In the Words of Dr. Z: Forrest Gregg

Continuing the series of Packer quotes from Paul Zimmerman’s A Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football, Let’s take a look at what he wrote on Forrest Gregg. Dr. Z focused on Gregg’s Hall of Fame matchup with Deacon Jones in the 1967 postseason. Gregg was the Packers’ right tackle, facing the opposing left defensive end. During his time, the best defensive ends tended to be on the left, rather than on the right (the quarterback’s blind side.) Four of the six Hall of Fame DEs from Gregg’s era were on the left (Jones, Gino Marchetti, Carl Eller and Willie Davis). Fortunately, Gregg only had to face Davis in practice. The Packers’ left tackle, Bob Skoronski, had to face two Hall of Fame right defensive ends – Doug Atkins and Andy Robustelli.

If you watched the 1967 Green Bay-Los Angeles game for the NFL’s Western Division championship, you might have enjoyed the war between Forrest Gregg and the Rams’ perennial All-Pro defensive end, Deacon Jones. Gregg won. He kept Jones, who had a five-year age advantage (29-34), a 15-pound weight edge (260-245) and infinitely more speed, away from Starr all afternoon by using leverage, superb body control, and a complete knowledge of Jones’s attacking techniques. He used the man’s own speed and strength against him.

Dr. Z quotes Gregg:

“Jones’s great strength and speed makes him very tough when he takes that outside route on you,” Gregg said. “Outside, outside, outside and then, bang, he smacks you on the side of the head and throws that little fake of his and he’s gone inside and beaten you cold.

“I just kept riding him wider and wider, until he took himself out of the play. When he started getting frustrated and cutting inside, I pivoted with him and rode him into the traffic. Of course, beating those smacks to the head was another matter, and would take too long to explain.”

A few pages later, Dr. Z quotes Packers’ center Jim Ringo to sum up the greatest tackle in Packer history, “Watching someone like Forrest Gregg work is like watching a great bullfighter or ballet dancer.”

1967tfgregg  1971tfgregg2

Custom cards in Topps style for 1967 and 1971.

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