CHICAGO CARDINALS

COACH: FRANK IVY
1937 RECORD: W 3, L 9, 6TH
1958 EXHIBITIONS: W 3, L 2, T 1

PASSING OFFENSE
A lack of really great receivers may handicap the Chicago Cardinal offense this year. Lamar McHan, a competent quarterback, has Gern Nagler and Max Boydston at ends, Ollie Matson at halfback as his principal targets. No one of them ranks with the topflight receivers in the league. McHan will find his targets getting out more quickly from Pop Ivy's double-wing T, which posts the halfbacks a yard outside of the ends and a yard back; whether this formation will compensate for the lack of adequate pass-protection blocking is doubtful.

RUSHING OFFENSE
Ollie Matson, who played most of the 1957 season underweight after a bout with Asian flu, is healthy again. At 210, Matson is a big halfback who runs like a sprinter and hits like a fullback. He's probably the most respected running back in professional football. Mel Hammack has replaced Johnny Olszewski at fullback; he is a strong blocker and a journeyman runner. The Cardinal running is helped considerably by the addition of Rookie John Crow of Texas A&M, who shares a halfback post with veteran Joe Childress. King Hill, the Rice quarterback, lends depth to the end and backfield corps, since he plays either position, plus defensive halfback.

PASS DEFENSE
Bobby Joe Conrad, who kicked his first field goal in the All-Star Game this August, will kick field goals for the Cardinals, but his most valuable contribution to the team may come at defensive halfback, where the Cards were notably weak last year. Moving into a combination which includes veteran Dick Lane, Conrad can make a tremendous difference in the Chicago pass defense. Poor rushing of the passer hurts, too.

RUSHING DEFENSE
The Cardinals have a massive, nearly immovable front line keyed by Leo Sugar. Lack of speed in the immediate secondary may hurt.

OVER-ALL
With a new coach and a new offense, the Cardinals may have a certain element of surprise going for them in early games. However, the team has defects on defense which will have to be remedied by trades or by judicious drafting—a long process.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

COACH: PAUL BROWN
1957 RECORD: W 9, L 2, T 1, 1ST
(LOST TO DETROIT FOR LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP)
1958 EXHIBITIONS: W 3, L 3, T 0

PASSING OFFENSE
Milt Plum, who has the demanding job of making Cleveland fans and Paul Brown forget Otto Graham, may do it this year. Not that Plum will reach the perfection of the old Brown quarterback so quickly; he'll have a team with so explosive an offensive potential that it may erase the memory of even the best of previous Brown teams. Tremendous running will make the Brown passing even more dangerous, and it was strong enough anyway with Plum and Jim Ninowski, the All-Star sensation, throwing to topnotch receivers Ray Renfro, Preston Carpenter, Bobby Mitchell (another All-Star ace) and Frank Clarke.

RUSHING OFFENSE
If the Brown rushing offense last season lacked anything, it was a great break-away halfback. This year the Browns have two—Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Bolden. With the opposition constantly on guard against Fullback Jim Brown's smashes through the middle of the line, Mitchell and Bolden have found running room outside. The Cleveland running attack should be the best, by a long stride, in the East.

PASS DEFENSE
The Brown defense is unchanged: it's excellent. Len Ford was traded to Green Bay. Bill Quinlan moved over from the opposite end to take over Ford's spot, with Paul Wiggin replacing Quinlan. With this realignment the Browns will apply their customary crushing pressure on opposing passers. The very good deep defenders remain as a unit, with the old pro, Warren Lahr, back again to direct the complicated choreography of pass defense in the secondary.

RUSHING DEFENSE
Aside from Ford, the Brown defense, second-best in league last year—will be the same, with the exception of one linebacker post, where Tom Catlin or Galen Fiss will replace Chuck Noll, moved to offense. Walt Michaels is the mastermind.

OVER-ALL
With their rushing offense improved, the passing attack better and the defense the same except for the added wisdom of a year's competition, the Browns look like the best in the East by a comfortable margin. It's probably the beginning of a new Cleveland Brown dynasty.

