A Look Back at 1954

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In 1954, Green Bay hired a local legend, Lisle Blackbourn, as its new head coach. Blackbourn coached Washington High School in Milwaukee to a 141-30-6 record from 1925-46 and then worked as an assistant coach at Wisconsin and Marquette before becoming the Hilltoppers head man in 1950. In four seasons, he went 18-17-4 before taking the Packers’ job. Blackbourn knew football, but he had problems getting the best out of players on the professional level.

In his first season, the team finished 4-8, scoring 234 points (eighth) and allowing 251 (fifth). The Packers were 2-1 against losing teams and 2-7 against winnings ones. They were 2-4 both at home and on the road and started the year 3-3, but finished 1-5.

Tobin Rote did almost all the quarterbacking and led the team with 2,311 yards, 14 TDs and 18 interceptions. Backup Bobby Garrett added just 143 yards. Breezy Reid again led the team in rushing with 507 yards, followed by Howie Ferguson’s 301 and Rote’s 276. Billy Howton caught 52 passes for 768 yards and two scores, while rookie Max McGee chipped in 36 grabs for 614 yards and nine touchdowns. McGee and Fred Cone led the team with 54 points Bobby Dillon picked off seven passes, Veryl Switzer, another rookie, had the longest play, a 93-yard punt return touchdown versus the Bears.

Other rookies of note include tackle Art Hunter, guard Al Barry and end Gary Knafelc. Dillon, Clayton tonnemaker and Roger Zatkoff all were named All-Pro, and John Martinkovic was second team. Martinkovic, Zatkoff and Dave Hanner all were selected for the Pro Bowl.

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1954bvswitzer 1954bahunter

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1954bctonnemaker 1954brzatkoff2

1954bjmartinkovic2 1954bdhanner

All custom cards but Ferguson and Knafelc are colorized.

 

Nate Borden

Nate Borden was born September 22, 1932 in Detroit and grew up in Jersey City, NJ. He was an All-State fullback and performed the shot put and discus in track as a schoolboy athlete. He earned a football scholarship at Indiana University in 1951 and played end and tackle for four losing teams in Bloomington before being drafted by the Packers in the 25th round in 1955.

Nate was a full-time starter at defensive end in Green Bay from 1956-58, but lost his starting slot to Bill Quinlan in 1959 when Vince Lombardi took over the team. According to Launching the Glory Years, the assistant coaches consensus was that he was slow to recover from injuries in 1959 and lost his quickness, agility and aggressiveness.

He was left unprotected in the expansion draft in 1960 and was selected by Tom Landry to become an original Cowboy. He started at left defensive end for Dallas in 1960 and then switched to the right side when Bob Lilly joined the team in 1961. Cut the following year, he spent 1962 with the Buffalo Bills. In ’63, the Bills cut him and he failed a tryout with Toronto in Canada and retired. He went into scouting for several years and then urban politics, first in Jersey City and then Las Vegas. He died from cancer in Las Vegas at age 60 on September 30, 1992, survived by two sons and a daughter.

Nate’s Packer teammates recalled him in a number of memorable stories over the years. Max McGee referred to him as a  one of his “favorite players” to Cliff Christl, Paul Hornung wrote of Borden losing hundreds of dollars that he didn’t have in a card game of Boo Ya with his teammates, but they simply forgave the debt because he was so popular. Jerry Kramer wrote in Instant Replay that when the Cowboys came to Green Bay the first time, a number of Packers chipped in to buy Borden a plane ticket so that he could come up early to visit with his old friends.

The most well-known story, though, was of Nate crashing Max McGee’s automobile into a storefront. Kramer’s version has Borden informing McGee that night, and Max shrugging it off, by saying, “How much furniture did we buy, Nate?” Al Carmichael’s more outlandish version had Borden handing McGee the broken steering wheel from the wreck. McGee himself recalled the tale to Cliff Christl:

We were down at a bar in Green Bay. We were all at the bar and had to make 11 o’clock curfew. I met some young lady and she was going to give me a ride back. So I said, ‘Nate, why don’t you take my car back to the dormitory?’ He said, ‘Yeah, Maxie, I’ll take it.’ I had a new car or something. I didn’t even think he drank. But he was going along the river back to St. Norbert and he ran into something. One of my favorite players of all time was Nate. And he was so scared to come to my room – or the police brought him – and he said, ‘I’ve got some bad news for you.’

