"I like the linebackers to drop back from the line of scrimmage and help the four deep men," Collier explained, "but when you do that, you leave yourself open for screens, flares and backs rolling off to one side or the other. So I want the linebackers to drop back, but always to be aware of the flare or the screen or the roll-off. In the first St. Louis game they dropped back, but we got hurt on the flares. They did both jobs today."
The return to form of Ryan—and he seemed even better in this game than he had early in the season, when he led the Browns to six straight victories—indicates that Cleveland will be able to move the ball strongly, even against so formidable a defense as that of the Detroit Lions.
"I had forgotten to do the things I know I should do," Ryan said after the game. "I was sloppy. I wasn't setting up properly. I was sloppy a couple of times out there today, but not nearly as much as I have been." He grinned happily, looking a little like a muscular Jimmy Stewart.
"Of course, I had had a chance to watch this St. Louis club from up close," he said. "I was spectator for the whole first game with them. I had the best seat in the house, right on the bench. I like the viewpoint I had for this game much better."
Ryan's recovery from the confidence-shattering experience he had against the Giants in Cleveland several weeks ago (the Browns lost 33-6) has been a slow one, but Sunday it appeared that his convalescence is over. His calls against the St. Louis defense were sound, with enough gambling mixed in to keep the Cardinal defenders off balance all afternoon. One symptom of shock after the Giant walloping was a super-conservative attitude which he had a hard time shaking. That is gone now.
If the Browns and the Giants meet in a playoff for the conference title at season's end, the Giants may be the ones to get the shock. This is not the same Frank Ryan they harried into complete uselessness at mid-season, and it is not the same Brown team, either.