LOS ANGELES
Rams

RATING: First.
1956: W 4, L 8. Finished tie for fifth.
EXHIBITIONS: W 5, L 1.
COACHES: Head, Sid Gillman; assistants, Joe Madro, Lowell Storm, Jack Faulkner, George Allen.

WATCH FOR: Pinpoint passing of Norman Van Brocklin, blasting running of Fullback Tank Younger, breakaway threats from Tom Wilson, Ron Waller; fastest slot back in football, Bob Boyd.

OFFENSE: With Norman Van Brocklin seemingly headed for one of his best years, the Rams possess the finest all-round passer in the National Football League. Elroy Hirsch, Bob Boyd, Jon Arnett and Leon Clarke are the best group of four receivers; add a great running attack powered by two 225-pound-plus fullbacks and big, fast, mobile halfbacks and it is hard to imagine a better-equipped offense. But the Rams have had riches before and frittered them away in dissension and indecision.

DEFENSE: The Ram pass defense was something less than sensational last year and may not have improved enough. Del Shofner, the Baylor halfback who was the Rams' first draft choice, could be a real help; he was rated the best defensive halfback in the College All-Star camp. Shofner has the size and speed, and he will have experienced help in Will Sherman, Don Burroughs, Jesse Whittenton and Ray Shiver. The Ram defensive line is big and the linebackers move well. The loss of Bud McFadin cuts into defensive tackle depth.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 29 Philadelphia (27-7)
OCT. 6 at San Francisco (30-33)
OCT. 13 at Detroit (21-24)
OCT. 20 at Chicago Bears (21-30)
OCT. 27 Detroit (7-16)
NOV. 3 Chicago Bears (24-35)
NOV. 10 San Francisco (30-6)
NOV. 17 Green Bay at Milwaukee (17-42)
NOV. 24 at Cleveland (no game)
DEC. 1 at Baltimore (21-56)
DEC. 8 Green Bay (49-21)
DEC. 15 Baltimore (31-7)

CHICAGO
Bears

RATING: Second.
1956: W 9, L 2, T 1. First.
Playoff: Lost to Giants 47-7.
EXHIBITIONS: W 4, L 1, T 1.
COACHES: Head, Paddy Driscoll; assistants, Clark Shaughnessy, Luke Johnsos, George Connor, Phil Handler, Sid Luckman.

WATCH FOR: Catlike running of rookie Halfback Willie Galimore, running passes of Ronnie Knox, driving running of Fullback Rick Casares, the feinting and receiving of Harlon Hill, great end.

OFFENSE : The Bears have one of the most exciting and powerful offenses in the long history of the club. With a double handful of great running backs—Galimore, Perry Jeter, Rick Casares, Bobby Watkins—and one of the truly great offensive ends of the modern era in Harlon Hill, only possible question lies at quarterback. Ed Brown has been usually good for most of the season and tailed off; if Zeke Bratkowski can step in to run the Bear juggernaut when Brown fades, then this team will be reminiscent of the Bear wonder teams of the early '40s—on offense, anyway. With the tremendous speed inherent in Galimore and Jeter, look for the Bears to use short passes with quick laterals often this year.

DEFENSE: The Bear pass defense was spotty against deep throws last year, although its over-all performance was not really poor. Some of the secondary's difficulties came from lack of rushing by the Bear ends, and this may hurt again this year. Driscoll must find strong, rough rushers to help his pass defense. Elsewhere, the Bear line is strong.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 29 at Green Bay (37-21)
OCT. 5 at Baltimore, N (21-28)
OCT. 13 San Francisco (31-7)
OCT. 20 Los Angeles (30-21)
OCT. 27 at San Francisco (38-21)
NOV. 3 at Los Angeles (35-24)
NOV. 10 Green Bay (38-14)
NOV. 17 Baltimore (58-27)
NOV. 24 at Detroit (10-42)
DEC. 1 Washington (no game)
DEC. 8 at Chicago Cardinals (10-3)
DEC. 15 Detroit (38-21)

DETROIT
Lions

RATING: Third.
1956: W 9, L 3, finished second,
EXHIBITIONS: W 3, L 3.
COACHES: Head, George Wilson; assistants, Aldo Forte, Garrard Ramsey, Bob Nussbaumer, Red Cochran.

WATCH FOR: Scampering runs of tiny Marv Brown at halfback, rotation of Quarterbacks Bobby Layne and Tobin Rote, throwing to one of the best recent pass receivers—Dave Middleton.

OFFENSE: The Lions may suffer from a decided lack of running attack this year. With Rote and Layne on hand to spell each other at quarterback, it seems likely that the Detroit air forces will be effective, but none of the running backs on hand are impressive. Rookies Tom Tracy and Marv Brown have provided most of the spark in a lackluster ground offense; John Henry Johnson, acquired from the San Francisco 49ers to plug a hole at fullback, was disappointing in exhibition games, but he is a strong runner and should help. The Lions have good receivers in Dave Middleton, Dorne Dibble and Hopalong Cassady.

