PRESEASON: Green Bay Packers (1-0) 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 7
Saturday August 10th 1963 (at Miami)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MIAMI) - The Packers are roaring again. They shook off whatever shackled them in the All-Star game and soundly smacked the Pittsburgh Steelers 27 to 7 before 26,500 in the Orange Bowl Saturday night. The Packers unveiled a devastating aerial attack, with Bart Starr pitching two touchdown passes and setting up the other TD with a pass. The Bays also uncorked a new kicker - Willie Wood, who made the three extra points and 9- and 20-yard field goals. Starr, behind a fine showing by the offensive line, set the first touchdown up with a 17-yard pass to Boyd Dowler and Tom Moore scored on a 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Starr hurled the big bomb - a 73-yard pitch to swift Bob Jeter, for the second TD in the second quarter, and then passed 37 yards to Max McGee for the final six in the third period. The Packers accomplished the impressive victory despite frequent use of rookies and many different combinations. They had a shutout going until the last few seconds when Dick Hoak scored from five yards after Terry Nofsinger completed two passes.
MOORE LEADS GAINERS
The Packers rolled up 270 yards passing, with Starr completing 8 of 15 for 209 yards and John Roach hitting 5 of 9 for 61. The Bays settled for 125 yards on the ground and their big battering ram, Jim Taylor, was used for only four runs. Moore led the powering with 57 yards. McGee led the receiving with four catches. Taylor is still bothered by a leg injury. The Packer defense was murder, holding the Steelers to 193 yards and 70 of them came in the final minute. The Packers got off to a flying start thanks to Jackie Simpson's fumble of the opening kickoff by Dan Grimm. Marv Fleming made a shoestring tackle and Elijah Pitts toppled on the fumble on the Steeler 24. Starr produced seven in three quick plays before half the crowd was seated. He hurled a 17-yard pass to Dowler up the middle and Moore then scored in two cracks with only 1:42 gone in the game. Willie Wood made his debut as a kicker and converted. The Packers scored the next time they took the ball. Starr opened this surge up with a 23-yard pass to McGee and then Moore rammed right tackle for 32 yards to the six. The attack stalled with Jim Taylor getting two in two trips and Starr two, so Wood tried his field goal luck from the 9-yard line. It was luck he had, too, since the ball bounced off to the left upright and across the bar. The Steelers made their first down a moment later but that was all, and the two teams exchanged punts as the action moved into the second quarter. Pitt got something going, with Ed Brown completing two passes, but the Bay defense stiffened, and Lou Michaels was short on a field goal try from the 50. Wood made a 32-yard runback of the boot, but the Packers were guilty of clipping and Starr took over on the 13 with a flock of newcomers up front. Starr hurled first to Gros for 13 yards and then lifted his 73-yard bomb to Jeter, who broke behind Glenn Glass, took the ball on the Steeler and raced home. Wood added the point to set the halftime score. The Steelers quickly added three first downs behind Johnson's running, but the attack ended with Michaels missing another field goal from the 50. Roach handled the Bays' QB'ing on two series just before th ehalf and one of his passes was intercepted by Clendon Thomas.
WOOD INTERCEPTS PASS
The Packers put something together after the opening second half kickoff, with Moore running 14 and Starr passing to Ron Kramer for 15 and then to Moore for 17 to the Pitt 34. But that ended abruptly when Thomas intercepted Starr's pass aimed at Dowler. After a punt exchange, Wood intercepted Brown's pass on the Packer 46 and returned to the Pitt 37. From there McGee broke behind a tightly bunched defense, took Starr's pass and ran the final 25 for the touchdown. Wood's boot made it 24-0. Pittsburgh got its best chance early in the fourth period when Howard Williams was called for interference on a pass to Red Mack on the Packer 18. The Packer
defense was up to the task and the Steelers wound up on the 23. Williams got revenge, knocking down Brown's fourth down pass. Both teams scored in the last two minutes. Roach completed a 19-yard pass to Jan Barrett and a 15-yard penalty on Pitt gave the Pack position on the Steeler 25. After Roach pitched a 12-yarder to Barnes to the 13, just missing a first down, Wood booted a 20-yard field goal with 1:57 left. Terry Nofsinger took over at quarterback for Pitt and on the first play Ed Holler intercepted - only to have the Packers offside. Nofsinger completed two passes, including a 41-yarder to Hoak, to reach the Packer 9 and on second down Hoak ran five for the TD. Michaels converted to set the final score at 27-7..."Our pass protection was excellent," Lombardi said. "Earl Gros did a good job in the backfield and Bart Starr played his usual good game. Contrary to what was expected we did not use Jim Taylor as a decoy." "The heat," he added, "was no factor in the game." Taylor said, "I favored my injured knee and just coasted."
