Coach Paddy Driscoll's Western champions possess an attack as perfectly balanced as that of any football team in memory. Ed Brown, the quarterback, throws very well both short and long and calls an intelligent game. The running of Rick Casares at fullback provides both up-the-middle sock and outside speed. With J. C. Caroline now playing offensive halfback, the Bears have tremendous breakaway speed. Add the best pair of offensive ends in the league—the magnificent Harlon Hill and the very capable Gene Schroeder—and the Bear attack presents a nearly impossible problem. They have too a fine slot back in big Bill McColl, who is agile and strong enough to fight free for passes and big enough to block effectively on runs. The Bear defense is sturdy against a ground attack but occasionally uncertain against sharp passing.
15 ED BROWN, QB. Has suddenly blossomed into best long passer in pro football and very good on short throws too. Smart, seldom runs.
35 RICK CASARES, FB. Top ground-gainer in the league. Great speed, great power and surprising elusiveness.
December 24, 1956
83 BILL MCCOLL, LH. A big, tough end who plays difficult slot back spot well. Strong blocker, good receiver.
45 BOBBY WATKINS, RH. Good Speed, power. Hits quickly, hard to knock down.
87 HARLON HILL, LE. Blistering speed, a great faker, wonderful hands. The best receiver in football today.
88 GENE SCHROEDER, RE. Lacks Hill's speed, but is fast and has great hands.
51 WAYNE HANSEN, LB. One of toughest middle linebackers in league. Closes the middle, reacts quickly, can cover well on passes.
61 BILL GEORGE, LB. Very smart, hard to fake. Strong, covers outside very well.
40 STAN WALLACE, LB. Quick, smart and a solid tackier. A major link in best triumvirate of linebackers in the league.
25 J.C. CAROLINE, DLH. Can be fooled but speed, quick reactions help him recover. Very elusive runner on offense.
20 RAY SMITH, DRH. Quick, smart defense man. Seldom faked out of position. Good tackler.
75 FRED WILLIAMS, DLT. A typical protackle. Hard to move, plays position, refuses to chase fakes.
Coach Jim Lee Howell's Eastern champions do many things superbly and some just adequately. Frank Gifford, Alex Webster and Mel Triplett are the best set of running backs in football today. Gifford is an exceptional receiver, a good passer, very fast and rough to tackle. Triplett, the Herculean fullback, is a power runner and fine blocker. Webster runs a cutback superbly, adding both power and speed. The quarterbacking, with Charley Conerly and Don Heinrich, is intelligent and experienced but not brilliant. The flaws in the offense are a lack of really blinding speed at end or running ability at quarterback to lend more variety to the attack. The Giants, because of these shortcomings, are denied the threat of a long pass. The defense against running is magnificent, but against passing there is a soft spot on the right side of the secondary.
42 CHUCK CONERLY, QB. Poised veteran who passes well. Sits on sidelines studying opponents during early part of game.
11 DON HEINRICH, QB. Good passer, good ball handler. Alert, adept at picking flaws in the defense.
16 FRANK GIFFORD, LH. Probably best halfback in league. Runs, blocks, passes and is a very fine receiver.
29 ALEX WEBSTER, RH. A slashing, tough runner with tremendous impact. Cuts beautifully with no loss of speed.
33 MEL TRIPLETT, FB. Great blocker, driving runner. Has tendency to fumble.
44 KYLE ROTE, LE. Best faker in the league. Bad knees have cost him speed, but he is wicked on short passes.
70 SAM HUFF, LB. Great speed and quick reactions for big man. A deadly tackier, good on pass defense. Sometimes overeager.
30 BILL SVOBODA, LB. Intelligent, quick. Equally strong against runs or passes.
45 EMLEN TUNNELL, DHB. Not fast, but reacts quickly, particularly on passes. A hard tackier who is seldom out of position.
81 ANDY ROBUSTELLI, DRE. Defends well against runs, drops off as well to stop passes or else puts great pressure on passer.
76 ROOSEVELT GRIER, DRT. Tremendous agility for 275-pounder. Sure tackier, closes inside beautifully. Has been trapped.
77 DICK MODZELEWSKI, DLT. Great initial charge, but still hard to trap. With Grier, rushes passer very well.