Behind him, at corner linebacker, is Bill Forester. Bill is a sporting-goods salesman in the offseason in Dallas, Texas. He was a younger brother in his family and his nickname is the southern generic term for younger brothers—Bubba. He is the exception in the Green Bay defense in that he is neither ultraconservative nor a gambler. He plays his position studiously, gambling with calculated daring, playing it close to his shoulder pads when the occasion demands.
"He's good to play with," Quinlan says. "If I want to take the inside route, it's always all right with Bubba. If I want to go outside, he agrees to that, too. But he doesn't blow a signal. Not ever."
It should be pointed out that Quinlan and Hanner, both of whom protect against surprises in the Green Bay line, are at least as important to the overall defense as Jordan and Davis, who get most of the public acclaim because they are, nine times out of 10, the defensive players who set the quarterback on his pants. But neither of the two gamblers could afford to be as reckless as they are if it weren't for Quinlan and Hanner, who close the holes left by Jordan and Davis when they cross the line helter-skelter in pursuit of the passer.
The deep secondary of the Packers, of course, follows the pattern of the two front lines. On the left, behind Davis and Currie, arc Herb Adderley and Henry Gremminger—Adderley as the corner back and Gremminger at safety.
Adderley, playing his first full season in this unit, came up originally as an offensive back. He is young and ambitious and not careful but, according to Norb Hecker, he improves with every game. "He's got wonderful reactions, and he can play receivers as close as anyone in the league because he has so much speed. Lots of halfbacks give receivers the short pass to make sure that they don't get a long one completed over their head, but Adderley doesn't. He sticks tight because he can go back with the best in the league. And he knows he's got Gremminger behind him, too. He's protected deep or to the inside so he can go for the ball short or outside."
Gremminger, who played corner defensive back for the Packers last year, was shifted to safety this season. He is a soft-spoken Texan who is possibly the most conservative of the Green Bay defenders. In fact, "too conservative as a corner back," Bengtson says. "He's a worrywart. On corner back, you always, or almost always, take a good receiver, man for man. Gremminger thought about that too much. Now, as a safety, where he has help, he's still conservative, but not too much so. He's a fine safety."
Gremminger feels better at safety than he did as a corner back. He will even gamble once in a while now for an interception. "We try to fool the quarterback," he says. "Against Baltimore, for instance, we'll fake a four-four defense, with four men just behind the line instead of the usual three linebackers. I'll step up and wait until Unitas calls an audible, then drop back. Johnny will almost always change from a run he called in the huddle to a pass when he sees the four-four. I picked off a pass against a club in the league last year because we faked the four-four, then dropped back into the four-three."
Gremminger's running mate at safety is Willie Wood. Unlike many teams, the Packers do not transfer their safeties from side to side depending upon the way the offense lines up. The Giants, for instance, shift Jim Patton from side to side so that he is always the free safety. The free safety's assignment is a roving one, in which he is loosed to go for the ball or to help whichever of his teammates seems most in need. The other safety always has a specific assignment, usually covering the tight end, i.e., the end who plays close to his tackle rather than spread some 15 yards out. Obviously, the free safety has more license to gamble than anyone else on defense.
"Wood is the most daring of the defensive secondary," says Hecker. "He has wonderful reactions, and he can jump like a kangaroo. We have a drill where the defensive backs jump up and try to touch the crossbar on the goal posts. Willie is only 5 feet 10 and he can touch the crossbar with his elbow. He's also maybe the best tackier on the ball club. He's what I would call an ideal free safety. Gremminger probably is faster, straight away, than Wood. Both of them like to be the free safety. And when Henry is free, he'll go for the ball almost as dangerously as Willie will."
Playing in front of Wood, at the corner-back spot, is Jesse Whittenton, the equivalent of Currie and Hanner in the short-line defense. Whittenton came up to the Rams as a quarterback, was shifted to defense and has stayed in his position with the Packers longer than anyone on the team except Hanner. He is a successful restaurant owner in Green Bay; his King's X bar and restaurant is not only full after Packer games in Green Bay, it is jammed almost every night in the week. Since Whittenton is a Texan, some of the most exotic although not the most popular items on his menu are Mexican dishes, served spiced with peppers so hot that an average customer cries for five minutes after his first bite of a taco or an enchilada.