"The unusual play, the unexpected, gives a team momentum and wins ball games," he observes, "and we just might come up with more than our share of those important plays."
In Chicago there doesn't even seem to be hope, only grating complaints. Last year Running Back Joe Moore demanded to know why he was being trained for World War III. When dealt to the Bears from St. Louis, Center Wayne Mulligan moaned, "I asked to be traded, traded anywhere, but that didn't mean to the Bears." Mulligan never reported to Chicago. This year Moore, Carl Garrett and Jim Harrison, the club's best running backs, all asked to be traded.
Abe Gibron is trying his best to turn the Bears around. And trades arc helping, including one for Philadelphia Defensive End Rich Harris that rounded out a powerful rush line that has Dave Gallagher at the other end, and Wally Chambers and Jim Osborne at tackles.
Furthermore, Gibron has installed a classy passer at quarterback in Gary Huff and has high hopes for a rookie tight end named Jim Kelly, who will curl into the middle, bust the zone and, oh yes, catch the football. Still far from being contenders, the Bears are at least striving, and in Chicago that may be enough to muffle the jeers.
Detroit's Rick Forzano is a ball-control disciple, the kind who believes in hanging tough, biting the bullet, and grinding it out. With a sloppy defense and the Lions' penchant for trying the big play, Forzano's Sundays will be long and grim. They will get even grimmer when Quarterback Bill Munson starts throwing deep to his wide receivers—they dropped the ball 36 times last year. The toughest ordeal may be the locker-room harangues by Owner Ford, which may weigh heavier than dropped passes, feckless tackling and all the rest. How's your stomach, Rick?