COACH: PAUL BROWN
1959 RECORD: W 7, L 5, TIED FOR 2ND
1960 EXHIBITIONS: W 4, L 1
Milt Plum, Paul Brown's latest choice to succeed Otto Graham, showed signs of skill in 1959, but a combination of crippling injuries to his receivers and protectors in the line cut down his effectiveness toward the end of the year. Plum has capable receivers in Ray Renfro, Gern Nagler and Leon Clarkebut, and he will probably look to Bobby Mitchell for the deep all-out passes.
Jim Brown by himself is enough to make any ground attack go. Combine his tremendous straight-ahead power with the blistering outside speed of Mitchell and the imaginative bursts of Plum, and you have a very strong running game. The Brown line, which ordinarily does a fine job of prying cracks in the opponents' defense, would be awfully unlucky to have as many injuries this year as it had last.
Brown is faced with replacing two very good, very intelligent deep defenders in Warren Lahr and Ken Konz, both retired, but he has Jim Shofner and excellent prospects in rookies Dan Fleming and Dick Mostardo. His linebackers are strong and accustomed to playing as a unit, and his defensive line can put pressure on a passer.
Galen Fiss, Vince Costello and Walt Michaels are rugged linebackers. The front line has been revamped, and possibly Jim Marshall and Jim Houston, first-year men, will take over at end, making way for Bob Gain to return to tackle.
OVER-ALL: Again, the fate of the Browns depends to a large extent on how well Milt Plum does at quarterback. Plum occasionally looks like a wonderful player; when his protection breaks down, he frequently looks a good deal less than wonderful. Cleveland's attack, on the ground, is superb, principally because of Jim Brown. The team may be vulnerable to a sharp passing attack and the East, it should be noted, is full of sharp passers. If Paul Brown can patch up his secondary, the Browns will be among the leaders again.
NEW YORK GIANTS
COACH: JIM LEE HOWELL
1959 RECORD: W 10, T 2, 1ST IN EAST
1960 EXHIBITIONS: W 0, L 3, T 1