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Los Angeles Rams (2-9) 21, Green Bay Packers (8-3) 10

Sunday November 28th 1965 (at Los Angeles)


(LOS ANGELES) - This one hurt. In more ways than one. First and worst, the Packers' 21-10 loss to the Rams in the Coliseum Sunday knocked them a game and a half behind the Western Division Colts. With 8-3, the Packers now need outside help to overtake the Colts, who have 9-1-1 after their Thanksgiving Day tie with the Lions. The Colts next host the surging Bears, while the Packers return to Lambeau Field to meet the Vikings. The Packers must depend on a Bear victory, a win over the Vikings, and then a triumph in Baltimore the following Sunday to take the lead. Second, and amazingly puzzling, the Packer offense again went on the fritz - just as it did over a four-game spell before the Bays broke out with a 38-13 win over the Viking a week ago Sunday. The Rams put together their victory in little pieces - a safety, four field goals of 26, 49, 43 and 41 yards by Bruce Gossett, a touchdown, and the extra point. It was 7-3, Rams, at the close of the first quarter, and 13-3 at the half. After a scoreless this quarter, the Rams posted eight points against the Pack's seven - on an 80-yard pass from Zeke Bratkowski to Elijah Pitts. A much better their 2-9 record indicated, the Rams are the first club to grab a sort of superiority on the Packers in 1964-65. In the last four games, the Rams have beaten Green Bay twice, lost a 6-3 test, and tied them. Sunday's victory was the first for the Rams over Green Bay in Los Angeles since 1958. The sparse audience of 39,733 cheered the Packers and booed the Rams when the two clubs took the field, but the up-and-downish fans here got on the hometown bandwagon shortly after play started. The Packers now have been held to three field goals and one touchdown in two games vs. the Rams and that about explains it. The Packers went after LA with the forward pass (the Rams have allowed the enemy to complete 62 percent) and came out with 254 aerial yards in 19 completions in 35 throws and 11 first downs by passing, which is healthy. But the Packers' running game was virtually stopped cold, 22 yards and one first down. And that not until the third quarter. Jim Taylor was halted with 21 yards in 10 attempts and Paul Hornung got nine in five carries. Pitts was the only other ball carrier, losing right in one try. The Bays tried only 16 rushes as they put the emphasis on the pass. The Rams' defensive front four - Dave Jones, Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier - bottled up the rushers up the middle by themselves, leaving the outside people to stop the wide runs. Dan Currie, the former Packer who was on the bench most of the season, was playing inspired football. The Rams batted up or deflected five passes before they reached the line of scrimmage. In fact, the entire Ram cast was slightly up in the clouds and the LA's finally beat the hard-luck tag that bothered them in at least four of their nine losses, including last second defeats at the hands of the Packers and 49ers. The Packer defense kept the Rams down enough to win most games, but the unit received little encouragement. Whil the Packers scored their lone TD in one swift strike, the Rams labored 20 plays over 61 stop-and-go yards before Ben Wilson ran four yards on first down for the TD. Other than the long TD pass, the Packers never made a serious scoring threat until time ran out when the Bays reached the Ram six. Before that final drive the closest the Packers got was the Ram 37 in the second quarter and the 7 after recovery of a fumble on the first play of the game. Bart Starr, with Taylor and Hornung as his rushing backs, worked the first three quarters against the Los Angeles stone wall and the lone pointage was

Herb Adderley on defense (Credit: David Boss-USA TODAY Sports)

Don Chandler's 14-yard field goal after that opening fumble. Bratkowski, with Tom Moore and Pitts as his rush backs, went the last quarter. Before throwing the TD pass, Zeke was thrown back into the end zone for a safety on a second down and 21 situation. The Packers weren't exactly playing into any kind of luck, though it's hard to begrudge the Rams any luck. With the score 18-10 and half the last period left, Doug Hart had an interception (and a clear field ahead) in his hand but the ball slipped way and the intended receiver got it for a key first down that led to Gossett's fourth field goal. The Bays were that close to a possible 18-17 score. Green Bay did get a big break right away but couldn't capitalize to the fullest. Hank Jordan and Ray Nitschke combined to recover Willie Brown's fumble on the first play of the game on the Ram 16. Taylor ran nine yards on first down, but then the Rams slammed the door as Hornung and Taylor were held for no gain on the next two trips. With a sizeable yard left, the Bays went for the gield goal, with Chandler hitting from the 17.


The Rams proceeded to freeze the ball for just less than 10 minutes. The major gainers were four Roman Gabriel fireball passes to Tommy McDonald and Bill Truax, who replaced the injured Marlin McKeever. Once close in, the Rams received benefit of two defensive holding penalties on the Packers, both first downers. On the second, Wilson banged in for a 7-3 lead. Don Chandler punted three times and Jon Kilgore twice as the game moved back and forth into the second quarter. Starr passed to Carroll Dale for 13 and 14 yards and Hornung for 24 for first downs but each was followed by a punt. Midway in the second frame, the Rams moved from their 20 to the Packer 18 for Gossett's first field goal from the 26. Gabriel ate up most of the yardage with passes of 28 yards to Jack Snow and 30 yards to Les Josephson, who found himself all alone.


The Bays promptly snapped back with their best move up to that point. Starr threw eight passes in nine plays and picked up three first downs on passes to Boyd Doler and Pitts and an eight-yard run by Hornung. But the attack stalled and Chandler missed a field goal from the 45, with 15 seconds left. Wilson worked himself into the open for a 38-yard gain and as time ran out Gossett hit a 49-yard field goal for 13-3 at the half. The Packers got their first first down rushing when Taylor made four yards after Starr threw to Bill Anderson for seven yards. The Rams had another drive going at the start of the fourth quarter, but Willie Wood ended that by intercepting a Gabriel pass on the Packer 5. On Bratkowski's second pass, a deep shot to Bob Long, Williams broke it up and Eddie Meador intercepted, returning 18 yards to the Packer 42. Lee Roy Caffey smeared Gabriel back 15 yards but they drove to the Packer 39 and Gossett hit his field goal from the 43 for 16-3.


