'PACKERS MISS RON KRAMER' BEAR SCOUT CALLS HIM IDEAL SLOT BACK; STARR STUDIES FOR JOB
NOVEMBER 30 (Milwaukee Journal) - "I'll tell you the guy the Packers miss the most this year," said Pete Halas, scout for the Chicago Bears, "and that's Ron Kramer. Now there is my idea of the ideal slotback." Pete is the nephew of George Halas, owner-coach of the Bears. He was in Detroit to scout the NFL game between Green Bay and the Lions. The Bears also use the slot T offense. The ends are split out and one of the halfbacks takes his position a yard back between the end and the tackle - in the slot. He is called the slotback but really is a third end. "In order to make the slot T offense work," Pete Halas said, "you've got to have someone who can block and is big and can catch the ball no matter if he is hit or has somebody hanging all over him. Kramer could do that. He was a natural for the job. He was mean. He liked to knock people down. He liked contact. That's what you've got to have a slotback." Halas was asked how he would compare Kramer and Bill McColl, the pianist-surgeon who plays the position for the Bears. "McColl is a good man," the Bear scout said, "but he's not as mean as Kramer." Kramer is now in the Air Force. His status for the future, as far as the Packers are concerned, is in doubt. Meanwhile, the Packers have been hurting for a replacement. Steve Meilinger was obtained in a trade with Washington but he didn't fill the bill. Gary Knafelc, before he went out for the season with a knee operation, could catch the ball but couldn't block a lick. Now Joe Johnson, a willing worker but too small, is the regular...'A GOOD PLACE': Three former pro football stars, now in the broadcasting end of the game - George Connor, Leon Hart and Paul Christman - were exchanging stories before the Thanksgiving Day game. Someone told Connor, who does the comment for the Packer telecasts, "You ought to suit up with the Packers today. They're a man short with Bullough out with a knee." Connor, an old Chicago Bear, laughed and Hart, a fellow Notre Dame man who played for the Lions and now helps broadcast their games, said, "Yeh, when you're all done, you can always play at Green Bay." Christman, a quarterback on the Chicago Cardinals when they were champions, said, "Don't you guys laugh. I put in a year at Green Bay and it was all right. When someone gets drafted by the Packers or traded to them, he usually says, 'Green Bay, I don't want to go there.' Then he goes there and find it's quite a place. The people treat you real fine. They really make things nice for you." Christman, who now telecasts with the Cardinals, was asked if he thought that close contract with the fans in a town like Green Bay was good for the players. "Sure, it is," he said. "Green Bay is a good place for a pro football player." "Sure," Hart said. "I believe you. But it's still the salt mine of the league"...HE STUDIED: The night before the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit, Ray (Scooter) McLean was asked who would start at quarterback against the Lions. "Bart Starr," the Packer coach said. "Why?" he was asked. Starr had not played quarterback at all against San Francisco in Milwaukee the Sunday before. "Well," McLean said. "Bart took the movies of our game and a Detroit game home with him and studied them all week. He showed a lot of eagerness. Anybody that wants to play that bad, he's just got to start."
IS NFL'S 'EQUAL' DRAFT REALLY EQUAL? RAMS GET NINE CHOICES, STEELERS GET NONE
NOVEMBER 30 (Philadelphia) - The NFL's player draft will come up here Monday and the system Commissioner Bert Bell credits with equalizing team strength will allow the Los Angeles rams to draft nine players in just four rounds and the Pittsburgh Steelers none? Is there something wrong? Walter Wolfner, managing director of the Chicago Cardinals, and George Preston Marshall, volatile owner of the Washington Redskins, say definitely yes. George Halas, long a power in pro football policy, declines comment. Other owners and general managers vary in opinion from "no" to no comment. Commissioner Bell, recognized as the father of the draft, sees nothing wrong in the situation. How do the Rams get nine and the Steelers none when each should pick four? The situation is brought about by the league policy which allows clubs to use future draft choices as part of player trades. "It's like borrowing money from a loan shark to pay somebody else," says Wolfner. He has proposed to equalize strength in the league. "By trading draft choices strong teams can afford to draft 'redshirts'. The strong get stronger and weak gets weaker." (Redshirts are collegians eligible for the pro draft because their class has graduated but with college eligibility remaining. The pros "ice" them for future delivery when they actually graduate.) Marshall, the flip talking Redskins' owner, is equally vehement in his opposition to trading away draft choices. He would prohibit any team from dealing off or releasing its first and second round choices until the player selected has been signed and participated in at least three games. Marshall emphasized that the teams which need the choices worst are the ones that trade. Those clubs in favor of trading draft choices point to the fact that it gives a team a chance to strengthen ranks immediately with a proven performer. Coach Buddy Parker of Pittsburgh, in complete command of the club, has traded so many draft choices that some Pittsburgh fans have been questioning his tactics. Parker, however, says he would rather have "proven players" then take a chance in the draft. He claims he is building for the present, not the future. Paul Brown, coach of the Cleveland Browns, feels the same way and so do George Wilson of the Detroit Lions and Pete Rozelle of the Los Angeles Rams. A check of the rosters, however, shows conclusively that the clubs in contention are led by players selected in the draft and not by those secured in trades with the use of draft choices. Cleveland, leading the eastern conference, has Jimmy Brown, Milt Plum, Jim Ninowski and Bobby Mitchell, all selected in the draft; Baltimore, in front in the western conference, is led by Alan Ameche, Lenny Moore, George Shaw, etc., all draftees, too. When the clubs convene Monday, Los Angeles will select nine players. Detroit is entitled to seven and Cleveland five. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Green Bay, the Bears and Giants each will have three. San Francisco and the Cardinals retain their four choices. Pittsburgh has none. Thus three teams will share 21 of the 48 players to be selected. Bell says he thinks the trading of draft choices is fine. He harkens back to the days when he coached the Philadelphia Eagles. "I traded almost all my draft choices. I'd rather have a tried pro than a draft choice who may never make my squad." He forgot to mention, however, that the Bell-coached, owned, trained Eagles almost always finished last.