PITTSBURGH - 0 0 0 7 - 7
GREEN BAY - 10 7 7 3 - 27
GREEN BAY PITTSBURGH
First Downs 16 13
Rushing-Yards-TD 29-125-1 30-105-1
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 24-13-270-2-2 30-13-133-0-1
Sack Yards Lost
Total Yards 378 193
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Turnovers 3 2
Yards penalized 7-86 4-40
1st - GB - Tom Moore, 5-yard run (Willie Wood kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - GB - Wood, 9-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-0
2nd - GB - Bob Jeter, 73-yard pass from Bart Starr (Wood kick) GREEN BAY 17-0
3rd - GB - Max McGee, 37-yard pass from Starr (Wood kick) GREEN BAY 24-0
4th - GB - Wood, 20-yard field goal GREEN BAY 27-0
4th - PITT - Dick Hoak, 5-yard run (Lou Michaels kick) GREEN BAY 27-7
GREEN BAY - Tom Moore 8-57 1 TD, Earl Gros 8-28, Frank Mestnik 2-17, Elijah Pitts 3-4, Bart Starr 4-8, Jim Taylor 4-6
PITTSBURGH - Dick Hoak 10-40 1 TD, John Henry Johnson 8-39, Bob Ferguson 6-26, Ed Brown 4-0, Joe Womack 2-0
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 15-8-209 2 TD 1 INT, John Roach 9-5-61 1 INT
PITTSBURGH - Ed Brown 27-10-88 1 INT, Terry Nofsinger 3-3-45
GREEN BAY - Max McGee 4-82 1 TD, Jan Barrett 2-21, Bob Jeter 1-73 1 TD, Boyd Dowler 1-17, Tom Moore 1-17, Lew Carpenter 1-16, Earl Gros 1-15, Gary Barnes 1-14, Ron Kramer 1-15
NEW YORK - Joe Walton 5-75, Del Shofner 5-69, Frank Gifford 4-34, Phil King 2-14, Alex Webster 1-5, Joe Morrison 1-0
(NOTE: There are some discrepancies in the final game statistics.)
WEATHER TOO HOT BUT NOT PACKERS, LOMBARDI MOANS
AUG 11 (Miami) - Vince Lombardi, the solidly built and scholarly looking coach of the Green Bay Packers, had a couple of things to say about heat after last night's 27-7 exhibition game thumping of Pittsburgh's Steelers before 26,577 in the Orange Bowl. "The weather here (85 degrees, humidity of 79) was too hot. And our football team wasn't hot enough to suit me," said Lombardi with wonderful aplomb. Tugging on a pair of thick woolen socks in his team's soupy dressing room, Lombardi gave a grudging commentary on the game. "I wasn't satisfied with our blocking on the running plays. Our linemen didn't sustain their blocks long enough."..."JUST FAIR": Lombardi did say he was satisfied with the pass protection provided quarterback Bart Starr, but in the same breath, added, "This wasn't a good game for Starr. I'd say he played just fair. Certainly not up to his true potential." Quizzed about last week's loss to the College All Stars in Chicago having anything to do with the Packers' fast start against the Steelers (Green Bay led 10-0 after only eight minutes of action), Lombardi said rather tersely, "There is absolutely no way of analyzing a team's desire. Sometimes a squad can fool you, but as far as I can tell, our mental attitude is usually about the same before any game." For all practical purposes, the Packers wrapped up their 18th successive exhibition game victory over an NFL opponent early in the second period. Bob Jeter, Green Bay's No. 2 draft choice in 1961 and a halfback who had groomed himself for place with the Packers by playing pro football in Canada the past
two seasons, grabbed a long pass from Starr and turned it into a 73-yard touchdown play..."LONGEST PASS": "That's the longest pass I've ever caught," said Jeter, a former University of Iowa player. "It was an option pass play. I had my choice, either fly out to the right and cut back to the left. Man, I flew to the right and Starr put that baby right over my shoulder." Jeter caught the ball on a dead spring. "I didn't have any trouble controlling the ball simply because it was such a beautifully thrown pass," said Jeter. Steeler coach Buddy Parker was apparently very unhappy with last night's loss. He barred sportswriters from his team's dressing room for 15 minutes, and when the doors were opened to the press, Parker had slipped out a side door and boarded the Pittsburgh bus.