On the next three "exchanges," Bratkowski was thrown for the safety, Gossett missed a 43-yard field goal, and Zeke, rolling to his left, threw a bullet to Pitts who took the ball around the 30 and raced home to complete the 80-yard TD play. That made it 18-10. The Rams settled the issue with three quick first downs to set up Gossett's fourth field goal, from 41 yards. Bratkowski completed five passes, two each to Pitts and Dowler and a 21-yarder to Long in the final drive.

GREEN BAY   -  3  0  0  7 - 10

LOS ANGELES -  7  6  0  8 - 21

                       GREEN BAY    LOS ANGELES

First Downs                   12             19

Rush-yards-TDs           16-22-0       38-102-1

Comp-Att-Yd-TD-INT 19-35-250-1-1  15-29-255-0-1

Sacked-yards                2-18           1-13

Net pass yards               232            242

Total yards                  254            344

Fumbles-lost                 1-0            2-1

Turnovers                      1              2

Penalties-yards             3-22           2-30


1st - GB - Don Chandler, 14-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0

1st - LA - Ben Wilson, 1-yard run (Bruce Gossett kick) LOS ANGELES 7-3

2nd - LA - Gossett, 26-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 10-3

2nd - LA - Gossett, 49-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 13-3

4th - LA - Gossett, 43-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 16-3

4th - LA - Safety, Deacon Jones sacked Zeke Bratkowski in the end zone LOS ANGELES 18-3

4ht - GB - Elijah Pitts, 80-yard pass from Bratkowski (Chandler kick) LOS ANGELES 18-10

4th - LA - Gossett, 41-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 21-10


GREEN BAY - Jim Taylor 10-21, Paul Hornung 5-9, Elijah Pitts 1-(-8)

LOS ANGELES - Willie Brown 15-39, Ben Wilson 4-28 1 TD, Les Josephson 10-24, Roman Gabriel 9-11


GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 23-13-102, Zeke Bratkowski 12-6-148 1 TD 1 INT

LOS ANGELES - Roman Gabriel 28-15-255 1 INT, Les Josephson 1-0-0


GREEN BAY - Boyd Dowler 6-62, Elijah Pitts 4-111 1 TD, Paul Hornung 2-25, Carroll Dale 2-25, Jim Taylor 2-1, Bob Long 1-21, Bill Anderson 1-7, Marv Fleming 1-(-2)

LOS ANGELES - Jack Snow 5-87, Tommy McDonald 5-64, Billy Truax 2-22, Ben Wilson 1-38, Les Josephson 1-35, Willie Brown 1-9


NOV 29 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Perhaps the loss to the Rams Sunday reflected the Packers' thinking on the college player draft. Though it must be pointed out that the selecting was completed five minutes before the Packers kicked off against the Rams. Unable to gain but 22 yards rushing Sunday, the Packers named offensive players on the first five rounds of the draft, leading off with powerhouse fullback Jim Grabowski of Illinois. Then came Gale Gillingham, the tackler from Minnesota; future Tom Cichowski, a tackle from Maryland; tackle Fred Heron of San Jose State and tight end Tony Jeter of Nebraska. And the top holdover from last year's draft is one of the leading offensive backs in the country, Donnie Anderson of Texas Tech. Grabowski packs 225 pounds, Anderson about 218. Gillingham and Heron are in the 250 class. Cichowski and Jeter go close to 240. Generally, the Packers stocked up on tackles, which can also be switched to guards. Beside the top groups, they named three near the end with three more tackles, including 290-pound Bob Schultz of Stevens Point State. Coach Vince Lombardi said he felt "it was a good draft. I feel that we did better than we thought we'd do." The Bays, for instance, didn't expect to get a shot at Grabowski, the Big Ten's leading rusher, but he was still available when Detroit made payment on the Ron Kramer deal on the ninth pick in the first round. Gillingham was the Bays' own first choice. Seven teams passed up Grabowski but "he wants to play in the Midwest," Lombardi explained. The 21-year-old Jeter, who packs 238 pounds, is a brother of the Packers' Bob Jeter. Bob said, "I'm sure Tony can make it as a pro. He played both tight end and defensive end at Nebraska, but I think he's better on defense. He's sure a lot bigger than I am and he's just turned 21." The Packers' big job now is signing the prospects and the major concern, of course, is Grabowski - not to mention Anderson. Grabowski was the first choice of the new Miami Dolphins of the AFL, and Anderson was selected as a future by Houston last year. The Packers will have to fight with those two clubs and its won't be easy...or inexpensive. The signing of Gillingham was announced shortly after he was selected. Heron has also been signed. Anderson's high school friend, Texas A&M flanker Ken McLean, was

selected. Heron has also been signed. Anderson's high school friend, Texas A&M flanker Ken McLean, was picked in the eighth round, and Green Bay linebacker Lee Roy Caffey, a product of the same college, said, "This should help the Packers get Anderson." "Pro football is a strange world for a rookie," said Caffey, "and it's a good thing when you have a buddy going to camp with you." The current draft list was chosen in the longest draft in the history of the NFL. The picking party lasted 31 houses, starting (for Green Bay and Los Angeles) at 6 o'clock Saturday morning and finishing at 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon...ON SIGNING TRIP: Pat Peppler, the Packers' personnel chief, finished the selecting after the team departed for the game at 11 o'clock Sunday morning. He left immediately after finishing the draft in an effort to sign the draftees. Also on the signing road is Tom Miller, Packer publicist, who worked in the NFL headquarters in New York during the draft. Lombardi, Peppler, and assistant coaches Phil Bengtson, Norb Hecker, Dave Hanner, Red Cochran, Tom Fears and Ray Wietecha went the draft route, except for an hour off here and there for a quick snooze.