Lest you think, reader, the whole thing was apocryphal, here is the original story in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on August 18, 1958.

All custom cards are colorized.

A Look Back at 1953

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The end of the Gene Ronzani era was not pretty in multiple. Not only did the Packers finish 2-9-1, scoring 200 points (ninth in the league) and giving up 338 (11th in the league), but there was a bizarre coda to the firing of Ronzani. The coach was fired prior to the team’s season-ending West Coast road trip, but Ronzani decided to go along on the trip to watch his old team, now co-coached by assistants Scooter McLean and Hugh Devore. The Packers lost both games by more than two touchdowns, but they lost five other games by at least that margin under Ronzani. Green Bay was 2-1-1 against losing teams and o-8 against the rest. They were 1-5 at home and 1-4-1 on the road.

The Rote/Parilli passing combo that combined for 2,688 yards, 26 touchdowns and 25 interceptions in 1952, dropped to a 9:34 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions, 1,835 yards and completed just 41.8% of their passes. Rote also dropped to fourth on the team in rushing, with Breezy Reid leading the way with 492.

Billy Howton’s receiving numbers also suffered dropping to just 25 catches for 463 yards and four scores, although he did have an 80-yard touchdown catch in the season finale. Bob Mann added 23 receptions, and Fred Cone led the team with 74 points.

Bobby Dillon picked off nine enemy passes and returned them for 112 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown against the Bears, while fellow safety Val Joe Walker scored on a 54-yard pick six in a win over Baltimore. Dillon and linebacker Clayton Tonnemaker were both named second team All-Pro, and Tonnemaker, defensive end John Martinkovic and defensive tackle Dave Hanner were selected for the Pro Bowl.

The draft brought halfback Al Carmichael in round one, linebacker Bill Forester in round three, linebacker Roger Zatkoff in round five and center Jim Ringo in round seven.

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1953bbdillon3 1953bvjwalker2

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All custom cards colorized aside from team and Forester.

Wolf vs. Thompson in QB Picks

Today is Mark Brunell’s 50th birthday. While he never started a game as a Packer, he may have become the face of the franchise had Mike Holmgren wavered in his support of Brett Favre in October 1994. The Packers had just dropped to 3-4 after an overtime loss to the Vikings in which Brunell had played well in relief of Favre. At that point, Favre had thrown 46 TD passes and 44 interceptions, and the coaching staff felt that Brunell was a better decision-maker on the field. However, Holmgren decided to recommit to Favre, and the rest is Packer history. Brett rallied the Packers into the playoffs, and Brunell was traded to Jacksonville at the end of the year.

Brunell had an excellent 17-year career in the NFL and was one of several talented rookie quarterbacks that Ron Wolf brought into training camp as Packers GM. In fact, he drafted a quarterback almost every year. In 1992, he traded his first round pick to Atlanta for Favre, who had thrown just five passes in his rookie year for the Falcons. That draft also brought Ty Detmer in round nine. Brunell was a fifth rounder in 1993. Kurt Warner was an undrafted free agent in 1994. Wolf’s next three quarterback draft picks never played the position in the league: fifth rounder Jay Barker in 1995, seventh rounder Kyle Wacholtz in ’96 and seventh rounder Ronnie McAda in ’97. Wolf rebounded in 1998 with sixth rounder Matt Hasselbeck and then fourth rounder Aaron Brooks in 1999.

Here are the NFL passing stats for those men:

Name W/L Comp. % Yards Yards/Att. TDs INT
Mark Brunell 78-73 59.5 32072 6.9 184 108 17 years
Ty Detmer 11-14 57.7 6351 6.7 34 35 9 years
Matt Hasselbeck 87-75 60.5 36638 6.9 212 153 17 years
Aaron Brooks 38-52 56.5 20261 6.8 123 92 7 years
Kurt Warner 67-49 65.5 32344 7.9 208 128 12 years
Brett Favre 186-112 62 71838 7.1 508 336 20 years

 

Ted Thompson’s record with rookie quarterbacks is not so impressive once you get past his fortuitous selection of Aaron Rodgers in 2005. He took Ingle Martin in the fifth round in 2006. In 2008, he took Brian Brohm in round two and Matt Flynn in round seven. B.J. Coleman came in the seventh round in 2012 and Brett Hundley in round five of the 2015 draft. Harrell, Callahan and Tolzien were all free agents, and Tolzien had appeared on the 49ers roster in 2012.

