WATCH FOR: Slam-bang running of Fullbacks Howie Ferguson and Fred Cone; speed, great hands and faking ability of End Bill Howton, one of the best receivers in professional football.
OFFENSE: The Packers have been handicapped on offense for quite a while by the lack of a real breakaway threat from halfback. The two fullbacks—Cone and Ferguson—are sturdy, driving runners and strong blockers. The acquisition of Don Mcllhenny provides one halfback with enough speed, and Ron Kramer is hard-blocking slot back who is a good receiver too. Bart Starr, stepping up to replace Tobin Rote, has shown he can throw well enough. Paul Hornung, a strong all-round performer, is the third quarterback, but he may play at the halfback post.
DEFENSE: This has been the Packers' strong point through the exhibition season. With Carlton Massey replacing John Martinkovic at one end and the same brace of giant tackles—Jerry Helluin and Dave Hanner—the Packer line makes sticky running for any ground game. New linebackers have fitted in very well and the Packer pass defenders look better for the addition of John Petitbon and Billy Kinard to the capable Bobby Dillon and Hank Gremminger.
1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):
OCT. 13 Colts at Milwaukee
49ers at Milwaukee
OCT. 27 at Baltimore
NOV. 10 at Chicago Bears
Rams at Milwaukee
NOV. 24 at Pittsburgh
NOV. 28 at Detroit
DEC. 8 at Los Angeles
DEC. 15 at San Francisco
1956: W 5, L 7. Fourth.
EXHIBITIONS: W 2, L 2, T 1.
COACHES: Head, Weeb Ewbank; assistants, Charles Winner, Herman Ball, John Bridgers, Bob Shaw, Edward Block, Fred Schuback.
WATCH FOR: Strong, versatile running attack built around powerful Alan Arneche at fullback, and fast, strong Lenny Moore at half, plus breakaway threats in L. G. Dupre, Royce Wornble.
OFFENSE: The Colts, off the fine running of Lenny Moore in exhibition games, can field one of the stronger ground attacks in the Western Division. Ameche, a bull-like runner with enough speed to go on for long gains after he has ripped past the line, is one of the two best fullbacks in a division replete with great ones. With George Shaw recovering from an early injury and John Unitas, long the most underrated quarterback in pro ranks, the Baltimore team is deep and talented at the all-important quarterback post. Only a lack of really good ends handicaps the Baltimore offense.
DEFENSE: The Colt defensive line, with All-Pros Gino Marchetti and Art Donovan at end and tackle, needs take a back seat to none. Bill Pellington, Colt captain, is a knowledgeable, tough linebacker who is big enough (230) to close the holes and fast enough for pass defense. The Colt secondary was the leakiest in the league against passing last season, but in exhibition games it looked a bit better. However, Ewbank has more plugging to do here.