play the Redskins again...In fact, I'd like to play 'em every Sunday." "Now that we've got a winning streak going," Lombardi quipped, "let's not get complacent. There's a lot of work to do." Chief scout Wally Cruice warned the players about Detroit's aggressive defense which he called the best in the league. Although losing to the Bears, 24-14, the Lions held the Chicagoans to 116 yards rushing and a measly 48 yards passing.
NOVEMBER 23 (Warren, OH) - Rudy Comstock, Jr., 59, an ex-Green Bay Packers who coached at Oklahoma A&M and the University of Washington, died here, it was reported Monday.
LOMBARDI PLEASED BY FILMS; THREE LINEMEN EARN PRAISE
NOVEMBER 24 (Milwaukee Journal) - The movies Monday showed the coaches of the Green Bay Packers what they suspected after their 21-0 victory over the Washington Redskins Sunday. "We played a very good football game," Coach Vince Lombardi said Tuesday. "We blocked very, very well." Guard Jerry Kramer and tackles Forrest Gregg and Bob Skoronski were singled out. "It was probably Skoronski's best game," Lombardi said. On one play, Kramer, 245 pounds, ran right over a Washington halfback and continued upfield to block another Redskin. Some of the credit for the blocking on running plays should go to the runners, Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung. They gained 81 and 78 yards, respectively. Of Taylor, Gregg said, "They don't tackle him with one hand or an arm. They have to tackle him all over and then maybe, he'll break away and keep running. It's a real pleasure to block for runners like that." The Packers fumbled only once, on their second play from scrimmage on Washington's 20 after Emlen Tunnell's interception had given them a chance to take an early lead. Tom Braatz, former Marquette University captain who trained with the Packers last season, fell on the ball for Washington. "Hornung never had a chance on that one," Lombardi said. "The quarterback was late with the handoff and he didn't get the ball right." Otherwise, Lombardi had little criticism for Bart Starr, the Alabama man who won his first game in the professional league after four years at quarterback. Lombardi was asked who would start at quarterback against the Lions in Detroit Thursday, Starr or Lamar McHan? "I honestly don't know right now," the coach said. "Oh, if I had to say right now it probably would be Starr. McHan looked cool in there late in the game, even though he overthrew a couple. He's got a strong arm, stronger than Starr's." Would Starr's first victory do some good for his confidence? "We're going to find out," Lombardi said. The Packers took a light workout Monday, usually a day off, because of the Thanksgiving Day game. The team is in good physical shape. "We don't have any injuries of consequence," Lombardi said. "I like to think it is a sign of good physical condition and that we're hitting hard."
LAST YEAR FOR ROTE
NOVEMBER 24 (Detroit) - Quarterback Tobin Rote of the Detroit Lions said Wednesday that this would be his last year in professional football. "I don't think I'm wanted here anymore," Rote said. "As matters now stand, this is my last year. A few weeks ago, Mr. Anderson (Edwin Anderson, Lions president) made the statement that the Lions were seeking a 'professional quarterback'. That doesn't leave much room for me."
PACKERS CAN HIT .500 MARK BY DEFEATING LIONS AGAIN
NOVEMBER 24 (Milwaukee Journal) - Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers will try to climb to the .500 mark in the NFL here Thursday when they meet the Detroit Lions in their annual Thanksgiving Day game. A crowd of more than 50,000 will see the game in Briggs Stadium and many more will watch on television. George Wilson's Lions has been a hapless lot this season. They have won only two games, both over the Los Angeles Rams, who occupy last place in the Western Division. They have lost six games and tied one, with Pittsburgh. The Packers are a notch above the Lions with a 4-5 record, including a 28-10 triumph over Detroit at Green Bay in the second game of the season. Lombardi, however, refused to take the Lions lightly. After all, they did beat Los Angeles twice and the Rams claimed Green Bay as one of their two victims. In fact, the Rams whipped the Packers, 45-6, knocking them out of the undefeated class and into a five game losing streak, which was finally broken last Sunday in Green Bay against Washington, 21-0. Neither Lombardi nor Wilson would say for sure which quarterback he would lead off with on Thanksgiving Day. Bart Starr won for the Packers Sunday and he probably will get the nod over Lamar McHan, the former Chicago Cardinal, who went all the way in Green Bay's first three victories. McHan was forced out of the starting lineup by injuries and now Starr is trying to keep him out of it. Wilson has three quarterbacks, none of who has distinguished himself this season. Tobin Rote was the starter when the season began, but the former Packer has not done the job. He failed to complete a pass in five tries against the Chicago Bears last Sunday and was taken out and left on the bench. Earl Morrall, formerly of Michigan State, led the Lions to their victories over Los Angeles, but he has not been able to beat anybody else. Jerry Reichow of Iowa, who also plays end, took over in the second half against the Bears after both Rote and Morrall failed. Reichow got the Lions two consolation touchdowns, so he may play quarterback Thursday. The Packers hope to take up where they left off against Washington. Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor will be the running backs and Max McGee, Gary Knafelc and rookie Boyd Dowler the ends. They will running into a strong defense. "In fact," Lombardi said, "the Lions have the best defensive line we've faced. Their pass defense is good, too." McHan has passed for all four touchdowns against Detroit this season. The Lions' leading ball carriers are Nick Pietrosante, rookie from Notre Dame, and John Henry Johnson, who was suspended for awhile earlier in the season. Danny Lewis, formerly of Wisconsin, and Ken Webb are the other runners. The pass catchers include Jim Gibbons, Howard (Hopalong) Cassady, Jim Doran, Dave Middleton and Terry Barr, in addition to the running back. Green Bay leads the series, 29-22, with one tie. The Packers last won here in 1956, when Rote guided them to a 24-20 upset and knocked the Lions out of the Western Division title.