NOV 29 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - "The tipoff on the type of game we were playing came early. When we couldn't score a touchdown after recovering a fumble." That was Packer Coach Vince Lombardi's first reaction to the assembled press after the Packers dropped a 21-10 decision to the Rams in the Coliseum Sunday. "When we couldn't make a first down there, I felt we were in for a rough afternoon," he said, adding with another thought: "Sooner or later, the Rams were going to win and it had to be us. They are much better than their record shows." As to the race, Vince said: "We'll need some help now. Somebody else must catch Baltimore." The reporters offered various excuses for the Packers' loss and the Packer coach said, "We just got beat, that's all, and we deserved what we got out there." Lombardi also noted that Roman Gabriel did "very well" and that the Rams put on a strong rush on the Packer quarterbacks. The Rams held the Packers to one touchdown in two games - none in the first seven quarters. Asked why he thought the Rams had been especially tough on the Packers the last two years, Bart Starr said, "They always played us tough, but we had pretty good success against them up before last year. Now they seem to have reversed the tables. I didn't think they were doing anything different from the past. They have an exceptionally strong defensive line."...BOUNCED OUT: Doug Hart almost had a key interception midway in the fourth quarter that could have turned the tide. "I had it in the palm of my right hand, but it just bounced out and the worst part of it was Snow (Jack) was right there to grab it," Hart said. Hart, who slipped in front of Snow, had a clear field ahead. Ram Coach Harland Svare, who accepted the game ball for "never losing faith in us," according to Capt. Ed Meador, said, "We got the breaks. We could have won our last four games with the breaks we had today. But we always have been a good club against the rush."


NOV 29 (New York) - "Now we'll start sweating it out," said Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi after his Packers grabbed two of the nation's best college backs in the NFL draft. The Packers tabbed Jm Grabowski, Illinois' crashing fullback who rewrote Big Ten rushing records, in the first round Saturday after having chosen Texas Tech's All-America halfback Donny Anderson as a future last year. Grabowski, a 220-pound, 6-foot-two bull, was the first choice in the AFL draft as Miami began putting together its expansion team. Seven NFL clubs consequently passed him before Green Bay's selection...PLAY IN MIDWEST: "He wants to play in the Midwest," explained Lombardi. There were reports that the bidding for Grabowski might reach the $400,000 range the New York Jets of the AFL paid for Alabama quarterback Joe Namath. The financial fight over the record-breaking Anderson may reach similar astronomical heights. Anderson was also selected by Houston as a future in the AFL draft last year. Grabowski was chosen by Green Bay in the draft pick obtained from Detroit after Packer tight end Ron Kramer signed with the Lions as a free agent this fall. The Packers selected Gale Gillingham, 250-pound Minnesota tackle, as the regular first round choice and signed him almost immediately for an undisclosed sum...AHEAD OF LAST YEAR: "We're already ahead of last year's progress in the draft," said Lombardi, who guided the player selections from Los Angeles where the Packers lost to the Rams 21-10 Sunday. The Packers lost two top draft choices, flanker Larry Elkins of Baylor and tackle Alphonse Dotson of Grambling, to the rival AFL in the annual war of the checkbook last year. Grabowski and Anderson were seen as potential replacements eventually for the Packers' 1-2 running punch of Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung over the next few seasons if the Packers can sign the pair and if they can prove themselves in pro ball. Taylor is now 30 and Hornung three weeks away from the same age. Hornung is having his second straight lackluster season, and Taylor, who gained 1,000 yards each of the last five seasons, has fallen far short of his usual yardage this year...OFFENSIVE LINE: An inneffective offensive line has hurt the Packers' running attack this season and Green Bay moved to bolster it in the draft. Of 19 draft choices after Grabowski, only two were running backs with most of the players tackles or pass catchers. Tom Cichowski, a 230-pound, 6-foot-4 junior tackle from Maryland, was selected as a future in the second round. Oakland of the AFL also will be bidding for Cichowski next year. The Packers signed one of their two choices in the third round immediately bringing into the fold 250-pound tackle Fred Heron of San Jose. They also tapped 240-pound Nebraska tight end Tony Jeter, brother of Packer defensive back Bob Jeter. Southern Methodist

flanker John Roderick was chosen in the fourth round as a future. The Packers had traded away their fifth and sixth round choices.


NOV 29 (Chicago) - Fullback Jim Grabowski of Illinois said Monday he had received a reasonable offer from the Green Bay Packers and will meet Tuesday in Chicago with officials of the Miami Dolphins to hear their offer. Grabowski was the first round draft choice of both the NFL Packers and the Dolphins, new AFL member. Rumors that Miam was thinking in terms of $500,000 for Grabowski was quickly spiked by the Big Ten record-breaking fullback. "It's utterly ridiculous and I don't know how such things get started," he said. "I had a reasonable offer from Green Bay last Saturday in New York. I would like to play wherever I go. Green Bay is close to home, and it will be a championship contender for years to come. Miami I would be starting with a new team and grow with it. I really don't have a league preference, but I have a lot of things to weigh before making my decision."


