PACKERS MUST SCORE OR FACE WORST YEAR EVER
NOVEMBER 11 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Either the Packers change their ways or they're liable to lose their remaining five games and finish with the worst record in Green Bay history. Scooter McLean's club has beaten only one foe - Philadelphia. From here on it, the Bays face the Rams twice and the 49ers twice and the up and coming Lions. If the Packers fail to win or tie another game, they'll finish with one win, 10 losses and a tie - which would be their worst record in 40 years. In 1949 the Bays finished with a 2-10 mark and Curly Lambeau resigned and in 1953, the year Gene Ronzani was dismissed, the Bays chalked up a 2-9-1 record. The Packers blew four chances to score a touchdown in the first quarter against the Bears Sunday at Chicago. Such infamous activity is getting to be old hat. Not only did the Bears hold the Packers to 52 yards on the ground, but they harried Bart Starr and Babe Parilli to the point of destruction. With the passer being rushed off his feet before the ends were getting out, why didn't McLean switch to a spread formation? Or is the spread taboo with Scooter? "No, we've worked on the spread," McLean said Monday. "But the way they were pouring through it would have been foolish to try it. Their defense is tremendous." To make matters worse, McLean disclosed that Howie Ferguson, veteran fullback, suffered a should separation and a small chip fracture Sunday and will be out of action for three weeks - possibly longer. Ferguson, the workhorse of the Packers' running game, will be sorely misses. McLean said Paul Hornung or rookie Jim Taylor (he hasn't made up his mind) will start in Ferguson's place. Howie's loss came a week after end Gary Knafelc was sidelined with a torn cartilage in his right knee. Knafelc underwent surgery Monday in a Green Bay hospital. Knafelc will be out for the rest of the season. There were some fine, individual performances by a team which came off the flood after being humiliated by Baltimore, 56-0, a week ago. Alton (Monk) Romine saved two sure Bear touchdowns by catching up with Johnny Morris after a 32 yard spring in the first quarter and nailing Rick Casares from behind after he galloped 52 yards in the fourth period. Romine was the Packers' last chance on both plays. Jesse Whittenton looked like Bobby Dillon when he stole Ed Brown's pass away from Harlon Hill in the first quarter. Dan Currie, the much criticized No. 1 draft choice, came up with his best game. His tackling was for keeps as was the play of Dave Hanner, Tom Bettis and Dillon. Al Carmichael's 51 yard punt return in the first quarter was amazing. He caught Zeke Bratkowski's 46 yard punt over his shoulder and followed his blockers beautifully. Max McGee continues to make Packer-backers forget about Dick Deschaine, last year's punting ace who was traded to Cleveland. McGee averaged 47.2 yard on five punts. The Bears almost blocked one, but on the play Maxie put the right English on the ball as it rolled 54 yards. On the other hand, there was no excuse for Lenny Ford to drop a sure six-pointer in the first quarter. The fake field goal attempt was perfectly executed as Starr dropped back and lobbed the ball to Ford who was all alone in the end zone. The Packers lost 50 yards attempting to pass, thanks to the red-dogging Bears. Billy Howton, who was once feared as the best end in the league, failed to catch a single pass. Starr hit Howton in the first quarter, but Billy caught the ball out of bounds. Howton juggled a Parilli pass in the fourth quarter, a Hornung pass to him was almost intercepted and the last Parilli shot was off target. The Packers couldn't complain about the officiating at Wrigley Field this time. Of 19 penalties called, the Bears were penalized 14 times for 127 yards. Although it didn't disturb McLean one bit, George Halas roamed the sidelines like a member of the chain gang. Halas said his team was very fortunate to beat Green Bay under the circumstances. "Coming back from the Coast is tough enough," said Halas, "without having to look forward to playing the league's top team (Colts) next week." "We never play good after coming from the Coast," he continued. "Year in and year out, I've tried everything, but nothing works. I'm not disparaging Green Bay," he said, "but the boys had an eye on Baltimore. We'll be up for that one..."