Name W/L Comp. % Yards Yards/Att. TDs INT
Aaron Rodgers 113-60-1 64.6 46946 7.7 364 84 15 years
Matt Flynn 3-4 61.3 2541 7.1 17 11 7 years
Brett Hundley 3-6 59.1 1902 5.6 9 13 4 years
Brian Brohm 0-2 51.9 252 4.8 0 5 2 years
Ingle Martin 1 year
B.J Coleman 1 year
Graham Harrell 50 20 5 0 1 3 years
Joe Callahan 71.4 11 1.6 0 0 1 year
Scott Tolzien 0-3-1 60.3 1065 7.3 2 9 6 years

 

So if we ignore Favre’s 71,000 yards, Wolf selections still accumulated 126,000 yards in the league, while Thompson’s choices garnered 50,000, 90% of it by Rodgers.

Wolf got nothing in return for Warner or Detmer who were released, but Brunell, Hasselbeck and Brooks all were traded. However, the results were mixed. Brunell brought a third round pick, William Henderson, and a fifth rounder, Travis Jervey, in a very good deal for Green Bay. The trade of Brooks to the Saints, along with tight end Lamont Hall, brought K.D. Williams and a draft pick that became Bhawoh Jue in a decent deal for both teams. The Hasseelbeck deal involved a swap of first rounders (Green Bay getting the 10th overall and Seattle the 17th overall picks) and a third rounder for the Packers. Green Bay wasted the 10thoverall pick on Florida State speed rusher Jamal Reynolds, while Seattle netted Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson at 17. The third round pick was linebacker Torrance Marshall, so that trade was a big win for the Seahawks.

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Warner custom card is colorized.

 

Jordan Love and Top Packer QB Selections

The selection of Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th pick in the 2020 draft could be seen as the ninth or the 13th such first round draft choice in Packer history, depending on certain qualifications. If you just consider his overall 26th slot, two more signal callers gain entrance to the group. Let’s take a look at these 15 men in chronological order.

Cecil Isbell, 1938, seventh slot in first round. Isbell, of course, was a single wing tailback, but the way he played the position was very analogous to a T quarterback.

Hal Van Every, 1940, ninth slot in first round. Another single wing tailback with extensive passing responsibilities. His two-year career as Isbell’s back up was ended by World War II.

Ernie Case, 1947, sixth slot in first round. A star at UCLA, Case rebuffed Curly Lambeau and signed with the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Conference instead. He lasted just one season, playing mostly on defense.

Jug Girard, 1948, seventh slot in the first round. More a single wing tailback in college, Girard was converted to a quarterback by Lambeau, but completed just 35% of his passes in his one season as a starter and moved back to halfback after that.

Stan Heath, 1949, fifth slot in the first round. A top-rated passer at Nevada, he was a disaster in his one NFL season, completing less than 25% of his passes and throwing just one TD pass to 14 interceptions. He had little success in Canada as well.

Babe Parilli, 1952, fourth slot in first round. Babe would have a long career in the NFL, AFl and CFL, but his two stints in Green Bay were inconsistent. As a rookie his TD:INT ratio was 13:17; a year later, it was 4:19.

Paul Hornung, 1957, bonus selection, first overall. Hornung played quarterback at Notre Dame and played a little at that position in Green Bay, but went to the Hall of Fame as a halfback/kicker.

Randy Duncan, 1959 top overall pick. Duncan scorned Lombardi and signed in Canada. He had little success there or in a brief stint with the Dallas Texans of the AFL.

Don Horn, 1967, 25th slot in the first round. His failure to develop as Bart Starr’s successor was a major disappointment in Green Bay.

Jerry Tagge, 1972, 11th slot in the first round. Hometown hero who was a complete bomb in the NFL and didn’t do much better in Canada,

Rich Campbell, 1981, sixth slot in first round. Who needs Ronnie Lott when a rag-armed California quarterback is available?

Aaron Rodgers, 2005, 24th slot in the first round. His draft day plunge worked out rather well for Ted Thompson and the Packers, wouldn’t you say?

Jordan Love, 2020, 26th slot in the first round. Hoping his career is closer to Rodgers, than Horn’s.

Two other later round selections to mention:

Tobin Rote, 1950, 19th overall selection in second round. Great runner and inconsistent passer on the dreadful Packer teams from 1950s.