AFL OWNER HINTS ROTE, CROW MAY 'JUMP' NFL
NOVEMBER 25 (Houston) - K.S. (Bud) Adams, owner of Houston's AFL franchise, returned from the league's first draft meeting Wednesday and all but announced plans to jump NFL player contracts. He met with sportswriters and dropped such names as John David Crow, Tobin Rote and Bobby Joe Conrad. "Our backfield next season very easily could be Rote at quarterback, Billy Cannon and Crow at halfbacks and Bob White of Ohio State," he said. The comment could only mean that he is thinking of getting players already playing for the rival league, regardless of contracts. Rote has expressed dissatisfaction with the Lions and has failed to sign a contract for the next season, hinting he may come to Houston. "I think he'd be available to us," Adams said. But the case of Crow - former Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner now with the Cardinals - would be difference. Crow recently signed a two-year contract with the Cards as the NFL began to feel possible pressure from the AFL. Conrad, another former A&M star, has refused to sign a contract with the Cardinals for next season. He also has hinted interest in the Houston Oilers. Cannon is LSU's highly respected ace. If the Oilers do manage to hire NFL players, it may set a pattern for the new AFL that could touch off a player bidding battle. Adams also announced the first draft swap between two AFL teams. He traded his draft of College of Pacific halfback Dick Bass for the Los Angeles Chargers' hold on Aggie quarterback Charlie Milstead. "Frank Leahy (of the Chargers) wanted Bass so badly for the Los Angeles club that he almost jumped out of his chair when I drafted him, so it wasn't hard for us to work up a trade." Adams said he was very anxious to get Milstead for the Oilers.
50,000 (PLUS TV) TO SEE BAYS, LIONS
NOVEMBER 25 (Detroit) - The Packers, victory-starved on the road, might start eating cranberries if they lose to the Lions in their traditional Thanksgiving Day game at Briggs Stadium. Green Bay has lost 16 consecutive games on foreign gridirons, including four in Milwaukee County Stadium. The oddsmakers, disregarding the law of averages, favor the home town pros by two points. More than 50,000 fans in Briggs Stadium and an estimated 50 million television viewers across the country will see what ticks with these mysterious Packers, who are only two games behind the pace-setting Colts and 49ers. After a brisk hour workout at Green Bay Wednesday morning, Vince Lombardi's team left "winter's wonderland" via United Airlines but discovered upon arrival here that Detroit is also embraced by old man winter. By game time the temperature is expected to rise to 32. However, snow is forecast. The Packers were in a jovial mood as they flew here. They disregarded the road jinx and takled about, of all things, how the Western Division could end in a four-way tie. To turn the trick, the Packers (4-5) would have to win all three of their remaining games. The 49ers (6-3) must lose to the Browns, beat the Colts and lose to the Packers. Baltimore (6-3) would have to beat the Rams Sunday and then drop its remaining games at San Francisco and Los Angeles and the Bears (5-4) must beat the Cardinals, lose to the Steelers and beat Detroit. If, by chance, this occurs all four teams would finish with 7-5 records. However, no team in the NFL has ever won a divisional crown with that poor a record. Lombardi was more amused at his "where there's life, there's hope" Packers. "I told them to keep the tarp on the field back home," he said with a laugh, "just in case." The Packer boss was still undecided on whether he should start Lamar McHan or Bart Starr against the Lions. McHan, injured in the Bear game two weeks ago, lost his starting assignment to Starr last Sunday. McHan said he felt as good as new, "just waiting for the word to go." Starr, although sidelined with a dizzy spell after being knocked in the hear in the Redskin game, also was eagerly awaiting Lombardi's decision. Meanwhile, the Lions will counter with Earl Morrall at quarterback in place of Tobin Rote. The word around town says Rote is interested in switching in 1960 to Houston of the AFL. The former Packer asked the Lions for a no-cut contract this season (the kind he got in Green Bay) and Detroit refused to guarantee that he wouldn't be cut. Rote never signed his contract and is playing out his one-year option. This makes him a free agent, available the following season to the highest bidder. An interesting note: the last time the Packers won in Briggs Stadium Rote did it, 24-20, in 1956.
BAYS HAVE 3 WITH LEADERS
NOVEMBER 26 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Halfbacks Lew Carpenter and Paul Hornung and quarterback Lamar McHan are Packer representatives among the leaders in NFL statistics released Wednesday. Carpenter, obtained from the Browns, continues to set the pace in punt returns with an 11.6 average. Hornung ranks among the top 10 as a ground gainer with 507 yards in 121 carries for a 4.2 average. His longest run has been for 63 yards against the Colts in Milwaukee recently. McHan, plagued of late with injuries, occupies sixth place among the league's passers. He's hit on 48 of 108 passes for 805 yards and an average gain of 7.45. The Browns' Jim Brown has already passed the 1,000 mark in rushing (1,013), but he'll have to increase the tempo if he hopes to better his 1958 NFL record of 1,527 yards. He's carried the ball 214 times for a 4.7 average. Earl Morrall of the Lions tops the passers with an average of 8.78 yards (the basis to determine the leader) on 35 completions in 77 attempts for 676 yards. Other leaders: Ray Berry, Colts, set the pace in pass receiving with 51 catches for 727 yards; Bobby Joe Conrad, Cardinals, is the scoring leader with 66 points; Don Chandler of New York is the leading punter with a 48 average. Baltimore sets the pace in total yards gained for teams with 3,385; the Browns are the rushing leaders with 1,561, while the Colts show the way in passing with 2,186. The Colts also top the loop in scoring with 269, while the Browns have proved to be the stingiest, yielding 124.