Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Other 1962 Bill Profiles

FRED BROWN
Halfback
No. 46
Georgia
"Only a torn knee ligament prevented Fred Brown, the Atlanta antelope, from pacing all Bill runners in 1961. A slashing smasher who moves off and inside tackle with the power of a fullback, he wheeled for 192 yards on 53 carries and also turned in the longest kickoff return (93 yards) of the year.
He's considered the best running back from the U. of Georgia since Charlie Trippi."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook


KEN RICE
Offensive Tackle
No. 75
Auburn
"As a newcomer, Ken Rice of the Buffalo Bills took his place among the fine tackles in pro football. And he'll get better."

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football


JACK KEMP
Quarterback
No. 15
Occidental
"Unwanted by the Steelers, Giants and 49ers, Jack Kemp found a satisfactory haven with the Chargers in 1960 and showed his appreciation by gaining the AFL's passing championship. He was No. 3 in 1961, gaining 2,686 yards, second to George Blanda, the record-maker.
Now 27, Jack throws harder than any pro quarterback and he must have sure-fingered receivers for maximum success."'

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook


AL DOROW
Quarterback
No. 12
Michigan State
"Master of the rollout and the AFL's finest rushing quarterback is Al Dorow, the 31-year-old sharpshooter who knows his way around the course. He was the most active of running T-men in 1961, galloping 54 times for 317 yards, a per carry average of 5.9, more than a yard better than any of the top ten rushers. He was also the most overworked passer in the AFL, tossing 438 forwards and getting the most completions (197), totaling 2,651 yards.
Out of Altameda, California, he was exposed to six NFL (Redskins, Eagles) seasons."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Glenn Bass

Split End
No. 88
East Carolina
"Remember the name of Glenn Bass, the Wilson County (North Carolina) whippet who may blossom into the top pass-receiving split end of the year. He nailed 50 aerials in 1961, playing only 11 games, and gained 465 yards. He spurned a baseball bonus to sign with the Chargers who released him at the start of '61.
He has the hands and speed to be a star, but needs the work and experience to develop into one."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Tom Rychlec

Tight End
No. 81
American International
"Improvement in blocking assignments will make Tom Rychlec a more valuable Bill in 1962. The Meriden (Connecticut) tight end has the best hands on the club and is second to none as a short-pass receiver. He caught 33 passes for 405 yards and scored twice in 1961. He's the man on the spot on that vital third down pass play, and usually comes up with the vital catch."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Warren Rabb

Quarterback
No. 17
LSU
"Because he can think and throw so well, Warren Rabb enters the 1962 campaign as Buffalo's No. 1 quarterback. Appearing in only six games as a 1961 rookie, he saw less work than either M.C. Reynolds or Johnny Green but his training camp form has been excellent and he's the best bet for the future.
Considered a powerful runner who can avoid opposition red-dogging, he's a brilliant threat as a pass option performer and fits in with the club's rollout patterns."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: LaVerne Torczon

Defensive End
No. 87
Nebraska
"The Browns are still unhappy about losing LaVerne Torczon to the service. Drafted by Cleveland in 1956, he first got in his military duty and then decided to become a Bill in 1960.
One of the finest crashing ends, his destructive style has gained him two-time All-Pro recognition. Born in Columbus, Nebraska, LaVerne still has a sufficient number of seasons remaining to continue his harassment of passers."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook


"LaVerne Torczon is captain and defensive end of the Buffalo Bills, a leader who inspires by example, one of the league's most dependable performers the last two years."

