NEWS AND NOTES
PARILLI'S PERFORMANCE WAS NO SURPRISE; BLACKBOURN KNEW HE COULD DO THE JOB
SEPTEMBER 30 (GREEN BAY) - "Surprised by Parilli's showing? No, we weren't surprised. We knew he could do what he did today." Lisle Blackbourn, coach of the Green Bay Packers, was talking after the upset of the Chicago Bears here Sunday. "You might call this V-Day," a spectator in the crowded dressing room said. "V is victory and V for vindication of your faith in Parilli." "That's right," Blackbourn said, "And V for Vito." Vito Parilli, the journeyman quarterback who played last year for the Cleveland Browns had one of his best days in football. He passed for two touchdowns and ignited the spark the Packers needed for their triumph over the big, bad Bears. "That's the best game I've ever seen Parilli play," a dejected Paddy Driscoll said in the Bears' quarters. "And that Howton was great. I thought, too, that your Carmichael played a good game." "The Packers were up for this one, coach," a sympathetic Bear writer chimed in. "Of course, they were up," Driscoll snapped. "But that's no excuse for our losing. This is opening game. Everybody should be up for this one." Even in the flush of winning the first game ever played in Green Bay's new City Stadium, Blackbourn refused to go overboard on the Packers' chance the rest of the way. "This was a good one to win," he said. "But I thought the game was about even. We'll enjoy our victory tonight and start thinking about the Lions (next Sunday's foe) tomorrow. I didn't really feel that the game was ours until Jeter fumbled that punt," he continued. "When he fumbled and Lauer (Larry) recovered for us, I figured we might win it." Perry Jeter fumbled a punt inside his own 10 yard line with little more than a minute to play. Jim Temp had a smashing tackle timed perfectly. He and the ball arrived almost simultaneously and Jeter, of course, departed. After that the Packers moved to a first down on the Bear two where the game ended. Driscoll refused to defend Jeter's action in attempting to catch the punt. "He should have signaled for a fair catch," he said. On a similarly fumbled punt by Billy Kinard of the Packers, Blackbourn was more lenient. "I think Kinard must have taken his eyes off the ball momentarily," he said. "Carmichael cut over in front of him just as the ball was coming down and I think that threw him off." Whereas Driscoll cited only three Packers for praise, Blackbourn was more inclusive. "Our defensive line kept getting better as the game wore on," he said. "Brown (Bear quarterback Ed Brown) kept going deeper and deeper. When the game was over, he was lucky to throw the ball at all." The Packers intercepted five passes, four in the second half. Bobby Dillon grabbed off two and Hank Gremminger, Bill Forester and Sam Palumbo one each. Tom Bettis just missed on two other interceptions and Dillon another. "Very disappointing," Bettis said of his near catches.
HYPOED PACKERS GOT BETTER
SEPTEMBER 30 (Green Bay) - The gayest time of the year in this neck of the woods is when the Packers beat the Bears. Monday was just that as every Tom, Dick and Harry grinned from ear to ear while talking up Sunday's 21-17 victory. The contagious spirit was reflected at the Packer ticket office, too. At noon the "All Sold Out" sign was tacked on the windows, assuring another sellout throng (32,150) for next Sunday's battle against Tobin Rote and the Lions. Liz Blackbourn was in a mighty chipper mood as he opened shop at 8:30 a.m to scheme trouble for Detroit. In walked Assistant Coaches Scooter McLean, Lou Rymkus and Jack Morton - more confident than ever that the Bays will amount to something this year. There is no doubt the Packers were hypoed by a gigantic stadium dedication weekend. But, as Blackbourn pointed out, "we didn't blow up despite that pressure. In fact, we got better as the game progressed." With the finger of guilt pointed at the offensive line for a sputtering pre-season attack, the boys up front performed in a manner which helped spell victory. Jim Ringo, Ollie Spencer, Norm Masters, Jim Salsbury and Norm Amundsen proved they could dish it out when it counted. Blackbourn was surprised the way the Bears "red-dogged" the Packers' quarterbacks. By rushing in their linebackers and defensive ends, the Bruins were content to go and get the passer and darn near forgot the ends. "I would say they gambled and lost," Blackbourn observed. "You know we have two fast receivers (Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc) and they weren't having any trouble going out. But that's the risk they took and I'm glad they did." When asked if Babe Parilli, who sparked the scoring drives, was now in the driver's seat, Liz said, "No. Bart Starr throws a lighter pass than Parilli. But when that wind raised heck with Starr's accuracy, we tried the Babe. He really rifled 'em in, didn't he?" A few statistics are noteworthy: When you can hold Rick Casares to 72 yards, Willie Galimore to 28 and Perry Jeter to 7, the Packer defense must be shaping up. And that goes for five interceptions, too! Dick Deschaine averaged 51.2 yards for five punts - and that's the reason he'll be around for seasons to come. His third quarter boot carried 71 yards. His final lofty punt, which was fumbled by Jeter, iced the victory. The Packers recovered and were on the Bear three when the gun sounded. Howton and Knafelc were the only Packers to catch passes. Billy outclassed the Bears' defense with eight completions for 165 yards and one touchdown. Knafelc grabbed four for 70 yards and one touchdown. Tom Bettis and Hank Gremminger showed tremendous improvement over a year ago. They stopped the Bears cold. Howie Ferguson was hurt after the second play of the game. He injured his left hip and not his knees, as first feared. Otherwise, the Packers came out of the game in good shape. The Bear linebacking situation was weakened in the first quarter when Wayne Hansen was forced to leave his position and take over for Larry Strickland, who was roughed up. The situation became serious when Stan Wallace was ejected for socking the Packers' Ollie Spencer. Green Bay now shows a fabulous 6 win, 1 tie mark since opening camp. This one was the confidence builder, though.