NFL DRAFT SLICE URGED
NOVEMBER 11 (Washington) - Owner George Preston Marshall of the Washington Redskins proposed Monday that pro football teams draft only 20 players a year instead of the present 30. Marshall said he would introduce his plan at the next NFL meeting, and added eventually the draft list should be reduced to only 10 players annually. The Redskins' owner said he objects to the present 30-year draft maximum because:
* "Coaches are drafting blind over the last 10 or 15 picks anyway."
* "Drafting 30 men is ridiculous and superfluous because teams are getting solidified in their personnel and don't need that many new men trying out."
* "The league rules force us to take any player drafted and signed to training camp, so theoretically if we took all 30 new men signed to camp, we'd wind up over the NFL limit of 60 players under contract. In effect, we're being inconsistent with our rules."
Marshall said he did NOT object to the draft as such. "It's the greatest thing we have in equalizing competition," he declared. "By drafting not more than 10 or 20 new players a year, we'd still be giving the weaker clubs a crack at adding so-called name players and fresh blood. But we also wouldn't be doing what we're now doing - just guessing at the last 10 or 15 picks." Under Marshall's plan, 240 college players a year would become free agents, open to bidding from all clubs. Marshall said he believed drafted players would get higher salaries than free agents. What Marshall was suggesting was a return to the old NFL draft rules. Originally, the league permitted drafting only 10 players a year. Later the limit was raised to 20 and finally to the present 30.
PACKERS NEED A 'SCOOTER' ON THE FIELD
NOVEMBER 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Dropped passes, missed tackles, poor blocking - and Scooter McLean gets into hotter water every week. Unfortunately when a team loses the coach gets the rap. But does the coach pass, tackle or block? McLean is chiefly dependent upon the quality of his men compared to that of their opponents, rather than on his own brainwork. Scooter runs a game in which individual skill and brilliance make the play work. The Packers' success depends upon the speed, experience, alertness and horse sense of the players and not on the coach. It could be the material at Green Bay is not on part with other Western Division rivals. It could be top draft choices are not half the men expected. One thing for sure - McLean doesn't have a take-charge guy on offense and one on defense. The Packers don't have this player who can follow the coach's orders closely and coordinate effort on the field. Tony Canadeo was a take-charge Packers, but there hasn't been one since the Gray Ghost of Gonzaga retired after giving it his all for 11 season.
20 YEARS AGO TODAY - The Packers had a 5-2 record and finished with eight wins and four losses
15 YEARS AGO TODAY - With a 5-1-1 mark, Green Bay ended up in second place with 7-2-1
10 YEARS AGO TODAY - Green Bay won three games and lost four, then dropped its remaining five games
5 YEARS AGO TODAY - The Packers showed two wins, four losses and tie and ended with a 2-9-1 record
1 YEAR AGO TODAY - The Bays had two wins and five losses - finished with three wins and nine defeats
TODAY - With one win, five losses and a tie, the Packers are preparing to meet the Rams in Green Bay Sunday. Disaster No. 6 could lead to the worst season in Packer history.
The Packers might be dragging their feet after being pushed around the gridiron this fall, but it's not because of old age. Lenny Ford is the oldest at 32, but it's likely he won't be around next year. Babe Parilli and J.D. Kimmel are 29 and Howie Ferguson, Bobby Dillon, Steve Meilinger and Dave Hanner 28. The youngest is Ray Nitschke, who is 21. Paul Hornung, Joe Francis, Jim Shanley and Jerry Kramer are 22 - hardly old enough to live it up after hours.
PRESIDENT OF PACKERS RAP BOARD MEMBER
NOVEMBER 12 (Green Bay) - The president of the Green Bay Packers Tuesday night took a verbal blast at Hugh Strange, a Packer board member, for "trying to glorify himself by getting publicity." Strange last week proposed a sweeping overhaul of the Packers organization and player policies. Club President Dominic Olejniczak declined to comment on the merits of Strange's proposals. "But I will comment in one way," Olejniczak said. "If Hugh Strange or any other board member has any suggestions to make he should make them to the board rather than try to glorify himself by getting publicity." Strange said he intended to present his program at the next board meeting. He said that his proposal had backing, too, but did not say how much.