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football

1962 Profile: Archie Matsos

Middle Linebacker
No. 56
Michigan State
"Speed and agility have brought Archie Matsos two seasons of All-Pro laurels as a middle linebacker. The Detroit-born diagnostician has led the club in individual tackles and his tremendous lateral movement has helped the play of his corner cohorts.
Archie is a busy Buffalo figure at sports dinners and the most popular off-season speaker."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profiles: Chuck McMurtry and Sid Youngelman

CHUCK MCMURTRY
Defensive Tackle
No. 73
Whittier
"The strongest of all in the AFL is presumed to be Chuck McMurtry, the All-Pro defensive tackle who dropped below 300 pounds and stepped up the quality of his play. Impossible to budge head-on, he's constantly scrapping with two blockers and rarely comes out a loser. He can pursue to the side with surprising speed.
Born in Chaneller, Oklahoma, he was a Little All-American at Whittier College."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook


SID YOUNGELMAN
Defensive Tackle
No. 76
Alabama
"Still scrambling with the enthusiasm of a rookie is ponderous Sid Youngelman, 30, who found a new career with the Titans. Considered a relief man after service with the 49ers, Eagles and Browns, his experience went a long way toward making him one of the AFL's most destructive defenders at tackle and end. The Brooklyn-born battler makes the middle of the New York wall a formidable barrier."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Elbert Dubenion

Flanker
No. 44
Bluffton
"The flash with the 'golden wheels' is Elbert Dubenion, the Griffin (Georgia) galloper whom many claim is the fastest of all halfback-receivers. He averaged 40 yards with his eight TDs in 1961, and might have tallied more if he had run 'more intelligently.' He must gain experience in cutting and committing himself.
Elbert averaged 10 yards per rush, gained 461 yards as a receiver and 329 as a kickoff returner."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Joe Cannavino

Cornerback
No. 27
Ohio State
"Back to Buffalo comes Joe Cannavino, originally drafted in 1960 by the Bills who shipped him on to Oakland. The Cleveland-born defender will scrap for a defensive halfback job, aiming at proving his value as a cornerman. He was the Raiders' most valuable at stealing passes (5) in 1961. Joe has the speed and quick-hitting stride to fit in with the offensive unit as a halfback or flanker."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Art Baker

Fullback
No. 33
Syracuse
"Those who are paid tackle him claim Art Baker runs harder than any other AFL fullback. Added determination can make him a standout and improve on his 1961 per carry average of 3.3. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, he was a powerful line smasher at Syracuse and was also immovable on defense, being drafted No. 1 by the Eagles, who desired him for their defensive platoon.
Art went on the wrestling circuit after the '61 season."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

1962 Profile: Billy Atkins

Safety-Kicker
No. 20
Auburn
"The man who gets the biggest 'boot' out of the game is Billy Atkins, the Millport (Alabama) mechanic who established AFL records in 1961 with 84 punts and a 45 per punt average. He led pass interceptors (10) last year and dashed for 87 yards on two running attempts from a fake kick formation.
Billy was an All-Pro selection as a safetyman."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook


"Billy Atkins of the Buffalo Bills led the AFL in two departments in 1961- interceptions, with 11, and punting, with a 45-yard average. The former Forty-Niner and Auburn star had his greatest season in pro ball."

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football

1962 Profile: Lou Saban

Head Coach
"He's ready to prove that the Patriots made a mistake in dropping him as he assumes his second AFL coaching assignment. Lou refuses to fool himself concerning the qualifications of his players and analyzes their credentials objectively.
A former fierce linebacker with the Browns, he was widely heralded for his ability to read opposing offenses. Now 40, he was a quarterback and fullback at Indiana and has accumulated a vast of knowledge of defense and offense. Lou previously served as the head mentor at Northwestern, Western Illinois and Case Tech and was an assistant at the U. of Washington."

