POOR SHOWING AGAINST COLTS A DOUBLE BLOW TO PACKER HOPES
OCTOBER 15 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - The many who walked away from County Stadium Sunday shaking their head and wondering how
a pro football team could go into a complete
tailspin so quickly, probably had company.
Packer coaches, too, must have been groping
for the answer. Hard to figure, but there it was
for all to see - the same team that looked so
good in the pre-league games, then knocked
off the Bears and had Baltimore under control
for a half, suddenly losing all semblance of
winning touch both ways, defense as well as
offense. The lopsided defeat came at a
particularly unfortunate time. Not that there is
such a thing as the right time for a bad
thumping. But there are degrees. And this was
one of the worst bits of timing, what with
missing the boat on selling the Milwaukee
portion of the schedule in the season's first
start at County Stadium. It was a reminder of
the first football game ever played in the then
new surroundings four years ago. The Packers
that year were in the ball game only until the
opening kickoff. Once the game got underway,
the home club didn't have a chance against the
Cleveland Browns, one of the big names in pro
football...TOUGH COMEBACK AHEAD: That
has been the pattern much too often through
the years. Time and time again a key game
here had been turned into a disappointing
showing. Bad games naturally affect
attendance the next time. That goes double for
a team fighting uphill and trying to get back into
winning business, as the Packers have been
trying for a long time. The Baltimore game is
down the drain, of course. Nothing can be done
about it. Nothing to do but pick up the pieces
and reassemble the machine for the next one
with San Francisco here this coming Sunday.
This won't be easy for Liz Blackbourn and his
staff under any circumstances. The fact that
the 49ers showed such explosive qualities in upsetting the Bears makes the task even tougher. The one ray of hope is that there is no reason to believe that Sunday's brutal second half is typical of the 1957 Packers. They have played a lot of good, solid ball since the start of the exhibition season. And they can bounce back - if they have the desire. How they react is strictly up to them. Needless to say, others have come off the floor before them. So it can be done.
SLOPPY TACKLING HURT, ALONG WITH OFFENSE, BLACKBOURN SAYS
OCTOBER 15 (Milwaukee Journal) - "We're just going to have to keep our heads about this thing," Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay Packers' coach said Tuesday. "We can home back." He was talking about the Packers' 45-17 licking by the undefeated Baltimore Colts at County Stadium Sunday. The defeat was Green Bay's second in a row after going undefeated through six exhibition games and its NFL opener with the Chicago Bears. Did the defense which had played well enough to win in every game up to Sunday's, get discouraged because the Packer offense was going no place? "That could be," the coach said. "Certainly morale entered in after Baltimore got ahead. No question but that the one supplements the other." "We did fine in the first half. That catch by Gary Knafelc was as brilliant a one as I've ever seen. Our defensive play in the first half was good. After all, we were ahead then, 10-7. Why it should go so bad in the second half...Giving them the ball on that interception on our first play of the second half didn't help. Bart Starr converted the play on the line of scrimmage. It hadn't even been called in the huddle. Then he didn't see Rechichar apparently and threw the ball right to him. And then not making four inches on fourth down didn't help at all." Blackbourn was asked what he planned to do in preparation for the games with the San Francisco 49ers at County Stadium Sunday. "We're just going to pull 'em back together again," he said. "We can't make any changes. We've got the 35 players for the whole season. We can straighten things out. We've got to. This team still can be a good football team." The coaches will meet with the Packers' executive committee later in the week. "They want to know what they as a board can do to help the situation," Blackbourn said. The committee, displeased with the club's record, will ask the coaches to discuss their problems firmly.
49ERS RISE TO OCCASION WITH TITTLE
OCTOBER 16 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers battle the 49ers at the Stadium Sunday, a team which can come off the floor when it looks like it's in real trouble. They dumped the Rams, 23-20, with eight minutes to go, They shocked the Bears, 21-17, with 27 seconds remaining. They also can be had. A so-so Cardinal outfit pinned a 20-10 loss on the Golden Gaters in the season opener. Y.A. Tittle, a 30-year old veteran who is playing his 10th season in pro ball, is still the man to watch. He has completed 37 out of 65 passes for 542 yards and five touchdowns. He has had just two intercepted, both in the first game. Tittle is off to his greatest start because Frisco has two of the fastest receivers in the business - R.C. Owens, a rookie flanker back, and Clyde Conner, who won his spurs last season. Billy Wilson, the league's best receiver last year, is an outstanding "hook" catcher. The 49ers have lost nothing as a running threat. Hugh McElhenny has a 6.2 average, carrying the ball 47 times for 293 yards. McElhenny is also effective on screen passes. Rookie Gene Babb has taken over the fullback post from the injury-plagued Joe Perry. Babb, the 49ers' 18th draft choice, has gained 118 yards in 32 carries for a 3.7 average. "Owens is our outstanding rookie," 49er publicitor Dan McGuire beamed Tuesday. "He was more noteworthy as a basketball player when he attended College of Idaho. He played for the Buchan Bakers, who gained the semi-finals of the national AAU tournament last March. Teammates call him 'Alley Oop' because he can jump eight feet," chuckled McGuire. "So far he has caught seven passes, four of them for touchdowns." The 49ers strengthened themselves in trades. Val Joe Walker, who last year played with the Packers, latched on to Frisco after Detroit released him and is the starting right safetyman. Walker's presence makes it possible for Dicky Moegle to move to an offensive post. Linebacker Marv Matuszak was acquired from Pittsburgh for quarterback Earl Morrall and guard Mike Sandusky. The Steelers also had to toss in their first draft choice for the next two years. Matuszak is a Gibraltar of a middle guard. The other acquisition is defensive halfback Bill Stits from the Lions. All-American John Brodie is sitting on the bench because Tittle is having such great success. Brodie called only one series of plays when the Bears roughed up Tittle. Veteran halfback Joe Arenas will do in a pinch as a quarterback. The 49ers are presently using the facilities of the U. of Chicago, working out at Stagg Field and in the fieldhouse. They'll come to town Saturday afternoon.
PACKER COACHES FREED OF BLAME
OCTOBER 16 (Green Bay) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn and his assistants were absolved of blame for the Packers' two successive defeats Wednesday by the Board of Directors. "Everybody was perfectly happy with the coaches," Board Chairman Emil R. Fischer said after the board conducted what was termed as a "routine" meeting Monday. Problems involved the team are strictly in the hands of the coaches, the board indicated. The comments followed a news report which said that the board was unhappy with the play of the team. The story was "blown up," said Fischer. The board said it did not have a meeting schedule with the coaches for later in the week to discuss the situation.