoronski and Gregg have been working out on offense, looking good so far. Losch may see little action against the Giants because of a pulled muscle. The Giants will start a veteran backfield of quarterback Don Heinrich, halfbacks Frank Gifford and Alex Webster and fullback Mel Triplett. Coach Jim Lee Howell will also toss quarterbacks Charlie Conerly and Bob Clatterback against the Packers. New York scarred the turf with offensive power last fall, but its main weakness was lack of crashing defensive ends. A remedy apparently has been found with the acquisition of Andy Robustelli from the Rams and Dick Modzelewski from the Steelers. The Giants arrived here Friday and worked out at the stadium. The Packers will get into town about 1 p.m. Saturday and leave Sunday morning for camp. The game will be broadcast over a 22 station network.