MUNN IS MUM ON PACKER OFFER
DECEMBER 1 (Detroit) - Biggie Munn, athletic director and former football coach of Michigan State, said here Sunday night that he would have no comment on a report that he had been offered "complete charge" of the Green Bay Packers in the front office and on the field. Munn's name as mentioned for the coaching job several years ago. He refused comment then, too. Lisle Blackbourn was subsequently hired. It is understood that a Packer stockholder held exploratory talks with Munn in Detroit last week. In Philadelphia where the Packers are attending the NFL player draft meeting, General Manager Verne Lewellen said of the report: "We know nothing about the matter at all."
GREMMINGER HAD A HAIRLINE FRACTURE
DECEMBER 1 (Green Bay) - X-rays Monday morning showed that Hank Gremminger, Green Bay's defensive halfback, had suffered a hairline fracture just below his knee in Thursday's game with Detroit at Detroit. He will go with the club to San Francisco, however, and will probably play in next Sunday's game.
TIME OUT FOR A TALK - QUEER IDEAS
DECEMBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - The Packer have queer ideas about where they fit into the scheme of things. They think they have but to nod to a good college coach, if and when they decided to make a change, and he will come running. They have another guess coming. An Associated Press story out of Detroit Monday morning said that a member of the Packers' front office had approached Biggie Munn, Michigan State's athletic director, ostensibly about the Packer job. General Manager Verne Lewellen, in Philadelphia for the draft meeting, denied it. Munn himself politely said "no comment" - and later laughed. The Packers have about as much chance to get Munn as they have of winning this year's championship. In the first place, he's set at Michigan State, in the second, if he does move he will go to Minnesota, his alma mater, and in the third, most good college coaches want nothing to do with pro ball. Their names are bandied around, but how many of them go? The Packers don't seem to understand this. There are things besides money...DUNCAN: Whether the Packers made a wise choice in passer Randy Duncan in Monday morning's draft remains to be seen. There's no question about Duncan's passing skill. He is a good one. As a runner, however, he leaves a lot to be desired. He is not, for instance, a Hackbart of a Thornton, when trapped, comparing him with Big Ten quarterbacks. He is not a ball carrier. The choice clearly indicated, however, that the Packers have just about given up on Bart Starr and Babe Parilli. Duncan next fall, if he plays, will certainly have every chance to be the No. 1 quarterback. If he plays? At season's start, he said he was not interested in pro ball. He must have changed his mind.
GREEN BAY TAKES DUNCAN OF IOWA AS FIRST DRAFT PICK
DECEMBER 1 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers chose Randy Duncan, Iowa quarterback, as the first selection in the annual NFL draft of college players here Monday. On the second and third rounds, Green Bay took Alex Hawkins, South Carolina halfback, and Boyd Dowler, Colorado quarterback-end. Packer coach Ray McLean claimed Duncan, prize quarterback of the Big Ten, immediately after Commissioner Bert Bell opened the draft meeting. The 12 teams met to select the first four rounds of their annual 30 player draft. In all, 48 college players were to be selected. The rest of the draft will be held at the league's winter meeting in January. Green Bay had first pick under the draft rules which provide that the teams select from last to first as shown in the standings the day before the meeting. Green Bay's 1-8-1 record currently is the worst in the league. The Packers got only three choices Monday. They had traded their fourth round choice to Cleveland for defensive end Len Ford. Hawkins is a 190 pound, 6 foot 1 inch halfback. Dowler is a 6-5, 215 pound end and quarterback who no doubt will be tried at slot back. He was blocking back in the single wing and also was used at end for his pass catching. He also is a punter. The Packers, badly in need of a good passing quarterback, felt they got him in the 21 year old Duncan, a former Des Moines high school start who in the last two years has passed Big Ten opposition dizzy. The 6 foot, 180 pounder, key man of the Rose Bowl bound Iowa team, led the Big Ten in total offense with 1,706 yards in nine games. He completed 101 of 172 passes for 1,347 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent 58.7 completion percentage.