-Don Schiffer, 1962 Pro Football Handbook

Monday, May 26, 2014

1962 Buffalo Bills Outlook

"Far too many seams need to be sewn before the Buffalo Bills can be granted stature. Threads hang loosely in both platoons with the severest tears in the ground attack, the defensive front wall and the defensive backfield.
There's not enough power in the offensive backfield, either, and stronger and faster runners are a necessity. Warren Rabb, who throws and think better than rivals M.C. Reynolds and Johnny Green, will be the quarterback. But no matter who takes over the T, he'll have to search for running cooperation. Fullback Art Baker developed slowly in '61 and halfback Wilmer Fowler, in just one play last season, is questionable. Fred Brown is a trifle shy at rounding the corners and there could be too much faith placed in yearling Glenn Glass, a sparkler as an option man.
Pass receivers and interior linemen are the Bills' better employees. Elbert Dubenion is the fastest of all flankers. Perry Richards and Glenn Bass, acquired from San Diego, are tabbed for split end duty. The tight flankers are Tom Rychlec and Monte Crocket.
The interior - Harold Olson and Ken Rice, tackles; Chuck Muelhaupt and Billy Shaw, guards, and Al Bemiller, center - is young, strong and has the advantage of starting the season as a group. They were caught in many mistakes in '61, always the curse of the youthful pro.
A defensive end is needed to go along with LaVerne Torczon. Mack Yoho is too light to sustain the weekend pounding without relief. Jim Toons, a fierce rookie form little North Carolina A & T, is by far the best of those on display in training. Chuck McMurtry and Jim Sorey return to tackle.
Archie Matsos, Stew Barber and Ralph Felton form a firm trio of linebackers but even they must sit down once in a while. Look for Yoho to join this threesome if Toons takes over at end.
Trouble looms at the corner halfback poles. Joe Cannavino, an ex-Raider, is one possibility and so is Jim Crotty, a late-'61 arrival. The safety spots will be occupied by Billy Atkins and Jimmy Wagstaff. Here, too, another is needed and it could be Fowler if he's not required as a runner, or possibly Richie Lucas.
Summing up: a thin line of quality is much too insufficient and too much of a load for coach Lou Saban. Buffalo will remain in fourth place, a shade below the New York Titans."

-1962 Pro Football Handbook


"Relatively settled at quarterback for the first time and well-stocked with muscle and speed in all other places, this club should give loyal hometown fans something to shout about.
The Buffalo Bills have all the ingredients of a winning professional football team- an enlightened owner who doesn't flinch when writing checks, a hustling general manager with a desirable coaching and playing background, a personable new coach with modern ideas and a flock of muscular players ideally blended between the young and the old.
But anybody going out on a limb to pick them for first place had better bring a ladder. The Bills have lacked the most important ingredient of all- an established quarterback. And, in the eyes of Buffalo fans, they have committed the most horrifying sin of all- they don't win at home. In two years their record is five and nine in league competition. That's not going to lure support forever, though Buffalo fans have been very patient and will keep flocking to War Memorial Stadium ... mainly because things have to get better with all that talent hanging around.'
'We have some noteworthy problems,' says Coach Lou Saban with caution, 'but we have a good, young nucleus of players. We could be very troublesome to clubs who figure as contenders.'
What Lou actually means is ... if Warren Rabb comes through at quarterback ... if they locate an outside runner ... if they can plug the secondary holes at the corner spots ... if Elbert Dubenion learns to run pass patterns ... if a tight end who can block pops up ...
Rabb has priority. 'He can throw,' Saban lauded, 'and he's a thinker. In addition, at 6-4, 205 pounds, he's a powerful running threat.'
The former LSU teammate of Billy Cannon sat moldering on Detroit's bench for a couple of years and was hampered by joining the Bills late in 1961. All their hopes aren't centered on him, though. They have greater than ever protection at the vital signal-calling spot with M.C. Reynolds, a former Cardinal star, and Johnny Green, who lacks mobility but has the surest arm of all.
The outside running will come from Fred Brown, who was hurt intermittently in '61, No. 2 draft choice Glen Glass and surprise signee Dean Look, a Michigan State All-American of a few years back who quit a baseball career for the gridiron.
The inside running is supplied by Art Baker, who could be great if he put his mind to it, and Wray Carlton. They have to go with Dubenion again as the flanker because he's the kind who can bust a game open. As Monte Crockett gains experience- he had only one year of college ball- he may prove himself at tight end.
The Bills were inconsistent offensively last year because at one time they had seven rookies in the lineup: deep end Glen Bass, tackle Ken Rice, guard Billy Shaw and center Al Bemiller, with Rabb, Brown and Baker in the backfield. The lineup is potentially the best in the AFL. One of these days they'll settle down.
The heritage left by Buster Ramsey, the deposed coach, was a fine defense that generally kept the Bills withing scoring range of their opponents. LaVerne Torczon and Chuck McMurtry were powers up front. Tom Day will be put at a tackle slot to get a better pass rush. Mack Yoho may be shifted from end to linebacker, though the cast already there- Ralph Felton, Arch Matsos and Stew Barber- was as good as any in the league.
The secondary was troublesome when Richie McCabe suddenly quit and Jim Wagstaff was hurt. Only Billy Atkins, an All-AFL choice and the Bills' MVP, held up. A trade brought Joe Cannavino from Oakland, and Jim Crotty, picked up as a free agent when the Redskins let him go, was a late-season revelation. Some of those offensive halfbacks, plus Richie Lucas, could get into the act, too.
Owner Ralph Wilson has been the model of patience waiting for the Bills to straighten out. GM Dick Gallagher has hustled players so fast that no one has had a chance to get complacent. No one worked harder than Ramsey, but Buster was stubborn in some of his judgments and tried to do too much himself. Saban is an organization man. He had his disappointments as coach of the Patriots, but he impressed Wilson in one respect- his teams kept beating Buffalo. That got him the job.
He has the talent to play with. If everything falls right, the Bills will do more than make trouble for the contenders: they'll be among them."