Irv Comp, 1943, 23rd overall selection in the third round. Originally a single wing tailback, but played some T quarterback at the end of his career.

Here are their passing stats as Packers:

Name W/L Comp. % Yards Yards/Att. TDs INT
Cecil Isbell 50 5945 7.3 61 52
Hal Van Every 32.4 394 5.5 4 8
Jug Girard 2-8 34.9 998 5.3 5 13
Stan Heath 0-1 24.5 355 3.3 1 14
Babe Parilli 3-11 42.9 3983 5.1 31 61
Paul Hornung 43.6 383 7 5 4
Don Horn 4-2 48.9 2291 8.1 16 22
Jerry Tagge 6-8 48.4 1583 5.6 3 17
Rich Campbell 45.6 386 5.7 3 9
Aaron Rodgers 113-60-1 64.6 46946 7.7 364 84
Tobin Rote 26-46-1 44.6 11535 6.2 89 119
Irv Comp 41 3354 6.5 28 52

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All custom cards but Rodgers and Love are colorized.

 

 

A Look Back at 1952

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Playing nearly half their season against losing teams allowed the 1952 Packers to reach .500 for the first time in five years. Due to a scheduling quirk, Green Bay faced the 7-5 49ers just once and instead played the 1-11 Dallas Texans twice and three teams from the Eastern Conference. To be fair, the Packers did unearth a treasure trove of rookies in ’52, including top pick Babe Parilli, second rounder Billy Howton, third rounder Bobby Dillon and fifth rounder Dave Hanner. They scored the fifth most points in the league, but were 10th in points allowed. The Pack was 2-5 against winning teams and 4-1 versus losers; 3-3 both at home and away.

Rookie Parilli led the team in passing, completing 77 of 177 passes for 1,416 yards 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while Tobin Rote completed 82 of 157 for 1,268 yards 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rote also led the team in rushing for the second straight year with 313 yards, with Fred Cone chipping in 276.

Rookie Howton led the Packers in receiving with53 receptions for a league-leading 1,231 yards and a rookie record 13 touchdowns. Bob Mann contributed 30 catches, 517 yards and six scores. Bill scored on deep shots of 90, 89, 78, 69, 54 and 50 yards. Howton also led the team in scoring with 78 points, with Cone adding 53 although rookie Bill Reichardt did most of the field goal kicking (five of 20 attempts).

Rookie Dillon along with Ace Loomis and Bob Forte all nabbed four interceptions. Howton, Ab Wimberly and Rookie Deral Teteak all went to the Pro Bowl, and Howton was named All-Pro.

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All custom cards aside from team card are colorized.

Sleepy Jim

Sleepy Jim Crowley was born in Chicago on September 10, 1902 and is the direct link between Packer legends Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi. Crowley played under Lambeau at Green Bay East High School and, on his urging, matriculated at Notre Dame where Curly had attended. Under Knute Rockne in South Bend, Jim was a member of the renowned backfield dramatically compared to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by sportswriter Grantland Rice – Jim waggishly maintained that he was Pestilence. Upon graduation, Crowley appeared in a couple of NFL games for Green Bay and Providence in 1925 as he went into coaching like so many of Rockne’s players.

As an assistant coach at Georgia in 1925, Crowley moonlighted as a member of the semipro Waterbury Blues. Once the Bulldogs’ season ended on Thanksgiving, Jim joined the Packers in Philadelphia for their last two games of the year. On Saturday, November 28, he appeared in the fourth quarter against Frankford. The Packers lost that day 13-7 and Crowley carried the ball a few times for little gain and caught one pass for seven yards. The following Friday, December 4, he played extensively in the Pack’s 13-10 win over the Providence Steamroller. According to the Press-Gazette play-by-play, Crowley carried the ball four times for 1 yard, completed four of ten passes for 47 yards and an interception, punted twice for 50 yards and was targeted for six passes, catching three for 16 yards. His final four-yard reception was for the game’s winning touchdown in the closing minutes of the game.

Five days later, Crowley and fellow Horseman Don Miller joined the Steamroller in Boston and toppled the Bears, led by Red Grange, 9-6. Three days after that on Saturday, December 12, Jim and his three fellow Horsemen led a team of Notre Dame Alumni in an unsanctioned exhibition game against the Pottsville Bulldogs in Philadelphia. Pottsville prevailed 9-6, but NFL President Joe Carr suspended the team from the league, which cost the Bulldogs the NFL title.

