AND THE PACKERS COULD HAVE HAD JIM BROWN
OCTOBER 28 (Milwaukee Journal-Oliver Kuechle) - The Green Bay Packers for years have needed a good, strong, bruising halfback. So it must be with a wince each Monday that they look over the sports pages to see what Jim Brown, Cleveland's blockbuster from Syracuse, did the day before. (Sunday, Brown gaines 180 yards on 24 carries and scored four touchdowns. He now leads the league in scoring with 14 touchdowns and 815 yards in 118 carries). The Packers could have had Brown - had two cracks at him, in fact, before Cleveland got him. Green Bay had the bonus choice the year he went - 1957 - and the third choice in the regular draft. They took Paul Hornung of Notre Dame as their bonus man and Ron Kramer of Michigan as their regular choice. Brown went two picks later. Los Angeles and San Francisco, drafting ahead of Green Bay, picked Jon Arnett of Southern California and John Brodie of Stanford, respectively, and Pittsburgh, drafting immediately after Green Bay, took Len Dawson of Purdue. Actually, even Cleveland stumbled into Brown. Paul Brown, hunting for a quarterback after Otto Graham's retirement, originally has his sights on Dawson, wanted him badly, then settled for Brown only after Pittsburgh had beaten him to Dawson. There is little question that Brown, if he remains healthy, will rewrite the pro record book on individual ground gaining and scoring completely before he is through. He needs only 331 yards in his seven remaining games, a bagatelle, to break Steve Van Buren's rushing record of 1,146 yards set in 1949 and only five touchdowns to crack Van Buren's record of 18 in a season set in 1945. Why the Packers didn't pick him, with two cracks at him, has always been an embarrassing question to Lisle Blackbourn, then Green Bay's coach, and Jack Vainisi, their chief player scout. "We picked Hornung because we thought he was a better all-around man. And we picked Kramer because we needed a slotman." That has been the public explanation. The private explanation? "We muffed one." Brown, in a backfield with Ferguson today, would look mighty sweet, indeed - "Sweet Syracuse Brown". Kramer? He is in the Air Force now. Hornung? He's in and out...SHOTGUN DEAL: A remark has been credited to Lee Joannes, vice-president of the Green Bay Packers and chairman of the powerful contract committee of the executive board, that was probably intended for a laugh but also contained more than a kernel of truth. "If you guys has blown this one," he is supposed to have laughingly said after the Packers beat Philadelphia Sunday for their first victory of the season, "I would have gone home to get my shotgun and cleaned house but good." It was Joannes who first led the fight to clip Curly Lambeau's wings in the middle forties, Joannes who hired Gene Ronzani, Joannes who balked loudest about the hiring of Lisle Blackbourn, Joannes who led the fight to get rid of Blackbourn, while Blackbourn was out of the city on a scouting mission, and Joannes who hired Scooter McLean as head coach. Not since these events transpired have the Packers won more games in a season than they have lost. There could be a connection.
CARE FOR SELVES - BELL SAYS PROS DON'T NEED FAN PROTECTION
OCTOBER 28 (Milwaukee Journal) - One belligerent spectator bent on punching a football coach does not call for any special protective action by the NFL, Commissioner Bert Bell said Monday. "We can't do anything because one guy gets out of line," Bell said, referring to the incident in San Francisco Sunday in which a fan took a swing at Chicago Bears coach George Halas. "He gets waffled and is tossed in jail, but everybody gets excited. He's probably lucky the players didn't get to him." William Dunn, the fan in question, tried another trick Monday. It also backfired. When Dunn's case was called in court a man arose, identified himself as Jack Slathy, attorney, and said: "I want to plead my client not guilty and ask for a jury trial." The judge agreed, and continued the matter, to set a trial date. After the man walked out of court, Patrolman William Porter, who had arrested Dunn at Kezar stadium, said: "His name's not Slathy, that's Dunn himself." When he returned to court later Dunn said, "I was embarrassed. I didn't want any pictures taken. I'd rather not have any publicity." He was ordered to appear in court Tuesday to answer battery charges...Doyle Nix, former Packer defensive back now with the Washington Redskins, has a broken bone in his right hand and will be unable to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday. Nix was injured against the Baltimore Colts Sunday...PENALIZE COACHES!: In Los Angeles, Rams' coach Sid Gillman said professional football teams should be penalized if their coaches stray beyond the 40 yard lines. He was referring to the wandering habits of Halas. Gillman said the rule against roaming should be enforced or thrown out of the book. Ram General Manager Pete Rozelle disagreed, however, and said he did not plan any plea to the officials before Sunday's game with the Bears. Gillman also told how his star rookie defensive end, Lou Michaels, got thrown out of Sunday's game with the Detroit Lions. "Michaels kept telling Lou Creekmur, the Lion tackle, to quit holding and leg whipping. He said Creekmur called back that if he did that he'd have to get out of the league. Finally Michaels hauled off and swung. But the funny part was he didn't hit Creekmur. He hit Charlie Ane (Detroit center)."