LOMBARDI 'JINX' STYMIES PARKER AGAIN
AUG 11 (Miami-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The flag in the Orange Bowl was flown at half staff during the game out of respect to the deaths of the Kennedy child and Sen. Estes Kefauver...Bobby Dillon, one-time Packer defensive back, stretched out a business trip to take in the game. He leaves for Puerto Rico Sunday...Though this is a home game for the Steelers, the Packers were wearing their home uniforms, the Steelers the visitors' white...Going into tonight's game, Buddy Parker had never beaten Vince Lombardi. The Lombardi men hipped the Steelers 13-10 on Paul Hornung's field goal in the last four seconds in Minneapolis in 1959. In New Orleans in 1960, the Packers edged Pitt, 20-16, and that same year in Pittsburgh the Bays won 20-13 on four field goals by Hornung...The Packers' Lew Carpenter and his brother Preston of the Steelers last night saw each other for the first time since "we played in Pittsburgh in 1960." After practice Friday, Preston asked, "Do we look as good as the Packers?"...The temperature was 86 at kickoff and the humidity was 70 percent...Working the game for a Delray radio station was Forrest Cooper, former Green Bayite. Spectators included Joe Bur, former Green Bay beer distributor, who lives down here...The press box is air conditioned in the Orange Bowl, which is quite a novelty - and a necessity...This is a charity game for United Cerebral Palsy and a long line of people were "delayed" at the ticket windows at the kickoff.
KNAFELC MADE PRO GRID MARK HARD WAY
AUG 11 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Y-y-you m-m-might n-n-never b-b-believe th-this, but G-G-Gary Knafelc once t-talked like th-this is wr-wr-written. As a matter of fact, the likeable pro gridder, who Friday announced his retirement from the Packers, flunked speech three times at the University of Colorado. But Knafelc conquered his stutter by meeting it head on. And he did it in such spectacular fashion that he is now regarded as an outstanding after-dinner speaker, a personable TV showman and a promising Hollywood actor. This, however, is only conquest Knafelc made in his nine years of professional football. Among the others were overcoming several weaknesses in his natural ability, surviving a first-year cut by the Cardinals, and recovering from a pair of knee operations that would have permanently sidelines many another player...'GREAT HANDS': Never considered exceptionally fast and never a rugged, tough blocker, Knafelc made up for these normally expected requisites with desire, football sense, and what coaches lovingly refer to as - "great hands." Drafted second by the Cardinals in 1954, he pulled a hamstring just before the All-Star game that year, and it never quite recovered. After the second league game, the Cards put him on waivers and the Packers claimed him. As a second-year man in 1955, he was on the borderline, an environment that all too familiar throughout his career. And then came Sept. 25 and the game Gary says "made me." In old City Stadium. Knafelc opened at left end. And with just two minutes left in the game and with many fans already leaving, the Packers took over the ball on their own 20, trailing 17-13. Tobin Rote maneuvered the club downfield in fiery fashion so that with 20 seconds left, the Pack was on the Lions' 18. On the last play of the game, Knafelc raced straight downfield, then cut for the goal posts. Rote's bullet pass appeared too high, but Gary stretched and clutched the ball while shaking off Jack Christiansen and Yale Lary to burst into the end zone standing up. The stand surrounding the east end zone emptied like an ocean wave and flooded the gridiron, hoisting the sophomore hero high in the air for a maharaja type parade. That day ignited the Packers to a 6-6 season and Knafelc to 40 receptions, good for ninth place in the league. The next year, Knafelc hauled in 30 tosses and in 1957 came the second of what he considers his three biggest thrills...DEDICATION DAY: That was dedication day for the new City Stadium. With the Bears leading on that history Sept. 29, 17-14, midway in the final period, the Pack begins its charge. And on second and goal at the Bear 6, Babe Parilli pitches right between the goal posts as Knafelc breaks away from two defenders. His catch wins the game that will be forever etched in the memory of Packerdom. His third most memorable date was Dec. 26, 1960, in Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium. It was the NFL championship playoff - Green Bay's first playoff since 1944. Unfortunately, the Packers lost that day, 17-13, but Knafelc speared six passes for 76 yards in a magnificent performance. "I don't feel bad about leaving the Packers," he continued. "I feel I've always given 100 percent and conducted myself properly off the field. Actually, I hadn't planned to play at all this year, but Lombardi asked me to try it again. I hadn't worked out all summer and I didn't even sign until a couple days before camp." Among the primary reasons for his retirement planned a year ago was his business interest. "Business has been real good," he says, "and I still have some contacts to check with in Hollywood. I'm going out to the coast this week, and I might feel out the football situation out there, too. It would be a good tie-in with the movies." Then it might not be a permanent "retirement?" "Lombardi gave me my choice of being put on waivers or retiring," he answered. "So I asked for my release and got it."