Jim spent three years in Georgia as an assistant to George Woodruff and then to former teammate Harry Mehre until taking over as head coach at Michigan State in 1929. The Spartans went 22-8-3 in four years under Crowley, after having achieved just one winning season in the previous decade. Jim moved on to Fordham in 1933 where he built a powerhouse team centered on the Rams’ impregnable “7 Blocks of Granite” line; one of those blocks of granite was guard Vince Lombardi. From 1933-1941, Fordham went 56-13-7 and appeared in the Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. During the War, Crowley served as a commander in the Navy from 1942-1945.

Throughout his career, Jim was a favorite of reporters because he was ever-ready with a quip or colorful comment. When the All America Football Conference began in 1946, the personable Crowley was drafted as the league’s first commissioner, standing as a stark contrast to the NFL’s dour commissioner Elmer Layden, another former member of the Four Horsemen. The AAFC had been organized by Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward and was based in Chicago. The flagship Chicago Rockets franchise was a dud on the launch pad, however, and volatile trucking magnate John Keeshin sold the team in 1947 to a group headed by Crowley who resigned as commissioner. After Notre Dame alum Ed McKeever turned down the Rockets’ coaching job, Jim stepped in, but nothing went right all year. The team was terrible, and Crowley was lost. Halfback Elroy Hirsch later told Stuart Leuthner for Iron Men, “Sleepy Jim Crowley didn’t know one of us from the other anyhow. He’d grab a tackle and send him into the backfield.” After an 0-8 start, rumors circulated that Crowley would be fired by the majority owner and replaced by assistant coach Hampton Pool. Indeed, two football encyclopedias list Crowley as having coached only the first 10 games of 1947 before being replaced by Pool. However, contemporary news accounts continue to talk about Crowley as the coach until his resignation in Los Angeles after the Rockets last game in December. He was replaced in 1948 by Ed McKeever who also went 1-13 with the woebegone Rockets.

In fact, Crowley not only resigned from coaching but from football altogether. He worked in the insurance business from 1948-1952, then took over a TV station in Scranton, Pennsylvania for two years. Jim also served as the Industrial Commissioner of Lackawanna County and then chaired the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission until 1972 when he retired. He died on January 15, 1986 in a nursing home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, survived by one son and three grandchildren.

(Adapted from NFL Head Coaches)

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Custom cards are colorized.

Praise for Lombardi’s First Team

The day after the 1959 Packers ended their season with a victory over San Francisco and finished with a winning record for the first time in 12 years, the Press-Gazette ran a story featuring quotes on the team’s success from all its former coaches as well as a few others.

Curly Lambeau:

It makes me feel good and I’m especially happy for the fans back there.

I saw three games in Green Bay, one in Milwaukee and one in Los Angeles and they showed me plenty. I said after the opener when they beat the Bears that Green Bay would be hard to beat if they kept on playing like that.

They have continued to play real hard all the way. The team and coaching staff should be complimented and I’m glad to have the opportunity to congratulate them…I hope they get into the championship next year. It’s been a long time, but the fans at home really have stuck with them. They certainly are loyal.

I’ll be anxious to get back in spring and start looking forward to next season. I’m sure it will be real interesting. The rest of the league had better watch out for Green Bay.

Liz Blackbourn was not directly quoted, but was said to have been extremely happy with the team’s success. He was impressed with the work of the offensive line and was happy that many of the boys he had drafted had played well. He was pleased to see the development of Bart Starr–“it’s good to see him have a good year. He’s an exceptionally fine boy.”

Gene Ronzani:

[The coaching staff is] getting maximum ability from the players this season.

[Lombardi is a] man of fine character who the boys like to work for. As a result, he gets the most out of them.”

[The players are only fair in talent] but he has the knack of getting more out of players.

The Packers have the necessary team unity, desire and will to win.

Scooter McLean:

[Obtaining Henry Jordan and Bill Quinlan] That was a real good trade and made it possible for the team to come up with a sound defensive unit. Teaming up with such boys as Hanner, Borden and Temp.

[In another year, Starr] will be even better.

[Boyd Dowler is doing] a wonderful job and handles himself well from the offensive flanker position. Dowler has the necessary height and speed to become a great offensive end.

Cleveland coach Paul Brown added:

The Packer revival, as I think everybody must know, reflects Vince Lombardi. I get a bit of a charge out of it because I feel I had something to do with his being there. I think he’s a wonderful man and a wonderful coach. Certainly, he has returned the Packers to a place in the pro football sun.