NOV 30 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Rehashing a Packer loss isn't easy. Especially one like the 21-10 affair with the Rams in Los Angeles Sunday. But this is Tuesday and rehash we must. One of the nice things, however, in this weekly post-game business is the chance to "lean" on Coach Vince Lombardi, especially after a setback. Our inclination is to find the good points and go on from there, but Lombardi is a hard realist, who can still combine optimism and hope with a given dark situation, like: "I can't say we looks good, but we haven't looked any worse." "I can't fault the defense, but the defense did not have one of its better days." "The offense didn't pick up, but the passer received great protection. They got to the quarterback only once. The other time Bratkowski slipped and fell." "We were overpowered in the offensive line again and they (Ram linemen) knocked the ball down four times." The Packers have been playing it tough all this season. And that's how the Bays' opposition has been playing it all year, too. This makes it all the more remarkable that the Packers' present standing is 8-3. Sunday's game boiled right down to the last seven minutes - with the score 18-10, after Zeke Bratkowski hurled an 80-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Pitts. This was the time for the Packer defense to force a punt - right away, but the Rams strung together three first downs to set up Bruce Gossett's fourth field goal. And this is what Lombardi meant when he said the defense did not have one of its better days. The Packers' offense had an amazing habit of leading off with a first down and then sputtering. The Bays had the ball 11 times in the game and on seven occasions started with a first down. Twice they put together two first downs and two other times they latched together three first downs. Even with the score 21-10 with less than two minutes left, the Packers kept moving - 68 yards in eight plays. They finished the game on the Rams' six-yard line. The Packers came out with no serious injuries. Tom Moore played little Sunday what with an ankle injury, but he should be okay for next Sunday's test against the Vikings here. Forrest Gregg and Doug Hart both went out briefly with neck injuries. Hart was out for one play in the second quarter and Bob Jeter replaced him. "They sure don't wait around when somebody new is in there," Doug said, adding: "They threw in our zone right away." Roman Gabriel threw a nine-yard pass to Jack Snow in the left flat. Gregg was out for three plays in the second quarter and Fuzzy Thurston took his spot "while they worked out my jammed neck." The Packers' star lineman, switched from tackle to guard this year to make way for Steve Wright, said, "I'm at a loss to say why we have so much trouble with the lines - other than that they always play well against us."...On the player-signing front, Lombardi said that, "We're now trying to sign the players and I can say that we're doing real well." The signing of Gale Gillingham, the tackle from Minnesota, already has been announced. He is the Packers' own first choice. The other first choice - Jim Grabowski, fullback from Illinois, who was payment in the Ron Kramer deal - is still unsigned but "we're working on him," Vince said.


NOV 30 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Rams, with some help from the Packers, pulled a "believe it or not" in Los Angeles Sunday. They made three first downs starting on the Packers' eight-yard line in the process of scoring their only touchdown. The Packers, in the seven-play ordeal, were nailed twice for defensive holding, which calls for automatic first downs, and also received an offside penalty. Here's what happened with the ball on the Packer 8 after the Rams advanced 53 yards in 13 plays: First Down - Willie Brown was thrown for an eight-yard loss by Ron Kostelnik trying to run right end wide. Ball on 16. Second - Roman Gabriel passed wide to left for eight yards to Tommy McDonald. Ball on 8. Third - Gabriel threw seven yards to Billy Truax to one-yard line but Packers were called for holding. Rams took penalty, of course, and received automatic first down on Packer 4. First - Brown was held for no gain at center. Second - Gabriel passed to Truax in end zone but ball hit goal post. Third - Gabriel was thrown for four-yard loss attempting to pass on eight-yard line by Hank Jordan and Willie Davis, but Packers again called for holding. Automatic first down, put ball on four-yard line. First - Ben Wilson hit outside left tackle for the touchdown, but the Packers were offside and, naturally, the Rams refused the penalty. The third first down? A first down is awarded in the NFL on any touchdown - be it a one-inch run or pass or the length of the field...The Rams ran off 20 plays in the 61-yard touchdown march and held the ball for 9 minutes and 20 seconds. While this seemed like the "hard way," the clubs traded scores in exceptionally fast time. With 15 second left in the half, the Rams produced a field goal despite the fact that they started from their own 20. Gabriel threw a 38-yard pass to Wilson, who was wide open, and the Rams called a timeout to stop the lock with one second left. Bruce Gossett then booted a 49-yard field goal. The Packers scored their TD in less time than it takes to run 80 yards in the fourth quarter, about seven seconds. Zeke Bratkowski, with a first down on the 20, rifled a long shot to Elijah Pitts, who took the ball on the opposite 30 and raced in, untouched...There's something disconcerting about playing on a draft weekend. It throws a different "subject" on the scene, which really has no bearing on the game, and the coaching staff is quite beat up after 31 hours of drafting - with only snatches of sleep. Sitting around hotel lobbies, the players had little to do but wonder "what we picked," thus removing some concentration on the game. The home team has an advantage in that its players are not on the draft premises. Lest this be construed as an excuse for the Packers' play, four of the "visiting" teams - Bears, Browns, Eagles and 49ers won their games Sunday. The only other visitor to lose besides Green Bay was Dallas. And a year ago on draft weekend in Dallas, the Packers hammered out a decisive 45-21 victory. But we still think it's ridiculous to crowd the draft into a game weekend.


NOV 30 (Green Bay) - The suddenly feeble Green Bay Packers are not relaxed on offense and the opposition senses it, says a member of the Packers' much aligned offensive line. "I think that's what makes pro football pro football," said tackle Steve Wright, a former Alabama lineman in his first season as an NFL starter. "They (the opposition) can sense when a team does not have 100 percent confidence in itself. They can see in the films whether you're coming off the ball right. They can read those things. If they get this idea about you, they play up to your weakness and aim for that spot."...SEVEN TURNOVERS: In five of the last six games, the opposition has been reading Green Bay offensive patterns like the back of a breakfast food box. The second-place Packers, although splitting the six games, have managed to score more than one touchdown in only one of them. That was in the 38-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago. The defense helped pad that score by forcing seven ball turnovers, including three fumble recoveries in the final period. Last Sunday, the Packers lost to the last-place Los Angeles Rams, 21-10, scoring a touchdown only after the game was virtually out of reach. The offensive line has taken the brunt of the criticism for the scoring drought, which has been accompanied by a breakdown in the Packers' running game, normally the most potent in the NFL. Wright and Marv Fleming, a tight end, are the only newcomers to the starting unit, which is under attack for not opening the holes for the running plays and affording adequate protection for the passer...NOT MAKING EXCUSES: Wright wasn't making excuses for himself and his fellow linemen. "The offensive line as a group is having trouble. There's no doubt about it," said Wright. "But we are a team of 40 players and sometimes the offense does good and sometimes the defense. I'm sure the offense has carried the defense before but nowadays it's the offense isn't clicking." Wright said the opposition "is guessing and guessing right" on Packer play patterns. "It doesn't help morale to run plays that in the past have always gone and get stopped." The slump, Wright said, "is part psychological. You try and try and things don't click your way." The result, Weight continued, is tension. "I used to think it was a case of getting confidence, but then I talked to some veterans and they're tight, too."..."GOT TO BE RELAXED": "I wish I knew what the answer was. Everyone says you've got to play loose and this is, in essence, what I'm saying. You've got to play relaxed." But how is another thing. "The more you work at it," said Wright of the psychological bugaboo, "the harder it is to throw off. I really don't know if it will disappear in practice today or two weeks from today." Wright praised Coach Vince Lombardi's handling of the slump. "A lot of guys would have thrown the switch," he said. "But you can't single out any one thing. If it all came down to one person, you could rectify it by now, but it doesn't. It's a number of things. It's a puzzlement."