PACK, VINCE PLEASED OVER 'COMEBACK' AGAINST STEELERS
AUG 12 (Dallas-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - There's much work to be done. But the Packers were exceptionally happy today as they prepared for their Saturday night clash with the Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl. The Bays checked in at the Holiday Inn Central Sunday afternoon in a wonderful frame of mind - the result of a 27 to 7 victory over the Steelers in Miami. Hank Jordan, a veteran with a new toy, beamed "How did you like that?" at the postgame midnight buffet and "I guess we looked just a little better than we did against the All Stars?" A little better? There was no comparison. The Steelers never got near scoring until the game was safely in the sack in the last few seconds. The Packers, though far from midseason smoothness, were mean and dedicated. The Steelers never really could get off the ground. Jordan saw his first action at right defensive end, switching over from right tackle. "It wasn't the same by any means. I did things without thinking at tackle but at end I had to think first and then react," said Henry, tapping his head. The Bay defense got a great lift with the return of Ray Nitschke, who missed the Star test due to a back injury. Ray got into the enemy backfield a couple of times and made many tackles, but he conceded, "I'm a little weak yet." Coach Vince Lombardi wore a smile from here to there Saturday night because, as he put it, "the overall effort was there." He noted that "the blocking was sloppy in spots" but quickly added that the pass protection was excellent. The coaches took a closer look at the game, via films Sunday night, and coming in for good view were the first-year men. As he promised, Lombardi used just about everybody, and some of the rookies got a long test. Only two players were held out - quarterback Terry Zang and defense back Gary Kroner, who has a bad leg. Jan Barrett, who is built like a fullback, caught two passes to lead the simon-pures while Ed Holler, a linebacker and punter, got of an amazing 9-iron punt. Kicking from the 50, Holler booted the ball out of the light. It fell on the 5 and danced around long enough for Ken Iman to keep it from going into the end zone and Bob Skoronski to down it on the one-yard line. Speaking of punting, Boyd Dowler made the crowd "ooh" a couple of times - once with a 58-yarder, and finished up with a 49-yard average on four kicks. Dan Grimm provided something "new" - getting the kickoff over the goal line not once but three times. One of his kicks nipped an upright and went eight yards deep into the golden zone...'A LITTLE CARELES': Bart Starr, who hurled 37 and 73-yard touchdown passes among his eight completions in 15 attempts, said all went well "until I got a little careless," referring to the ball that Clendon Thomas intercepted at the start of the second half. Starr had moved the Bays 51 yards with the kickoff when Thomas swiped the ball aimed at Dowler. Starr credited Max McGee with calling the play that produced the third quarter Starr-to-McGee quickie touchdown. McGee broke through the bunched Steeler defense like a shot and took Bart's pass for the TD before Pittsburgh knew what had happened. Bob Jeter's fleetness was very much evident in the 73-yard TD aerial. Starr faked off before throwing, but the Steeler defense dogged him and he dodged one tackler before uncorking a pass that sailed 55 yards in the air...ROACH KEYS FG: Incidentally, Starr had pretty much of a "new" team on duty at the time. Grimm was at right guard and Ed Blaine at left guard, Elijah Pitts and Earl Gros in the backfield, and Gary Barnes was at left end. John Roach played about a full half and worked up Willie Wood's second field goal. Handling a flock of newcomers, including Frank Mestnik at fullback, Roach got close enough for Wood's 20-yard field goal chiefly by completing a 19-yard pass to Barrett and a 12-yarder to Barnes. Nine different Packers caught passes and there were six rushers in action. Tom Moore ran exceptionally hard and averaged 7 yards a crack in eight trips. Jim Taylor still had trouble with his leg injury. The big crasher just couldn't cut sharply and carried only four times for six yards.