NEW YORK GIANTS

COACH: JIM LEE HOWELL
1957 RECORD: W 7, L 5, 2ND
1958 EXHIBITIONS: W 1, L 5, T 0

PASSING OFFENSE
Charley Conerly has thrown more touchdown passes than any quarterback still active in the National Football League. At 37, he is the oldest quarterback in the league, too. A good deal of the passing effectiveness of the Giants depends on how these two facts balance out. Conerly has shown no signs of the erosion of age, but the leather-tough veteran is eventually going to feel the strain of an 18-game season. Conerly and Don Heinrich, the other Giant quarterback, have an advantage this year in that they have two very fast receivers to throw to in Rookies Phil King of Vanderbilt and Don Maynard of Texas Western—something the Giants have lacked during recent seasons. In Kyle Rote, Frank Gifford, Bob Schnelker and Ken MacAfee, the throwers also have sturdy bread-and-butter yardage catchers.

RUSHING OFFENSE
The addition of King to the Giant backfield is the only real change in the New York running game. King, who is big as well as fast and runs the ball with an apparent disregard for the consequences, will be helpful at fullback or halfback since he can rest the good but mature Giant regulars, Gifford and Triplett.

PASS DEFENSE
Three of the six men the Giants used in their defensive secondary last year are missing; in preseason games the new Giant pass defense unit leaked woefully. With an old head like Emlen Tunnell to integrate the secondary unit, plus strong rushing from players like Andy Robustelli and Roosevelt Grier, who may play end, the Giant pass defense should improve as the season goes along.

RUSHING DEFENSE
The return of Grier from the service lends considerable muscle to the Giant defensive line, which has been noted for its impenetrability for several years. The trio of knowledgeable linebackers who calk the cracks is back intact, led by Sam Huff, one of the toughest middlebackers in the league. Andy Robustelli, the all pro end, is hard to move and harder to fool.

OVER-ALL
The Giants, standing pat on an offensive backfield which has weathered several campaigns, may begin to feel their age. Rookies like King and Maynard help the offense; rookies in the defensive secondary will cost touchdowns—maybe too many.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

COACH: BUCK SHAW
1957 RECORD: W 4, L 8, 5TH
1958 EXHIBITIONS: W 3, L 3, T 0

PASSING OFFENSE
When the Philadelphia Eagles acquired Norman Van Brocklin from the Los Angeles Rams, it inspired old pro Pete Pihos to buy two pairs of football shoes and contemplate returning from retirement. Pete reconsidered, but his enthusiasm indicates the effect the Dutchman has had on Eagle morale. Probably the finest passer in professional football, the stubborn Van Brocklin could not get along with Ram Coach Sid Gillman. His presence at least doubles the passing threat of the Philadelphia team. Van has more than competent receivers in Bobby Walston, Tommy McDonald and Bill Barnes, who led the team in both rushing and receiving last year. A couple of rookies—speedy Dale Ems of Bradley and Andy Nacrelli from Fordham and Canadian football—add zest to the Eagle receiving line.

RUSHING OFFENSE
Here, too, the Eagles look stronger. The running backs are big, muscled and young. Barnes, a thump-along runner, is a fine fullback; his constant threat inside tackle adds to the effectiveness of Walt Kowalczyk and Clarence Peaks wide. The Eagles, however, will get no running from their new quarterback. Van Brocklin moves with all the speed and elusiveness of a pregnant hippopotamus.

PASS DEFENSE
The Eagle secondary defense is tested and cohesive. Jerry Norton, who was injured in preseason competition, should be ready for the season; he has a strong supporting cast in Ed Bell, Tom Brookshier and Rocky Ryan. The shift of Chuck Bednarik from defense to offense points up the strength of the Eagle linebackers.

RUSHING DEFENSE
The Eagle big four—the four who man the line of scrimmage—represent something more than a thousand pounds of humanity. Don Owens, Sid Youngelman, Jesse Richardson and Marion Campbell may be the best defensive line in the Eastern Conference. The linebackers are tough, quick and sure. Pellegrini and Bob Hudson share Bednarik's old post at middlebacker.

OVER-ALL
Aside from a possible lack of depth in the defensive secondary and in running backs, the Eagles have the heft to give Cleveland a good argument for the Eastern Conference title. The addition of Van Brocklin is the key to the Eagle improvement.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

COACH: BUDDY PARKER
1957 RECORD: W 6, L 6, 3RD
1958 EXHIBITIONS: W 2, L 4, T 0

PASSING OFFENSE
The Pittsburgh quarterbacks—Earl Morrall and Len Dawson—lack experience. Morrall is the best; if he enjoys a normal improvement over last season, he could be very good indeed. The receivers are good, with Jack McClairen, who led the East with 46 catches last season, the prime target for short passes. Jimmy Orr, a Ram castoff, looks good, but the Steelers need someone who can go down deep for the long ones. Ray Mathews, who plays end or slot back, fills that requirement but Mathews is out for part of the season with a broken foot.