PACKER LINE PRAISED FOR PASS PROTECTION
OCTOBER 28 (Milwaukee Journal) - Green Bay's offense got out of its short gain rut and made the long play because the line did its job, Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean said Tuesday. "They gave Babe Parilli real good protection," McLean said, after looking at movies of the Packers' 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL game at Green Bay Sunday. "The blockers adjusted to the different types of 'red dog' and shooting linebackers. They gave the quarterback time to make the proper selection. Babe did the rest." In early games, Green Bay had to go for the short pass because the line rarely held out opponents long enough for the quarterback to find Billy Howton and Max McGee, the speedy ends, and throw to them downfield. McLean was asked if Parilli's performance was a one shot deal or would the usually erratic quarterback go on from there to greater things? "This should give him the confidence he needs. It should do him some real good. I see no reason for him not to continue doing the job. The one thing I especially liked about him Sunday was the way he stayed in the pocket (of blockers) and looked the situation over and threw." McLean was asked about Bart Starr, whom Parilli displaced as first string quarterback. Starr did not play at all against the Eagles. "As long as the quarterback is going good, he'll stay in there," McLean said, "regardless of who he is. That goes for all positions. We aren't going to cater to any one fellow. If someone isn't doing the job we'll replace him. The players all know that. They want to win and that's the way it's got to be."
FERGUSON WOULD PLAY FOREVER IF HE COULD
OCTOBER 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Pro football's ruthless in its treatment! It's no place for soft people. For a player to make good, the sport has to be in his blood. Howie Ferguson, the Packers' juggernaut fullback, would like to play football for the rest of his life. He'll stay in the game until nobody will have him. "They'll have to cut me to get rid of me," he said when asked about retirement plans. "I'll play as long as I can." Fergy, as he's called by his teammates, is positive proof that desire pays off. He has carried the ball 53 times in 5 games for 254 yards, a 4.8 average. He also has caught 12 passes for 121 yards. This performance is all the more remarkable because Fergy was considered washed up after his knee gave out last season. The injury jinx had stopped a great runner. Ferguson was advised by his former coach, Liz Blackbourn, to see Dr. Don O' Donoghue, the Oklahoma orthopedic specialist who operated on the Braves' Billy Bruton's knee last fall. With nothing to lost and everything to gain, Ferguson resorted to surgery last January. Dr. O' Donoghue removed a cartilage and repaired torn ligaments in his left knee. "I was in a cast six weeks," Ferguson recalled. "I had to give up working in the oil fields and bought in on a shoe store partnership." Ferguson said he reported to the Packers' training camp because he couldn't stay away. "I had a miserable pre-season," he admitted. "I honestly didn't know if I could come back. But Scooter (McLean) gave me a chance. He realized I wasn't doing much, but kept me. I want to repay Scooter with a good performance. Ferguson said he hasn't been hampered with the knee, yet. "A sack fills up behind the knee and it tightens up after every game. But after it is drained, I feel fine," he said. The 218-pound bruiser doesn't care for weekday drills. "That's work," Fergy said. "Sundays it's all fun." Ferguson credits improved line play for his success. He said he would be going nowhere if Ollie Spencer, Hank Bullough and Forrest Gregg weren't opening the holes. McLean calls Ferguson "a real pro." "He's got guts, that Fergy," Scooter added. "Why, he'd bite the opposition for more yardage." Ferguson's comeback is good medicine for the Packers. Not only does he try to win but he wants to annihilate the enemy. If more Packers had his desire, 1958 would be a winning season in Green Bay.