VETS' HELP AMAZES PACKER ROOKIES
AUG 13 (Dallas-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The thing that amazes the Packers' rookie is the help they get from the veterans. "I thought it would be the other way around," said Jan Barrett, the new tight end who backs up Ron Kramer along with Marv Fleming. "Forrest Gregg is always talking to me when I line up aide of him and tells me what to do. And one time even a defensive back helped me. Hank Gremminger told me I was lifting my leg too soon and as a result committing myself," Barrett explained, adding: "The veterans are always reminding us rookies to just ask them if we need some help." It definitely wasn't this way some years ago when few of the veterans even spoke to the rookies. Terry Zang, the rookie quarterback, said Bart Starr and John Roach are "very helpful" and "even Jim Ringo will give me some tips. One time, Willie Wood ran all the way in from his safety position to tell me he thought I was throwing off the wrong foot." Thus, the Pack's rookie crop is pleased with the attention they are getting not to mention a chance to play. Some of them played an entire half in the 27-7 victory over the Steelers last week and others, where there are more than one in the same spot, got in for a quarter. The freshmen likely will get another good shot in the upcoming game against the Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl Saturday night. Among the key rookies is Barrett, who caught two passes vs. the Steelers. "They threw three at me but I made a mistake on the third and I wasn't where the ball was." Lionel Aldridge, the swiftee who looks so good at defensive end, shook his head about the Pittsburgh game. "I was sick before the game, during the game and afterwards. Maybe it was something I ate but I was a little excited, too," he smiled. "Maybe I was a little weak out there." Aldridge through that Don James, Steeler tackles, "took advantage of mistakes. He knows all the tricks. I played over Bob Vogel in the All Star game and I had played against him before, and I knew him." What did Fleming think about in his first pro appearance? "Well, I just said to myself, 'I'm in, and went on from there.' It was all right as soon as I got hit and then I didn't feel tied down," he said. Fleming got the first tackle of the game on the opening kickoff and the recipient, Jackie Simpson, fumbled. Dave Robinson, the Pack's No. 1 draft choice, said "pro ball should be easier than college ball if I learn assignments. And I expect to do that." Robinson, who has been installed behind Dan Currie at left linebacker, marveled at Currie: "He can key on more than one player at the same time, but right now I can key on only one. And when they come at you they really hit - all the time. You only get that kind of hitting in one or two big games in college." Another new linebacker, Ed Holler, noted that "these backs are twisting and turning all the time on you and they're hard to bring down." Holler delivered a mile-high punt that stopped almost dead on the one-yard line and he explained that "I was just trying to get it as high as I could."...KRONER TO BE READY: Dan Grimm, who kicked off over the goal line three times, took that little chore for granted, making no particular comment, but admitted that "I had most trouble with blocking for the passer. The straight ahead blocking wasn't so hard." Gary Kroner, held out of the Steeler game with a leg injury, figures he'll be ready for the Cowboy game. The Green Bay native and Premontre grad, asked about the Packers when he was a youngster, recalled that he was among those "who used to sneak into the games at the old stadium." A Packer idol? "I always thought a lot of Billy Grimes. He could really run," Kroner recalled...More than 1,000 people watched the Packers open practice Monday at the Southern Methodist University practice field which borders busy Mockingbird Lane. In fact, traffic was clogged up for one spell. The fans crowded too close to the sidelines and during a passing drill Coach Vince Lombardi had to want them to "get back." "Boy, he's the greatest coach I've ever played under," commented former Packer Don McIlhenny while Lombardi ran the show. "And I guess I hold the record - six coaches in about six years. Buddy Parker in Detroit, Liz Blackbourn, Scooter McLean and Lombardi in Green Bay, Red Hickey in San Francisco and Tom Landry in Dallas." It was fairly cool Monday morning, only 90 with a wind, but it soared over 100 later in the day. The Cowboys are training in California and will make this first appearance here Friday. So the Packers have Dallas to themselves. The Dallas Texans of the AFL are safely planted in Kansas City, although their owner, Lamar Hunt, was out at Packer practice Monday. "Just looking," he chuckled.