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football

OFFENSE
"Ends: The future is still ahead for kids like Glenn Bass and Monte Crockett, both with great speed and little background. But the Bills right now are more interested in the present.
Rating: Fair
Tackles: Ken Rice and Harold Olson have all the equipment plus youth on their side. Rice, especially, is headed for All-Pro honors. Don Chelf is the swing man.
Rating: Very Good
Guards: The Bills are looking for a running mate for Billy Shaw, who was a bright rookie last year. It might be Orlando Ferrante from the Chargers or rookie Jim LeCompte. They can go back to Chuck Muelhaupt. All have good size.
Rating: Fair
Centers: Al Bemiller is due to become one of the standout centers in the AFL.
Rating: Good
Quarterbacks: First call goes to Warren Rabb, who lacks only experience. R.C. Reynolds has that. Johnny Green has the best arm of the trio.
Rating: Fair
Halfbacks: Fred Brown's injuries last year leaves the race wide open, but he can do.
Rating: Fair
Flankers: Despite his blazing speed, Elbert Dubenion still hasn't perfected his pass routes.
Rating: Good
Fullbacks: Art Baker showed signs of stardom late in the season.
Rating: Good
Strength: All those rookie of last year  (four on the front line) are maturing. The line from tackle to tackle looks better. Weakness: The passing game is erratic, the Bills lack a top-notch outside runner and there's no sustained threat among the receivers.
Rating: Fair"

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football

DEFENSE
"Ends: There's a strong chance they'll make a linebacker out of Mack Yoho and move one of the tackles, like Tom Day, over to team with the highly rated LaVerne Torczon.
Rating: Good
Tackles: Chuck McMurtry is the strong man of the league, and Jim Sorey is just as big, with Day pushing the latter for a starting job. No one runs on them.
Rating: Very Good
Linebackers: Ralph Felton made a big difference in the club after joining them last year. He steadies kids like Stew Barber with his experience. Archie Matsos is still a fireball in the middle, and now Mack Yoho joins the linebacker corps, with Barber the swing man.
Rating: Very Good
Halfbacks: This is the spot they've got to plug. They have high hopes for Jim Crotty after what he showed in late exposure, and Joe Cannavino had a good rep in Oakland.
Rating: Fair
Safeties: Billy Atkins was a standout for the Bills a year ago, and Jim Wagstaff, when in top shape, is every bit as good. Richie Lucas has to some place, too.
Rating: Very Good
Strength: There's a tough front four, first developed by Buster Ramsey, and the linebackers behind them mop up. Atkins keys the secondary. Weakness: If Yoho is moved, the Bills need another lineman, and the halfback situation is spotty.
Rating: Very Good"