George Halas:

I want to especially congratulate Vince for rebuilding the team and for the way that his players have reacted this season, which I feel is primarily attributable to his management and coaching.

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All custom cards but Quinlan are colorized.

Defensive Tackle Mike McCoy

Born on September 6, 1948 in Erie, Pennsylvania, defensive tackle Mike McCoy was an All-American at Notre Dame, and the Packers traded up in the 1970 draft to select Mike with the second overall pick, right after the Steelers took Terry Bradshaw. To get that pick from the Bears, Green Bay gave up veterans Lee Roy Caffey, Elijah Pitts and Bob Hyland.

McCoy was a massive guy for his time at 6’5” and 285 pounds, but he was not particularly quick. His game was all power and strength. Mike admitted as a rookie, though, “The big rush always has come hard for me.” He was never a great pass rusher, but he did lead tie Alden Roche for the team lead in sacks with 8.5 in 1976, according to Webster and Turney.

McCoy’s best attribute was clogging the middle. Defensive coach Dave Hanner told the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1972, “We’ve got to make a football player out of Mike. He doesn’t lack for effort. He’s not afraid of anybody. But there are times when he gets away from techniques. What I’m saying is that you don’t overwhelm opponents with sheer power in this league.”

McCoy was a fairly solid starter in the middle of the Packers’ defensive line for seven years. He was never the great player that you would want from the second overall pick, but he was an immovable force that could fulfill a necessary function in a good defense. Released by Green Bay in 1977, McCoy spent two years with the Raiders and two with the Giants before retiring in 1981. In retirement, he has run Mike McCoy Ministries, and speaks to young people about making good choices in life.

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Last two custom cards are colorized.

A Look Back at 1951

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Gene Ronzani’s second season as the head coach of the Packers did not turn out any better than his first, although he continued to overturn the roster. Green Bay finished fifth in the West with a 3-9 mark. The team scored 254 points, sixth in the 12-team league, but gave up 375, 11th in the NFL. The Pack began the season 3-2, but all three wins came via losing opponents. Green Bay was 3-2 against losing teams and 0-7 against winners. They were 2-4 at home and 1-5 on the road and lost their last seven games of the season.

Ronzani made a number of trades to try to improve the club, including acquiring future star John Martinkovic from the Redskins for Ted Cook. The oddest deal, though, was the rent-with-an-option-to-buy acquisition of quarterback Bobby Thomason from the Rams for first and second round draft picks. However, if Green Bay did not want to keep Thomason past December of ’51, they could return him to Los Angeles and keep their draft picks.

Although Thomason had better passing numbers than his fellow 23-year-old signal caller, Tobin Rote, the price was deemed too high, and he was sent back to the Rams. Rote completed just 41% of his passes but led the team with 1,540 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Thomason completed 56% of his passes for 1,306 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. However, Rote also led Green Bay in rushing with 523 yards and a 6.9 yard average, with rookie fullback Fred Cone finishing a distant second with just 190 yards and a 3.4 average.

Bob Mann led the team in receiving with 50 catches for 696 yards and eight scores. Rookies Ray Pelfry and Stretch Elliott chipped in with 38 and 35 receptions respectively. Cone took over the kicking duties from Ted Fritsch and led the team in scoring with 50 points, trailed by Mann’s 48. Versatile veteran Jug Girard led the team with five interceptions and newcomers Harper Davis and Ace Loomis each garnered four.

Billy Grimes earned a second trip to the Pro Bowl despite slipping to just 123 yards rushing and a 6.3 yard average on punt returns; Grimes’ big play ability melted away in his second season. Tackle Dick Wildung also went to the Pro Bowl, and center Jay Rhodemyre was named second team All-Pro. The team’s biggest disappointment came in the draft. Kentucky tackle Bob Gain held out and eventually signed in Canada. At season’s end, the Packers dealt his rights to Cleveland, and Gain had a long career as a Brown. Second round pick Rip Collins, chosen from the defunct Baltimore Colts roster, lasted just one season in Green Bay before leaving football. The team’s best rookie, linebacker Walt Michaels, was acquired from Cleveland, but then was traded back to the Browns at season’s end. Michaels and Gain both went to five Pro Bowls for Cleveland over the next decade.

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All custom cards except Thomason are colorized.