BLACKBOURN CREDITS GREEN BAY LINE PLAY FOR WEARING DOWN, THEN BEATING BEARS
OCTOBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers bear the Chicago Bears "up front". The infantry wore down the favored Western Division champions in the NFL opener at Green Bay's new stadium Sunday and that was the story, 21-17. The passing of Babe Parilli, the quarterback nobody wanted, produced the scores, of course, and Parilli played a whale of a game. Bart Starr is still not out of the picture. Coach Lisle Blackbourn is happy to have two quarterbacks, thank you. "We'll find work for both of them," he said. But the game was still won "in the trenches". The Packer defensive line handled Willie Galimore as if he were a high school lad rather than a sensation who had averaged about 10 yards a clip in six exhibition games. Even Rick Casares was stopped more than once by one man. That usually does not happen. The Packers played great football, individually and collectively. The way Green Bay played the Bears' feared end sweeps was something to behold. Linebackers Tom Bettis and Bill Forester, ends Nate Borden, Carlton Massey and Jim Temp, backs Hank Gremminger, John Petitbon, Bob Dillon, Billy Kinard and John Symank, guards Sam Palumbo and Ernie Danjean and tackles Dave Hanner and Jerry Helluin knifed through the Bear blockers to get at the carrier and slow him or stop him. The Packers' defenders, as the game wore on, fought through the Bears' fine pass protection and ruffled quarterback Ed Brown. When that happened, Brown's sharpness disappeared. The Bears "was dead", Green Bay's deep men then had more than an even chance, even against ends like Harlon Hill, Bill McColl and Jim Dooley. On offense, the Packers' front wall also found itself after a slow start. This is the fourth line which Lou Rymkus, line coach, has built in four years with the Packers. The men obtained from Detroit in the Rote deal - Oliver Spencer, Jim Salsbury and Norm Masters - worked hard. The fellows back from the service, rookie Norm Amundsen and veteran Al Barry, contributed. Carl Vereen, tall rookie from Georgia Tech, stepped in capably when Spencer was ejected in a scuffle with Stan Wallace, Bear linebacker. And Jim Ringo, the center and only man back from last year's interior wall, did his customary excellent job. Considering the all-out rush, or "blitz", that the Bears put on the passer, Parilli and Starr got good protection. Parilli had to skip around a few times and wriggle free from big Jack Hoffna or bigger Doug Atkins in order to get away his pass, but most of the time the blockers kept them away. And when Parilli did have time or find time somehow to look for his receivers they were open. The Bear pass defense has been a sore point in other years. It is still a sore point. They do not have the real good deep men. They have to rush the passer off his feet - or else. Blackbourn looked at the movies Monday night and said, "We still had our share of mistakes. But I'd rather make a few mistakes and win than play perfect football and lose. We've still got a lot of things to iron out." Much of the time Sunday, the Packers were playing a three man line - Hanner at middle guard, flanked by two of the ends or perhaps a tackle and an end. Often, Green Bay had as many as four linebackers at once. "We were using a little variation," the coach said. "We shifted things around to foul up their pass blocking protection. Maybe we did." Danjean, the 220 pound turtle from Auburn, came in for a little praise. "He's a pretty good boy," Blackbourn said. "He played a lot of football Sunday. He's short but he's mobile and he likes to get in there." Fullback Howie Ferguson was the only injured player. He went out with a bad hip after two plays. Before, his knees had been bothering him. He tends to brittleness. Paul Hornung, the bonus rookie, likely will be worked at both fullback and left halfback against Detroit at Green Bay Sunday. Spencer felt that he was the victim of circumstances in being asked to leave with Wallace. "He swung at me," Spencer said. "Maybe I charged him a little hard (on an attempted block), but all I did was grab him so he couldn't swing anymore." Blackbourn had an answer for that. "Don't play any attention to someone who wants to fight you," he said. "Just put your arms up to cover your face and walk away from them. With the headgear and mask and pads, they can't hurt you anyway, even if they swing all day. We need you to play football, not to fight."