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football


OFFENSE
Ends
Glenn Bass (Eastern Carolina)
Monte Crockett (New Mexico Highlands)
Tom Rychlec (American International)
Tom Pennington (Georgia)

Tackles
Ken Rice (Auburn)
Harold Olson (Clemson)
Don Chelf (Iowa)
Jerry Croft (Bowling Green)

Guards
Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech)
Orlando Ferrante (USC)
Chuck Muelhaupt (Iowa State)
Jim LeCompte (North Carolina)
John Dittrich (Wisconsin)

Centers
Al Bemiller (Syracuse)
Frank Jackunas (Detroit)

Quarterbacks
Johnny Green (Tennessee-Chattanooga)
Warren Rabb (LSU)
M.C. Reynolds (LSU)

Halfbacks
Fred Brown (Georgia)
Glen Glass (Tennessee)

Flankers
Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton)
Bucky Bolden (Morris Brown)

Fullbacks
Art Baker (Syracuse)
Wray Carlton (Duke)

DEFENSE
Ends
LaVerne Torczon (Nebraska)
Mack Yoho (Miami-Ohio)
Tom Sestak (McNeese State)
Jim Toons (North Carolina A & T)

Tackles
Chuck McMurtry (Whittier)
Jim Sorey (Texas Southern)
Tom Day (North Carolina A & T)
Tom Saidock (Michigan State)

Linebackers
Archie Matsos (Michigan State)
Ralph Felton (Maryland)
Stew Barber (Penn State)
Bill Johnson (Southeast Louisiana)
Jake Bodkin (South Carolina)
Paul Hodge (Pittsburgh)

Halfbacks
Jim Crotty (Notre Dame)
Joe Cannavino (Ohio State)
Wilmer Fowler (Northwestern)
Paul White (Florida)

Safeties
Jim Wagstaff (Idaho State)
Billy Atkins (Auburn)
Richie Lucas (Penn State)
Tom Dellinger (North Carolina State)

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1962 Football

OFFENSE
QB- Warren Rabb (LSU) 17, Johnny Green (Tennessee-Chattanooga) 18, M.C. Reynolds (LSU) 14  
HB- Fred Brown (Georgia) 46, Glen Glass (Tennessee)*, Dewey Bohling (Hardin-Simmons) 26, Wayne Crow (California) 22
FB- Cookie Gilchrist*, Art Baker (Syracuse) 33, Wray Carlton (Duke) 30
SE- Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 88, Tom Pennington (Georgia)*
T- Harold Olson (Clemson) 74, Jerry DeLucca (Middle Tennessee State) 72
G- Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech) 66, George Flint (Arizona State)*
C- Al Bemiller (Syracuse) 50, Frank Jackunas (Detroit)*
G- Tom Day (North Carolina A & T) 60, Orlando Ferrante (USC) 68
T- Ken Rice (Auburn) 75, Don Chelf (Iowa) 77
TE- Monte Crockett (New Mexico Highlands) 80, Tom Rychlec (American International) 81, Ernie Warlick (North Carolina Central)*
FL- Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44

DEFENSE
DE- Mack Yoho (Miami-Ohio) 82, Jim Toons (North Carolina A & T)*
DT- Sid Youngelman (Alabama) 76, Tom Saidock (Michigan State) 71
DT- Jim Sorey (Texas Southern) 79, Tom Sestak (McNeese State)*
DE- LaVerne Torczon (Nebraska) 87
LB- Ralph Felton (Maryland) 57, Marv Matuszak (Tulsa) 55
MLB- Archie Matsos (Michigan State) 56
LB- Stew Barber (Penn State) 64
CB- Jim Crotty (Notre Dame) 25, Joe Cannavino (Ohio State) 27
S- Jim Wagstaff (Idaho State) 22, Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11
S- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20, Carl Charon (Michigan State)*
CB- Booker Edgerson (Western Illinois)*, Wilmer Fowler (Northwestern) 23

