Lack of a truly good passer and backs who can hang on to the ball (the Cards fumbled 42 times last year) inhibits Ivy's double wing T. King Hill has yet to prove himself; if rookie George Izo, the big Notre Dame quarterback, catches on, the Cards may come to life in their new habitat. The pass catchers—Sonny Randle, Perry Richards, John David Crow—are excellent.
The double wing T stations halfbacks on each flank, leaving only the fullback behind the quarterback in position to take a quick hand-off into the line. This hampers Crow and Bobby Joe Conrad, who are magnificent runners from their posts just outside the ends but who have little chance to prove it.
The battle-wise and exceptionally fast secondary was broken up when Dick (Night Train) Lane was traded, but his replacement, Billy Stacy, a safety man in 1959, may be almost as good. The linebackers are capable and strong; the line, however, puts little pressure on opposing passers and no secondary can cope with an air offense which has nearly unlimited time to aim and fire.
The weakness here is in the front line of defense. Ivy can rely on Tackle Frank Fuller but must depend on rookies or on late waivers to replace aging regulars and it takes more than one season to find the right men. Ivy could use more backstopping power; the backs tackle hard but, sadly, entirely too often.
OVER-ALL: The Cardinals, after 40 years in Chicago, have moved to St. Louis, where they know they are wanted. Love and affection and the undivided attention of their new followers may help quite a bit, but some large, tough and determined linemen would help even more. The Cardinal runners are fine, so are their receivers. But they need a quarterback and an offense which gives the running backs a clearer shot at the tiny holes in a pro defensive line. The first year in St. Louis should be pleasanter than the last in Chicago.
COACH: MIKE NIXON
1959 RECORD: W 3, L 9, FINISHED 5TH
1960 EXHIBITIONS: W 0, L 5
The Redskins have not had a consistently good passer since Sammy Baugh, and this year will be no exception. Eagle Day and Ralph Guglielmi have had flashes of brilliance, but Guglielmi has severely injured his knee and M. C. Reynolds, recently acquired in a trade, will probably start at quarterback. The ends are good, the pass protection adequate but the key to a passing attack is the man who throws the ball.
The Redskin ball carriers are fast and powerful but the loss of Eddie LeBaron, who was a magnificent technician at quarterback, may cost the 'Skins something in deception. Nixon's ground attack should be very good; fast Fullbacks Don Bosseler and Johnny Olszewski hit with good impact, and Halfbacks Ed Vereb, Ed Sutton and Dick James may be the best triple set in the East.
The Washington secondary was as porous as a sprinkler head in 1959 but it has been recast with Dick Haley and Gary Glick at safeties and rookies Billy Brewer and Pat Heenan at the halfs. Dick Lasse and Bill Roehnelt could shore up the short-pass defense.