DEC 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers are off to a flying start in the college player signing derby. Already ahead of last year's pace when they lost the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, Larry Elkins and Alphonse Dotson. Coach Vince Lombardi announced today the signing of 250-pound tackle Fred Heron of San Jose State, the No. 3 choice. Signed earlier was the Packers' own No. 1 choice, 255-pound tackle Gale Gillingham of Minnesota. Thus, the Packers have signed two of the three available players in the first six gridders chosen in the draft last weekend in Los Angeles. The only unsignee in this group of fullback Jim Grabowski of Illinois, who now is weighing offers from the Packers and the Miami Dolphins, who also made him their first choice. Grabowski was chosen on the No. 1 choice given Green Bay in the Ron Kramer deal. The Packers' other three in the top six are not eligible for signing now - Tom Cichowski, the Maryland tackle and No. 2 choice who is a future; end Tony Jeter of Nebraska, No. 3 choice, who plays in a bowl game; and halfback John Roderick of SMU, No. 4 and a future. Jeter was the Pack's own third round pick. Heron comes to Green Bay in a trade with Cleveland. Two junior eligibles chosen last year have been signed - Mike Shinn, the eighth choice, a 230-pound tackle and linebacker from Kansas; and Roy Lee Schmidt, the 13th, 250-pound guard from Long Beach State. Two players have been lost to AFL clubs - 15th choice Grady Bolton, a tackle from Mississippi State, and Jim Jones, 18th, an end from Omaha. Joe Thomas of the Dolphins made an offer to Grabowski and his attorney, Art Morse, in Chicago Tuesday. The Packers had talked to him earlier. "I don't think Jim will reach a decision to quickly. Sometimes you think you have a kid locked up and then 

suddenly you lose him. Other times you think you have no chance and boom he decides to sign," Thomas said. Grabowski had expressed a preference to playing in the midwest before the draft.


DEC 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - This might be termed, "Hold The Ball Week." And just for good measure, how about a "Salute The Defense Week?" The team with the most offensive plays doesn't always win. But it helps. The Rams held the ball for 67 rushes and passes against the Packers' 51 in Los Angeles ' 21-10 victory Sunday. Actually, the Packers made quite a comeback because at the 12-minute mark of the first quarter, the Rams had a 21-4 edge in total plays. Now the trick is to hold the ball against the Vikings in Lambeau Field Sunday. And see what happens. The Packers may have trouble scoring but at least if they hold the ball the Vikings can't score. It is interesting to note that - despite the Packers' fine 8-3 record - the opposition has an edge in rushes and passes in the firs 11 games. Even last year, when the Bays finished with 8-5-1, they held an 816 to 735 advantage in the rush-pass totals over the 14-game haul. To date this season, the Packers had the ball for 578 plays - 341 by rushing and 237 by passing. The opponents had the old pigskin for 662, including 384 rushes and 278 passes. Thus, the enemy has controlled the ball so far - to the tune of 84 plays. An average of just under eight a game. The Packers, though they've been "outplayed" offensively, don't make a lot of mistakes, and we're referring to those two major headaches, fumbling and interceptions. The offense has committed only 13 fumbles and allowed only nine interceptions. By comparison, the Rams fumbled 38 times and the Vikings 33, while the Lions permitted 21 interceptions and the Vikings 11. Figures, figures...there's only one that really counts (the total on the scoreboard), but this collection of rushes and passes shows the "how" on the Packers' three losses to the Bears, Lions and Rams. In the three games, the foes had the ball for 189 plays, the Packers 170. If the ball movers are in the spotlight at the moment, let's not take the glare off the defense, which still has allowed fewer points than any other team in the league. Green Bay has permitted 154 points in 11 games - an average of 14, and the total includes the Rams' safety and a runback of an interception by the Lions for a TD. The Packers, in yards allowed, dropped to second in the league after last Sunday's game. The Lions lead the league with 2,833 yards allowed, while the Packers permitted 2,977. The Pack's long suit is aerial defensive. The pass defenders allowed only 1,413 yards - a little over 100 a game, which is 223 less than next best, the Lions' 1,636. The Lions have permitted only 1,197 yards rushing, the Packers 1,564. The Packer defense should get its just salute from the audience Sunday. And the offense hopes to get some. This could be the Packers' windup in Lambeau Field this year, though the Packers still have a chance to get that big date Jan. 2. But they'll need help from the Bears, who play the Colts in Baltimore Sunday. A Bear victory would put the Packers in a position to take over first place in Baltimore the following Sunday - IF the Packers can beat Minnesota. It could happen. But nothing really counts unless Green Bay can win Sunday. And that's what the Packers are aiming for right now.