PARILLI LEADS PRO PASSERS
OCTOBER 29 (Milwaukee Journal) - By the NFL's yardstick, Vito (Babe) Parilli of Green Bay leads all passers. A week ago, he was not even first string with the Packers. Parilli has gained 9.95 yards a throw this season. He has completed 28 of 56 for 557 yards. Passers are rated on yards gained per throw. Bart Starr, whom Parilli supplanted in time to lead the Packers to their first victory last Sunday, 38-35, over Philadelphia, ranks 13th. His percentage is 56.8, compared with Parilli's even 50, but has averaged only 6.34 yards per try. Actually, the established quarterbacks do not look good in the league's way of measuring. Johnny Unitas of undefeated Baltimore, far ahead in touchdown passes with 10, stands sixth; Tobin Rote of Detroit is ninth; Ed Brown of the Chicago Bears 11th; Norm Van Brocklin of Philadelphia, 14th; Bobby Layne of Pittsburgh, 15th, and Y.A. Tittle of San Francisco, 16th and last. John Brodie of San Francisco has the best percentage, 62.5. Bill Wade, Van Brocklin's successor at Los Angeles leads in giving away interceptions with 13. Brown of the Bears is right behind with 10. Only one rookie is among the rushing leaders. Bobby Mitchell of Illinois, now with Cleveland, is runnerup to teammate Jim Brown. Brown has gained 815 yards and Mitchell 414. The Packers will play at Baltimore Sunday and the Colts will present the leading battery in the league, Unitas pitching and Raymond Berry catching. Berry, a scrawny looking fellow from SMU, leads the league in catches with 27 for 453 yards and has caught five touchdowns. Del Shofner of the Los Angeles, a defensive back last season, has gained the most yards on receptions with 503 on 23 catches. Paul Hornung of the Packers is the top field goal kicker with six. Max McGee of the Packers ranks third among punters with a 43.4 average. He took over the punting in addition to his end duties when Dick Deschaine, specialist, was traded to Cleveland for a draft choice. Deschaine, with nothing to do for the undefeated Browns but kick, ranks seventh with a 41.7 yard average.
EWBANK GOT CHANCE - COLTS RIDING HIGH
OCTOBER 30 (Baltimore) - A little man in a crumpled brown suit will be noticed by only a few on the sidelines of Sunday's football game between the Colts and Packers. Many in the stands wouldn't be too sure about his correct name. And most people outside of Baltimore wouldn't even know who he is if you told them. Yet after you get through mentioning the likes of quarterback Johnny Unitas, fullback Alan Ameche, Lenny Moore or Owner Carroll Rosenbloom, the short fellow is more responsible than any for the undefeated Colts. He's the coach. By name, Weeb Ewbank, far from a household word in the world of sports. Ewbank was pulled out of virtual obscurity by the Colts in 1954. Although he'd been coaching sports for 26 years, he was head man only once. That was at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to being picked by the Colts, he toiled in the big shadow of Paul Brown for five years as an assistant with the Browns. Last year for the second straight season there was talk of firing him. This was after the Colts had won three game and then lost the next three. "I know football and I know what I am doing is right," Ewbank asserted. "We are still building and I feel I'm doing a good job. But if I don't have this job, I'll have another in football." Rosenbloom, who the year before had given serious thought to a coaching change in his burning desire for a winner, also spiked the talk. "He can stay in Baltimore with us forever or until he hangs it up," proclaimed Rosenbloon. Ewbank announced on this arrival in Baltimore that he planned to create a regime similar to the successful one wrought in Cleveland by Brown.