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George and his dragons
Tex Maule
October 27, 1958
Wily George Halas, who almost invented pro football, leads his Bears out of hibernation
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October 27, 1958

George And His Dragons

Wily George Halas, who almost invented pro football, leads his Bears out of hibernation

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Halas used to fine the players $50 per pound for anything over his prescribed weight. Now he has changed that to $25 per pound for the first three pounds, $50 per pound after that. No player ever gets over the three pounds. "I had to," he says. "I'd fine them $50 per pound and at the end of the season my conscience would hurt me and I'd cut the fine in half. Now I cut it in half to start."

The Sunday incident, when Halas was pushed by Ram Defensive Halfback Don Burroughs after protesting that the Rams had been unnecessarily rough in pushing Bear End Harlon Hill out of bounds after a pass completion, illustrates his players' attitude toward Halas. The team, led by newly acquired Guard Abe Gibron, an ex-Brown, boiled off the bench intent on mayhem. It is doubtful that the officials could have kept them off Burroughs; Halas sent them back with a few words.

Halas runs his meticulously organized practices with an iron hand though. From the Bear practice field have come many of the innovations which make the pro offenses so exciting: the spread ends, flanked halfback, the slot back. Halas tailors offenses to fit personnel; this year he has developed plays to loose probably the most destructive projectile in the league, a wide-shouldered, slim-legged Negro halfback named Willie Galimore, who has been called the finest runner in pro football. Willie provides George with a tremendous outside threat and he's the kind of player Halas likes. "He's quick and coachable," Halas said. "He's intelligent."

FOOTBALL'S WILLIE MAYS

Galimore is a relaxed, Willie Mays-type athlete who regards his recent eminence with mild wonder. "I just pick my feet up and put them down and keep squirming when I get hit," he explains. "I get away that way."

The combination of Halas and Galimore, plus the sound, tough Bear team may mean another Bear era in football.

In other games around the league, the Baltimore Colts remained undefeated at the expense of the winless Detroit Lions. The loss of longtime Quarterback Bobby Layne, traded to Pittsburgh two weeks ago (SI, Oct. 20), may have had a deep psychological effect on the Lions, who appeared demoralized in the 40-14 defeat.

The Chicago Cardinals, who upset the poise of the Cleveland Browns defense last week with a new-fangled offense best described as a triple-wing T, went back, for the most part, to their double-wing T in whipping the New York Giants 23-6, although they used the triple-winger enough to make a Brown scout in the press box say, "We didn't think much of that offense until we started going over the pictures; then we realized that when they get their timing down, it's going to be tough to stop. It is."

The Browns, who appear more and more in the image of the Browns of the Otto Graham- Marion Motley era, took one more step in their methodical and inevitable progress toward the Eastern Conference championship by stifling the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bobby Layne 27-10. One of Cleveland's most formidable challengers fell when the Philadelphia Eagles lost to San Francisco 30-24; the 49ers, using second-year quarterback John Brodie in place of injured Y. A. Tittle, regained the offensive polish they appeared to have lost irretrievably in the last two games.

Consistently unfortunate Green Bay ran into the Washington Redskins, a consistently inconsistent team, on a good day and lost 37-21 on a woefully leaky defense.

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