DEC 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - In light of recent events, the Packers may be inclined to doubt it at this point, but that proverbial dark cloud occasionally does contain a silver lining. Take, for heartening example, the case of lanky Bob Long, the gifted Pennsylvanian who well may become the most exciting receiver to grace the Packer scene since the days of Bill Howton. Though the Pack's championship hopes were dealt a body blow in last Sunday's 21-10 misadventure in the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum, sophomore Long emerged from the disaster with new confidence, born of a spectacular maneuver in the waning seconds. The 24-year-old University of Wichita alumnus, who sadly admitted it had been "a real frustrating afternoon," proved a valuable point to himself in the painful process. "I knew I could run with the ball, and I was happy to get a chance," he explained. "On most of the passes I've caught, I've been in the clear and just had to run into the end zone. But on the one I caught in the last minute Sunday, I was running cross-grained and through some people. I haven't done that in a long time." Reconstructing the play, Long said, "I felt I had a chance to go the distance, but I just started running out of room. I was trying to find some friendly jerseys, but I couldn't seem to do it. I saw Carroll Dale once and he threw a real fine block out there. But I kept running into those white jerseys." He added, in a low voice, "We should have started earlier. It was very disappointing for everybody. I don't think there's any excuse for our not winning, although there were a few breaks that could have made a difference, if they had gone our way. For example, there was that long pass to me in the fourth quarter in pretty tight quarters. Instead of falling into my hands, or even to the ground, it bounced right into Meador's (Ram defensive back Ed) hands. And Doug Hart came real close to making an interception one time and it bounced right off his hands into Snow's. I remember another time Doug made a great effort and just missed another interception, and it fell into Snow's hands, too. If he'd made that one, we'd have had the ball down around the Ram 20-yard line." Continuing his post-mortem, Long pointed out, "Gabriel (Ram quarterback Roman) fumbled the ball a couple of times, too, and it bounced right back into his hands and he either scrambled or completed a pass for a gain. But that's no excuse," he appended. "We shouldn't have to depend on breaks - we should just take it to 'em." The personable young flanker blamed himself for missing an opportunity to break the game open in the final minute of the first half, when a Bart Starr "bomb" nosed to the turf just beyond him. "It was a fly pattern, and I was free," he explained. "I was going to the inside - I had 'em beat to the inside, but it's pretty hard for a quarterback, any quarterback, to see you that well on a long pass. It was a perfect pass, but it was crossing me. I should have adjusted, though. It wasn't the passer's fault because the ball landed inbounds. I couldn't adjust when I saw it directly over my head and to my other side. Had I tried to adjust quickly, I could have caught it. I should have had it, in other words." Although he has had his troubles with self-doubt in the recent past, the articulate Vandergrift, Pa., native is convinced those days are over. "I'm very confident in myself now," he says. "I feel I can do the job...I just have to keep learning. I'll admit it's rather disappointing not to be playing, but I guess you just have to wait your turn." "I just wish I could help the club," he continued. "We've been having problems - we're so close and yet so far - I just wish I could help."...BEAT ANYBODY: "I want to become a starter - I sat out a lot in basketball, too, at college. I'm so hungry to play. I'll tell you, it's hard to put it in words. I really get a kick out of playing here, probably because I have sat so much. And I just feel I can beat anybody out there that they put on me." "But one thing is certain. Whatever kind of ballplayer I become, Coach Lombardi has made me. I only played seven games of football in college, and I don't know what he saw in me, but he stuck with me. And Coach Fears helping me out after practice every day has been important, too. Whatever I accomplish will be because of them."


DEC 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Packer linebacker Ray Nitschke has signed his 1965 contract, GM-Coach Vince Lombardi announced Wednesday night. Terms of the pact, in keeping with long standing Packer policy, were not announced. The announcement followed by four days a report from Los Angeles last weekend which quoted Nitschke as saying that he was in the process of playing out his option. Lombardi subsequently indicated that the report was somewhat in error, noting that "Nitschke has not signed his contract yet, but we are negotiating." There was no indication whether the contract the all-pro linebacker singed is for more than one year, but his signature on a '65 document assures the Packers of his services for the 1966 season under the option clause.


DEC 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Ron Vander Kelen, the pride of Preble, may start against the Packers Sunday. Coach Norm Van Brocklin was to make a decision later today on his opening quarterback. Fran Tarkenton, of course, has the inside track but Vander Kelen saw considerable action against the 49ers last Sunday, and after the game he said, "I'm just now starting to get out the rust." Vander Kelen sat on the bench except for two brief appearances, until the last 10 minutes of the ninth game this season - the Colts at Minnesota. He started warming up then and was to replace Tarkenton, but the Vikings never got the ball for an offensive play the rest of the day...HITS 2 TOUCHDOWNS: On the kickoff before Vandy was to go in the Vikings fumbled and the Colts recovered and went on to score. On the next kickoff, Lance Rentzel returned 101 yards for a TD and the Colts then received and froze out the clock. With the score 31-13, Vander Kelen played the last 10 minutes against the Packers the next Sunday. He fumbled and lost the ball to Lionel Aldridge on his second play, but in the closing minutes strung together four first downs before Lloyd Voss caught him for a 12-yard loss. The 49ers got off to a big lead in Minnesota last Sunday, and Vander Kelen got his longest shot, going in midway in the second quarter. He finished with 13 completions in 32 attempts for 195 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tarkenton was intercepted twice. For the season Vander Kelen has thrown 40 passes and completed 18 for 252 yards, 2 TDs and no interceptions. In his three seasons as understudy to Tarkenton, Vandy has completed 52 of 117 passes for 706 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions. Vander Kelen played considerable as a rookie, directing the Vikings to a 17-17 tie with the Bears when Tarkenton was hurt early in the game and going the route in a 34-13 win over the Eagles in the 1963 finale. Vandy saw little action in 1964, what with Tarkenton having an outstanding season. Incidentally, Vander Kelen is wearing No. 15 despite the fact that Vander Kelen awarded his famous No. 11 to the Wisconsin star shortly after he joined the club. Vandy, however, wanted to wear his old Wisconsin number, which was 15, but John McCormack, then a two-year understudy to Tarkenton, had it when Vandy was a rookie. Vander Kelen proceeded to beat out McCormack, and he was given No. 15. Tommy Mason, the Vikings' star halfback who has been out since Nov. 7 with an injured leg, figures to be at full steam for Sunday. He worked some against the 49ers last Sunday, scoring a touchdown on one of his five carries. Lonnie Warwick, the Vikings regular left linebacker, came up with a bruised shoulder against the 49ers and is a questionable starter for Sunday, it was reported today by John Thompson, Viking publicist. Though he has missed nearly three full games, Mason still ranks ninth among league ground gainers with 496 yards and nine touchdowns in 120 carries, an average of 4.1 His running mate, Bill Brown, is fifth with 569 yards in 130 trips. He has six TDS and is averaging 4.4...LAMBEAU FIELD FAST: The Pack's Jim Taylor, held to 22 yards by LA last Sunday, is seventh with 524 yards in 156 trips. He has three TDs and an average of 3.4. Working on a frozen turf, most of the Packers wore sneakers during Wednesday's practice at the Oneida St. fields. With good weather on tap, the field could thaw out to regulation cleats. The Lambeau Field gridiron is covered with the tarpaulin and should be fast for Sunday.