RUSHING OFFENSE
The Steelers' running game is still a patchwork affair, with Buddy Parker, an astute and indefatigable trader, still hoping to put together a successful combination. Parker traded for the Rams' Tank Younger, an elderly but still strong fullback. Another trade—for Tom Tracy, the stumpy, thick-legged Detroit fullback—went awry when Tracy suffered a neck injury in the last exhibition game of the season. Billy Reynolds, a veteran from Cleveland, should help, but Parker's ground forces are thin.

PASS DEFENSE
With five deep backs who have speed, experience and the advantage of having worked as a unit for a couple of seasons, the Steelers were second only to the Browns in yards allowed in this department in 1957 and should be even better this year. Jack Butler led the Eastern Conference with 10 interceptions last season; his running mates specialized in knocking passes down. Dale Dodrill, one of the league's best linebackers, is a cat on pass defense. The Steelers have, in abundance, one of the rarest birds in pro football—the topnotch defensive halfback.

RUSHING DEFENSE
Some have accused Parker of being primarily a defensive coach. He may be. So is Paul Brown. The Steeler running defense, led by George Tarasovic, is strong on the first unit, with Dodrill the key.

OVER-ALL
Parker will probably have to depend on defense again this season, due in most part to the lack of a sound running game. If he turns up a surprise runner, the passing is good enough and the Steelers could improve on last year's 6-6 record.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

COACH: JOE KUHARICH
1957 RECORD: W 5, L 6, T 1, 4TH
1958 EXHIBITIONS: W 3, L 3, T 0

PASSING OFFENSE
With Eddie LeBaron, the only practicing magician left among pro quarterbacks, and Rudy Bukich and Ralph Guglielmi, the Redskins have as versatile a trio of quarterbacks as any team in the league, LeBaron, who is as hard to catch as a hummingbird, is not a great long passer. But he is crisp on short throws; Bukich can loft a ball 60 yards with a flick of the wrist. The Redskin receivers are good, particularly Joe Walton, Dick James, Johnny Carson and Don Bosseler, the big fullback. LeBaron's ability to squirm away from tacklers adds to the time his receivers have to get clear. The Redskin blocking helps LeBaron survive.

RUSHING OFFENSE
The Redskin ground game is built around the thundering running of Bosseler, a 215-pound fullback with exceptional speed. Leo Elter, his understudy, is small for a fullback, but he has a water-bug quickness which sneaks him out of tacklers' arms. Mike Sommer, a Washington, D.C. boy who has played high school and college football in his home town, may stick with the team as a specialist in punt returns. The Washington running offense has size, speed and versatility.

PASS DEFENSE
The Redskins have the sine qua non of a good pass defense—experienced defensive halfbacks. Their trio of Norb Hecker, Doyle Nix and Joe Scudero has been on hand long enough to understand the complications of covering National Football League receivers. The Redskin defensive line is headed by Gene Brito, who missed most of the exhibition games with an injury. Brito is ready for the league season, however, and he is one of the better pass rushers in the business.

RUSHING DEFENSE
The Redskin defensive line is solid at end, with Brito and Chet Ostrowski, but the middle appears vulnerable. Chuck Drazenovich, the rock-hard middle linebacker, takes up some of that slack; actually, no pro line is easy to run against.

OVER-ALL
Strong passing complemented by good power running from fullback and more than adequate outside speed makes the Redskin attack a versatile and powerful one. The Redskin pass defense is good, the running defense adequate. The Skins look better.

SIX PHOTOS PHOTOMcHAN PHOTOMATSON PHOTOLANE PHOTOSUGAR PHOTOPLUM PHOTOBROWN PHOTOLAHR PHOTOMICHAELS PHOTOCONERLY PHOTOKING PHOTOHUFF PHOTOGRIER PHOTOVAN BROCKLIN PHOTOPEAKS PHOTONORTON PHOTOBEDNARIK PHOTOMORRALL PHOTOMATHEWS PHOTOBUTLER PHOTOTARASOVIC PHOTOLeBARON PHOTOBOSSELER PHOTOJAMES PHOTOBRITO

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)