I'M AGGRESSIVE, NOT ROUGH, HENRY CLAIMS
AUG 14 (Dallas-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - It's much better to own the crown jewels than - well, like the Packers' big Urban Henry was saying: "I like to think of my playing as being aggressive and not rough," he said when reminded that Packer fans didn't like the way he mauled the Bays when he was with the Rams. "We played extra hard against the Packers because it's always a pleasure to knock off the champions like guarding the crown jewels," Henry said, adding with a smile...STROKE OF LUCK: "Now, I've got to guard those same crown jewels and I like it a lot." Henry always plays it aggressively. The other day in a non-tackling practice Henry blocked the path of Elijah Pitts on a routine run through the line and Elijah went flying backwards when the big lineman threw out his chest to cushion the shock. "Getting with the Packers was a stroke of luck for me," Henry said after a rugged workout on the SMU drill field Tuesday. Big Urban pinched a nerve in his neck during the Rams' exhibition season in 1962. "I was in and out of the hospital in traction and everything, and my arms and shoulders actually started to deteriorate. I missed the whole season, and I couldn't do anything until last March when I started working on weights."...CAN'T BEND NECK: "It has been rumored that I was going to Green Bay and all the time I was going to the doctor. I never did feel too good and the Rams just never picked up my option and I automatically became a free agent. I came out to Green Bay in May and that was a stroke of luck. Dr. Nellen worked on me and he made up a collar for me to wear during contact and this keeps my head from going back too far. It doesn't bother me at all. Only thing is I can't bend my neck." Henry said he was injured in the Rams' preseason game against the Redskins. "I was rushing the passer and our Dave Jones hit me as I fell and my head was knocked way back," he explained. The 250-pounder, who wears Bill Quinlan's No. 83, says he is "no where near his peak yet. It takes a while to get back in the groove. I missed all of last season."...MOVED TO TACKLE: Figured as a replacement for Quinlan at defensive end, Henry has been moved to right tackle. "That's the position I've always played and I know it best," he said. A tackle at Georgia Tech, Henry played three years in Vancouver before going to Los Angeles for two. He was the Rams' fourth draft choice in '58. Henry has the most unique hobby in the league. He paints portraits on velvet or canvas. "I started it in school and I did quite a bit of work on it in Los Angeles. I hope to do some painting in Green Bay - if all goes well." And if Henry makes it, he'll join two other members of the defensive line who were virtual steals. Coach Vince Lombardi obtained Willie Davis from the Browns for A.D. Williams, who is no longer in the league, and former Brownie Hank Jordan, who cost only a draft choice...WORK ON DEFENSE: And speaking of defense, the Packers will have to have their guards up Saturday night in the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys ranked second only to Green Bay in scoring last year and they're returning - intact. The Packers worked considerable on defense in Tuesday's drill, under normal conditions - broiling sun and 98-degree heat. But speaking about Texas weather, there came a real rainstorm Tuesday night and the natives said it was the first solid rain they had here in two months. Just something the Packers brought along down from Wisconsin.