DEC 3 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The initials T.M. could stand for most any name. But in the case of Green Bay vs. Minnesota, they represent special people. They are the starting left halfbacks for Sunday's Packer-Viking game at Lambeau Field and, of course, they are Tommy Moore of the Packers and Tommy Mason of the Vikings. Both received the starting nod for the upcoming clash and both represent "last wins." And needless to say both are swift, excellent runners - not to mention skilled at pass receiving. Moore made his last start in Minnesota two weeks ago when the Packers downed the Vikings 38-13. He caught three passes for 50 yards and rushed three times for four yards before retiring with an ankle injury. Moore was held out of the loss to the Rams last Sunday, what with the injury, but Coach Vince Lombardi said today he'll start vs. Minnesota "if he's ready." Minnesota last won a game on Nov. 7 (a 26-13 verdict over the Rams), and that's when Mason received a knee injury. Other than for a brief spell last Sunday, the Vikings lost three straight since his departure. "Mason's absence wasn't the whole answer for the three losses," John Thompson, the Vikings publicitor, said today, "but it certainly explains part of our drop off offensively." With Mason racing full blast in October, the Vikings rolled up 184 points in five games - an average of 37. With Mason on the bench a good part of November, the Viking production dropped off to an average of 19 points. The return of Mason also means that the Vikings will have their starting backfield together for the first time since he win over the Rams. This means that Fran Tarkenton, the scrambling man, will start at quarterback and Bill Brown will be at fullback. There was speculation that Ron Vander Kelen might get the opening assignment in his hometown - in view of his strong showing last Sunday (2 TD passes), but Viking Coach Norm Van Brocklin has decided on Tarkenton. Tarkenton revives memories of his last appearance in Green Bay - in the fourth game last year, when he set up the winning field goal (24-23) with a wild 44-yard pass to Gordy Smith in the last 54 seconds. Fran has confessed since that this was the first time that he deliberately scrambled, according to Thompson, who said: "He had fourth and 22 and knew that the Packers would be in a prevent defense. He figured the only way he could beat it and give his receivers time to get down was to scramble around. Willie Davis almost got him back there, but Mike Tingelhoff blocked him out." Tarkenton's pass was aimed at Tom Hall, but Smith stepped in front of him and took it. Fred Cox hit the field goal from the 28. Smith has been named to start at tight end in place of Hal Bledsoe, while Hall and Lance Rentzel will back up starter Red Phillips at flanker. Rentzel started at flanker last week...DEFENSE SWITCHING: Van Brocklin also did some switching around on defense, although all of the announced starters had that privilege in earlier games. Roy Winston, John Kirby, George Rose and Jeff Jordan, a rookie, were returned to the starting platoons. Winston takes over for Lonnie Warwick at left linebacker in the only injury-induced change. Kirby replaces veteran Bill Jobko at right linebacker, Rose succeeds Earsell Mackbee at left corner, and Jordan gets the call over Larry Vargo at safety. Junior Coffey, the Pack's rookie left half, has been ticketed for duty but he has been continually slowed by muscle pulls. The Packers worked in the stadium Thursday. The Vikings are due to arrive at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon and work out briefly before retiring to the Hotel Northland.


DEC 4 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers split in bidding against AFL clubs for two draftees Friday. Flanker John Roderick, the Bays' fourth pick who was

chosen as a future, gave up a year of eligibility to sign with Miami. Dave Hathcock, the Pack's 17th choice, a defensive back, has signed with Green Bay, Coach Vince Lombardi announced. Hathcock, from Memphis State, stands six feet tall and weighs 195 pounds.


DEC 4 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Bart Starr is on his way to a personal one-season rushing mark. What? This isn't necessarily good or bad. Quarterbacks aren't supposed to run - except in given tight situations. Put another way, it's better that they don't run. That's what halfbacks and fullbacks are getting paid for. Starr has done most of his running - or was forced to - during seasons in which the offense was sputtering. For instance, during the Packers' championship years of 1960-61-62, Starr ran only 40 times - for 140 yards. During the seasons of 1963-64 and up to date, Starr ran 53 times for 431 yards. And in the immediate pre-Lombardi period (1957-58), Bart ran 56 times for 201 yards. Running can be dangerous for a quarterback, but, being such a thorough team guy, Starr will run into a brick wall if necessary to get a first down. Most of the runs result from pass plays that won't develop. That's what it's imperative that a quarterback has a real willingness to take off - like Starr and, of course, Fran Tarkenton, the Viking scrambler who works in Lambeau Field Sunday. You'd never guess how many times Starr has run since he became a Packer in 1955. He has carried 170 times for an even 900 yards - an average of 5.2 yards per attempt. His "biggest" year was 1964, when he gained 165 yards in 24 attempts. In 1958, he had one more attempt, 25, and finished with 113 yards. Presently, Starr is averaging nearly 10 yards a crack with 150 yards in 16 runs. Thus, he needs 16 more yards to set a dubious sort of record. He has scored 10 touchdowns rushing. Starr's longest run this season was for 38 yards against the Vikings in Minnesota two weeks ago. It came on a fourth down (and inches) from the Packers' 46-yard line..."SHEER FRIGHT": Tarkenton, in his five-plus seasons, has rushed 218 times for 1,491 yards - an average of 6.8 per carry. He has scored 11 touchdowns. The Viking QB runner has carried 43 times already this season for 330 yards - an average of 7.7. Coach Norm Van Brocklin must snicker when Tarkenton takes off. The Dutchman, one of the best quarterbacks in the business with the Rams and Eagles, never liked to run. In fact, he always said, "I ran from sheer fright." Speaking about rushing, Jim Taylor has some gaining to do Sunday - on Bill Brown, the Viking fullback. Taylor has 524 yards in 156 attempts, while Brown has 569 in 130 trips.