DEFENSE: The Lion secondary quartet—Yale Lary, Carl Karilivacz, Jack Christiansen and Jim David—is the best in the West. The Lion rushers are vast and violent, and the linebackers, with the addition of Roger Zatkoff from Green Bay, are magnificent. George Wilson, taking over from Buddy Parker, may have to depend on this stout defense until he can acquire or develop some really competent running.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 29 at Baltimore (31-14)
OCT. 6 at Green Bay (20-16)
OCT. 13 Los Angeles (21,-21)
OCT. 20 Baltimore (27-3)
OCT. 27 at Los Angeles (16-7)
NOV. 3 at San Francisco (17-13)
NOV. 10 at Philadelphia (no game)
NOV. 17 San Francisco (20-17)
NOV. 24 Chicago Bears (42-10)
NOV. 28 Green Bay (20-24)
DEC. 8 Cleveland (no game)
DEC. 15 at Chicago Bears (21-38)

SAN FRANCISCO
49ers

RATING: Fourth.
1956: W 5, L 6, T 1, finished third.
EXHIBITIONS: W 5, L 1.
COACHES: Head, Frankie Albert; assistants, Phil Bengtson, Howard Hickey, Mark Duncan, Bill Johnson, Joe Vetrano.

WATCH FOR: Shifty, hard running by Halfback Hugh McElhenny; fast starting drives of Fullback Joe Perry; patterns of Ends Billy Wilson, Clyde Conner in one of league's better pass attacks.

OFFENSE: The continued robust health of Hurryin' Hugh McElhenny automatically steps up the 49er offense by a quite considerable measure. McElhenny is one of the greatest broken-field runners of the last decade; if Joe Perry has a normal year at fullback, the 49ers will possess the most dangerous one-two running punch in the Western Division. Y. A. Tittle has help from rookie John Brodie at quarterback. The 49ers have two pairs of good offensive ends to make Tittle and Brodie more effective. All in all, the 1957 San Francisco team has more scoring potential than any 49er team of recent years.

DEFENSE: The 49ers have a tremendous defensive line built around Leo Nomellini (255) and Bob Toneff, a 263-pounder. The linebackers are experienced and capable, but Albert must plug a couple of leaky spots in the deep pass defense. Dicky Moegle, a fine runner as well, and Bill Stits are both experienced operatives; Syracuse's Jim Ridlon, a rookie, may move into the secondary unit acceptably.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEP. 29 Chicago Cardinals (no game)
OCT. 6 Los Angeles (33-30)
OCT. 13 at Chicago Bears (7-31)
OCT. 20 Packers at Milwaukee (17-16)
OCT. 27 Chicago Bears (21-38)
NOV. 3 Detroit (13-17)
NOV. 10 at Los Angeles (6-30)
NOV. 17 at Detroit (17-20)
NOV. 24 at Baltimore (20-17)
DEC. 1 at New York (no game)
DEC. 8 Baltimore (30-17)
DEC. 15 Green Bay (38-20)

GREEN BAY
Packers

RATING: Fifth.
1956: W 4, L 8, finished fifth.
EXHIBITIONS: W 5, L 0, T 1.
COACHES: Head, Lisle Blackbourn; assistants, Ray McLean, Lou Rymkus, Tom Hearden, Jack Morton.

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):

SEPT. 29 Chicago Bears (21-37)
OCT. 6 Detroit (16-20)
OCT. 13 Colts at Milwaukee (38-33)
OCT. 20 49ers at Milwaukee (16-17)
OCT. 27 at Baltimore (21-28)
NOV. 3 New York (no game)
NOV. 10 at Chicago Bears (14-38)
NOV. 17 Rams at Milwaukee (42-17)
NOV. 24 at Pittsburgh (no game)
NOV. 28 at Detroit (24-20)
DEC. 8 at Los Angeles (24-49)
DEC. 15 at San Francisco (20-38)

BALTIMORE
Colts

RATING: Sixth.
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.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 29 Detroit (14-31)
OCT. 5 Chicago Bears, N (28-21)
OCT. 13 Packers at Milwaukee (33-38)
OCT. 20 at Detroit (3-27)
OCT. 27 Green Bay (28-21)
NOV. 3 Pittsburgh (no game)
NOV. 10 at Washington (19-17)
NOV. 17 at Chicago Bears (27-58)
NOV. 24 San Francisco (17-20)
DEC. 1 Los Angeles (56-21)
DEC. 8 at San Francisco (17-30)
DEC. 15 at Los Angeles (7-31)

PHOTOJON ARNETT, E PHOTOTOM WILSON, HB PHOTOW. GALIMORE, HB PHOTOHARLON HILL, E PHOTOJ. H. JOHNSON, FB PHOTOG. WILSON, COACH PHOTODICKY MOEGLE, HB PHOTOJOHN BRODIE, QB PHOTORON KRAMER, HB PHOTOPAUL HORNUNG, QB PHOTOJOHN UNITAS, QB PHOTOLENNY MOORE, HB SIX ILLUSTRATIONS
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)