PACK TO PASS OR RUN? QUERY DEFIES ANSWER
AUG 15 (Dallas-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Will the 1963 Packers be a passing or running team? These are some of the great questions of our time, both defy answering. The egg bit has been scrambled for years and thus far such philosophers as Maximillian McGee, J. Norman Masters and Herbert Adderley have grappled with the puzzler - with no luck. As to the second question, it must be reminded that (1) the name of author Vince Lombardi's book is "Run to Daylight" and (2) the Packers have been a running team since Lombardi picked the Bays out of the cinders in 1959. Coach Lombardi, of course, is a great believer in running the ball as a means of gaining ground and thus opening the air lanes. Will he go to the air more in the upcoming historic season?...RARITY FOR LOMBARDIMEN: The Packers were one of the few teams in the past four years to gain more yards rushing than they did passing. But in the past two preseason games, the Bays ate up almost twice as many yards passing as they did rushing. That's a rarity for the Lombardimen. And just take a look at the Packers in practice. They put on the darndest passing exhibition you ever saw and it's a real treat for the large crowds attending daily workouts. Texans are pass-minded anyway, having produced such rubber-armed artists as Sammy Baugh, Bobby Layne and Tobin Rote. The Bays worked long on their passing patterns for the Cowboy game Saturday night, and defensive back Willie Wood yelled, "I can't cover that man." Coach Norb Hecker smiled back, "Maybe you need some help" as Mr. McGee raced into the clear and took Bart Starr's pass. Wood certainly is one of the finest safeties in the league, but that man is likewise one of the slickest pass catchers in captivity. The Bays' trio of pass receivers - McGee, Boyd Dowler and Ron Kramer - is the deadliest in the league and also the most underrated. Starr carried an "underrated" title, too, but he dispelled that by winning the league passing championship last season. It is highly doubtful that the Packers will put the emphasis on the aerial fireworks this year, but it appears that the passing attack is being sharpened letter perfect - just in case. Back to running, Jim Taylor looked like himself Wednesday for the first time since before he injured his leg three weeks ago. The big blaster was able to cut and changed directions with no apparent trouble. He carried only 10 times in the past two games but may get a heavier workout Saturday night...BRIEFS: R. Kramer, nicknamed the run-away moose, looked like one yesterday when he caught a pass and disappeared in a crowd of people watching practice, prompting somebody to yell, "the moose has run away."...Norm Masters looked at his feet after practice and moaned, "my feet are killing me. Quinlan must have left me his bursitis."...The word has drifted down from St. Louis that John Symank, former Packer defensive back, has made the starting Cardinal defensive backfield...The Cowboys' starting offensive ends are former Packers - Billy Howton on the left side and Lee Folkins on the right...The Packers, who practice every day at SMU, will hold their Friday drill in the Cotton Bowl...Gary Barnes continues to look good with his pass catching. And Kroner is kicking with fine distance in field goal practice and he may exercise his toe against the Cowboys...It cooled all the way down to 85 Wednesday.
MESTNIK PUSHES PACK BID AGAINST COWBOYS
AUG 17 (Dallas-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers don't have a rookie ball carrier in camp but they do have another kind of first year man on the premises. That would be Frank Mestnik, the former Cardinal by way of Marquette. "There's only six of us and, well, I'm hoping" is the way Mestnik feels about his chances of gaining a seat on the best football team in the land. Frank is looking forward anxiously to Saturday night's preseason battle against the Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl. "I hope to get a chance to play some," he said after practice Thursday. And he may get his wish because Coach Vince Lombardi noted after the same drill that "we'll continue to play all of the new boys as much as we can." Mestnik has been installed at fullback behind two fair country rushers - Jim Taylor and Earl Gros, at that position. However, the rushers play both halfback and FB and the group also includes Tom Moore, Elijah Pitts, and old Handy Andy himself, Lew Carpenter. Mestnik and Gros are the biggest rushers. They each stand 6-3 and pack about 220 pounds. "I'm trying to stay around 218 because it will help my speed. I played with the Cardinals at 225 and I was too slow," Mestnik said. Mestnik saw very little action earlier because he has torn a muscle in his thigh. "That's coming along good now and I can run better," he explained. The Cardinal's 14th draft choice in 1960, Mestnik ranked second to John David Crow in rushing in his first two years there. He was on the Giants' taxi squad in 1962. Still only a tender 25 years of age, Mestnik feels he has best years ahead of him. "I like it with the Packers. They have much more spirit than the Cardinals and the players are close to each other. They have a great amount of respect for each other," he says. A native of Cleveland, Mestnik played under Liz Blackbourn at Marquette. "I drove to Milwaukee after the 1961 season to see about being an assistant coach at Marquette. I had a nice talk with Liz and he told me of plans for the next year. The next day I drove out of Milwaukee I heard on the radio that Marquette had dropped football. I was shocked."...ALL BACKS THROWING: And speaking of running backs, the Packers' crashers are entered in the Lombardi school of passing. They're all throwing on the option play, thus enabling the backfield to have three passers in operation at all times - with the quarterbacks, of course. Previously, the Packers had leaned heavily on Paul Hornung to do the option passing. Obviously, enemy defenses will find the Packers' aerial attack more complicated with three arms in operation. In addition, the running backs are learning both fullback and halfback, adding to their versatility. The Packers topped off their final drill on the SMU field with a field goal session by Jerry Kramer. A crowd of some 500 people formed a huge oval around the kickers and the goal posts. The Bays had more privacy today working in the Cotton Bowl. Lombardi said he'll give Kroner a shot at field goal kicking, if an occasion arises, Saturday night. Dan Grimm will continue to do the kicking off...When Bart Starr walked off the practice field Thursday, an elderly gent tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Best of luck, Bart." It turned out to be Bill Rogers of Mobile, Ala., who was in Dallas visiting relatives. What prompted a stranger to offer this wish? "Well, I've always liked Bart as a football player and a person, even though I had never met him. He's from Alabama, you know. And years ago I knew his granddaddy who was a preacher in some of the small towns above Montgomery. Fine people, those Starrs." We agreed heartily.
