"I don't worry about the guard on me," he says. "I feel that I can handle him. I try to read the blocks of the center and the tackle then. Sometimes the center will help on me, or sometimes the tackle will block down on me. I try to read them so that I can break away for pursuit."
He is also learning something that Karras now knows very well after six years, three of them as an All-League tackle. "You can't get to the passer every time," Karras says philosophically. "If you reach him two or three times in a game, you have done a good job. But if you can occupy a blocker, or sometimes two blockers, maybe someone else will get by him and reach the passer."
Olsen, like Karras, is often the object of the attention of two blockers, a real compliment for a defensive tackle. "It can be very discouraging," Olsen says. "I mean, you beat the guard and you feel like you're home free, and all at once the center pops you in the ribs. I used to worry about it more, but now I know that if I have occupied two blockers probably someone else is going to break loose."
This year, for the first time, Olsen feels that he is working well in the close team play in the center of the line—the way Karras and Roger Brown, his running mate at tackle, coordinate their efforts instinctively.
"My rookie year, I was always getting tangled up in the middle of the line with John LoVetere, who was then playing the other tackle," Olsen says. "I'd take an inside route, and he'd go to the inside and the guards loved it. With both of us going inside, they'd jam us together and it would be like trying to break through three guys. John would be squeezed up against me on one side and my guard and his guard would be in front, and there wasn't any place to go. Then, last year, when Rosey Grier played the other tackle, I began watching to see which' way Rosey would go, and if he went inside I went outside and the traffic jam opened up a little. But last year it was not instinctive. I had to think about it and I lost time, and I didn't get to the passer. Now I know without thinking what Rosey is going to do, and he knows what I do and I'm on schedule. I just fire out."
After the game against the Packers a couple of weeks ago in Green Bay, Karras was, naturally enough, despondent. The Lions had lost 30-7; Karras had played strongly, but the Green Bay defense—with Henry Jordan running around the Detroit backfield as though he belonged there—had played even more strongly, and the Green Bay offense had held the ball most of the afternoon.
"This is a good defense," Karras said. "It hurt to lose Joe Schmidt, but this is still a good defense. It may be as good as the defense we had in 1962, when we might have set every defensive record in the book if we hadn't been on the field most of every game. You have to have some rest."
In the Packer dressing room the last man to leave was Henry Jordan. He sat slumped on a stool in front of his locker, fully dressed, with a cup of coffee in his hand, staring at the floor.
Vince Lombardi, the Packer coach, came out of the coaches' dressing room and looked at him.
"You all right, Henry?" he asked. Jordan looked up and smiled and nodded.