DEC 4 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Under the heading of "What They're Saying About Us," we present the following from the Los Angeles Times: By Mal Florence - "A team posing as the Green Bay Packers had the audacity to challenge the Rams Sunday at the Coliseum. The Rams were not fooled by any green and gold disguises or by players bearing pseudonyms of Starr,

Taylor, Hornung, Jordan and Nitschke. They exposed the imposters for what they are, a mediocre 8-3 team in the Western Conference of the NFL and soundly thrashed them, 21-10." By Sid Ziff - "Someone must have slipped in a ringer for the Rams Sunday. That couldn't have been the Rams who beat the Packers 21-10. The Rams haven't played like that in eight years. Perhaps it calls for a saliva test. Their offense was beautiful, their defense was great, Bruce Gossett's placekicking was tremendous. But the difference was Roman Gabriel and Willie Brown. It's too bad they weren't good enough to play earlier in the year."...This might come under the same heading, but it was interesting to hear Ray Scott's opinions about the Packers at the St. Norbert College football banquet this week. Scott, the TV voice of the Packers, was the main speaker at the Green Knight affair. He admitted right off that he has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth. Then he declared: "Right now, I think the Bears are the best team in the Western Division." "I still think the Packers can win this thing." "Whichever team wins the Western Division title will whip the Browns. Last year's championship game was one of the greatest upsets in football." "I think the Packers are one year away from having the greatest team Green Bay has ever had. I say this with Anderson and Grabowski in mind, but also because of boys like Bill Curry, Bob Long, Allen Brown, and others." "Allen Brown will be one of the greatest players Green Bay has ever had. I say this not only because of my own conviction, but because of conversations with the coaches.

Just remember what I told you."


DEC 5 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers play the first of three "this is it" games this afternoon. But the final two - at Baltimore and San Francisco - don't mean much unless they can beat the Viking in Lambeau Field. The Packers are hanging on in the Western Division championship race by their fingernails. Baltimore, with 9-1-1, leads Green Bay (8-3) by a game and a half and the Packers will need some help - in the form of a Bear victory over the Colts to set the stage for a Packer-Colt showdown a week hence. The Packers can use some other help today and this will have to come from the capacity audience of 50,582 fans who get their last chance to cheer on their favorites this season. Last chance? Well, that's what it's all about. Green Bay still has a shot at the big match - the title game, which would be here Jan. 2, if the Packers win the West. Kickoff is set for 1:05 - the same time the Bears and Colts start their crash in Baltimore, but, like we said, the Eastern game (it starts at 2:05, Baltimore time) doesn't really apply unless Green Bay can win. The weather won' be too bad for December (in the mid-30s) but it doesn't matter either because the Packers and their followed will be generating their own kind of heat in this major-must situation. The Vikings aren't in a life-or-death struggle but they have a "must" objective of their own. They've lost three in a row (to the Colts, Packers and 49ers) and there's nobody they'd rather beat than the team they call their traditional rival, namely Green Bay. The Packers are fresh from playing one of those losing-streak teams, and, of course, you haven't forgotten the stinging 21-10 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles last Sunday. The Rams had dropped eight straight before that one. The Packers have a personal objective to reach today. They haven't been able to beat a team twice this year and their three losses were to teams they'd defeated earlier - the Bears, Lions and Rams. Those are all the side-bits and meaning and what not. It will all come down to two things - the Packers scoring and the Packers keeping the Vikings from scoring. Green Bay hasn't been able to score with any particular facility this year and this is the major key today. Other than the 41-point total against an undermanned Steeler team in the opener, the Pack's best totals were 27 against the 49ers and 38 vs. the Vikings in Minnesota. The Packers are woefully in need of offensive rushing speed and they showed some in whipping the Vikings, what with Tom Moore and Elijah Pitts working at left half. Moore missed the Ram game due to an ankle injury, but he'll be ready for today. Jim Taylor, who has his only 100-yard day this year vs. the Vikings, never got started against the Rams, but he's due for a comeback today. Paul Hornung may have slowed down some, but his strong blocking and general skill may come in handy along the way. The rest is up to the good right arm of Bart Starr, the hard-pressed offensive line which had a tough day against the Rams, and those precious receivers. Starr was a world-beater in Minnesota but in LA the lone TD was scored on an 80-yard pass from Zeke Bratkowski to Pitts...PROUD DEFENSE: Green Bay's proud defense, which has played so exceptionally well all season, must contend with that man again - Fran Tarkenton, the Vikings' scrambling quarterback. Willie Davis, Henry Jordan & Company did a good job on Tarkenton in Minnesota, but this is a new start. And Tarkenton and the defensers haven't forgotten the shocker here a year ago when the Vikings scored a last-minute 24-23 victory on a field goal set up by a Tarkenton pass on the end of a long scramble. That one game serves as a major warning to the Packers today.

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