SNORTING COWBOYS GIVES PACK 'LEAGUE' TEST
AUG 18 (Dallas-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers will get a mild taste of what to expect during the league season in the Cotton Bowl tonight. The Cowboys are making their first appearance of the season here since they just came in from their California training camp Friday. There will be 60,000 fans on hand, including many backers of the departed American League Texans who are now in Kansas City. The Cowboys will be snorting in this, their first sales job at home. In short, they'll want to look good. By comparison, the Steeler game in Miami was akin to a picnic. Pittsburgh Coach Buddy Parker said after the game that the Steelers had scrimmaged very little before they went against the champions. Lombardi has reminded his charges of the Steelers' preseason plight and also that the Cowboys can be expected to be much more advanced. Dallas opened last week with a 17-14 victory over the Rams. Kickoff tonight is set for 9 o'clock, Packerland time, and you can note the progress via WJPG. The Packers have put in what Lombardi termed "a good practice week." The extremely hot weather that greeted the team earlier in the week disappeared into the low 90s, which was quite a change. The Bays tapered off with a light and spirited drill in the Cotton Bowl Friday morning. While the Packers' fine looking crop of rookies will get a good workout tonight, the spotlight will be on the league's most valuable player, one Jim Taylor. Big Jim says he's ready to roar again. Hampered by a knee injury in the last two games, Taylor started to cut and turn as of old in Thursday's practice. Once, some of the offensive players yelled, "Taylor's running again." The happiness was obvious. Pronounced cured of the hepatitis that floored him last winter, Packer backers will feel better when Taylor starts bumping over linebackers again. Lombardi still plans to go easy with Taylor, however, and the bulk of the ball carrying likely will fall to Tom Moore, Eilijah Pitts, Earl Gros, Lew Carpenter and, of course, untested Frank Mestnik. The honor of starting at running back will go to Moore and Taylor, and other regulars - Bart Starr, Boyd Dowler, Ron Kramer, Max McGee, Bob Skoronski-Norm Masters, Forrest Gregg, Fuzzy Thurston, Jerry Kramer, and Mr. Center himself, Jim Ringo...HENRY AT TACKLE: Defensively, Urban Henry will open at right tackle and Henry Jordan will be at right end. The rest of the lineup has Willie Davis in the line, Dave Hanner, Bill Forester, Ray Nitschke and Dan Currie at linebacker, and Hank Gremminger, Willie Wood, Jess Whittenton and Herb Adderley in the backfield. The first rookie to see action likely will be Lionel Aldridge, the fast defensive end who will switch with Jordan, unless, of course, a field goal or extra point is needed early. In that case, Gary Kroner will get his first chance at test his toe. Willie Wood did the kicking against Pitt, hitting 9 and 20-yard field goals and three extra points. Dan Grimm will continue to do the kicking off. The Packers will return to Green Bay Sunday
El Paso Herald-Post (August 16th 1963)
afternoon via United Airlines charter. Work starts Monday for the two big charity games in Wisconsin - the Shrine go against the Bears in Milwaukee a week from tonight and the Bishop's Charities game against the Giants in Green Bay Labor Day night.