SPECIALISTS
K- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
P- Wayne Crow (California) 22
KR- Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44
PR- Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 88

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Other 1961 Bill Profiles

RICHIE MCCABE
Cornerback
No. 45
Pittsburgh
"Richie has the greatest top-level experience in the league. The 27-year-old Pittsburgher, one of the lightest men in football at 168, played five years in the NFL with the Steelers and the Redskins. As a kid he was a water boy for the Steelers, and owner Art Rooney remembered this when Richie finished his schooling at Pitt. Normally introverted, he talks constantly to his opponents during the game to divert them from concentrating on pass catching."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

PRO'S PRO
"As a kid around Pittsburgh, McCabe used to carry the water bucket for the Steelers, so it was only natural he should wind up as one of their defensive halfbacks when he finished his football career at Pitt. He also played with the Redskins in his five-year tenure in the NFL.
Still young and spry at 27, Richie is the studious type, slim and bespectacled (off the field), with a gift for diagnosing opposition plays. He's a teacher in the off-season."

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1961 Football


JIM WAGSTAFF
Safety
No. 22
Idaho State
"Jim Wagstaff's previous exposure to coach Buster Ramsey got him a job with Buffalo. He went to Idaho State, where his finest achievement was breaking the Rocky Moutain Conference pole vault record; he topped 14 feet consistently. The leaping ability impressed the Detroit Lions, who had reached into the Rockies for such other great defenders as Jack Christiansen and Jim David, and they drafted him in 1958.
An injury spoiled his rookie season and in 1959 he was shipped to the Cardinals- just for decoration, it turned out. He became a free agent last fall after the Bills were in camp. Ramsey remembered the kid from Idaho with steel springs in his legs and picked him up. Among the rewards for the Bills was a 38-yard touchdown jaunt with a stolen pass that broke a second quarter tie with the Patriots and sparked Buffalo to a win in their December meeting.
Jim teaches school back home in Idaho to help support his growing family- three little ones. He also goes in strong for hunting and fishing in the Rockies."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football


JOHNNY GREEN
Quarterback
No. 18
Chattanooga
"None of the '61 rookie hopefuls at the Bills' training camp carried quarterback credentials, enough evidence to tab veteran Johnny Green as No. 1 at the T job. The 24-year-old Riviera Beach (California) rifle came from the Steelers early in '60 and went on to top all Bill aerialists, tossing 10 TD bombs and gaining 228 yards."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook


JOE KULBACKI
Halfback
No. 43
Purdue
"Keeping busy fielding punts and kickoffs in '60 was Joe Kulbacki, team leader in both departments. The 23-year-old Irvine (Pennsylvania) speedster gained 226 yards with 13 kickoffs and added 100 yards with 12 punts, many of which of which he refused to play 'safe' with a fair catch signal.
An all-purpose performer, Joe can also turn in a a dependable defensive job."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

1961 Profile: Billy Atkins

Safety-Kicker
No. 20
Auburn
"The most active of all pro punters in '60 was Birmingham's Billy Atkins whose 89 boots totaled 3,468 yards. Booting Billy, 26, was first exposed to pro fire as a 49er and turned in a creditable job as a defensive back. As a Bill he intercepted five passes and also tallied 45 points on 27 extra points and six field goals."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

1961 Profile: Chuck McMurtry

Defensive Tackle
No. 73
Whittier
"Among defensive AFL tackles, few had the range, speed and perseverance of Chuck McMurtry, an All-League selection. This 310-pounder out of Whittier, California climbed all over interior linemen, stymied running attacks and was unpopular with forward passers. Twenty-three-year-old Chuck never let up during the season and figures to be as menacing in '61."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

"When Buffalo's Chuck McMurtry develops Bud McFadin's competitive edge, he'll be in the same class. Chuck is the heftiest man in the game, almost impossible to move. He came into camp last year weighing 315 pounds, but coach Ramsey boiled him down to a playable 290 and he was the pleasantest surprise of the season. He hits hard- harder than necessary some foes complain. What the Bills didn't expect was his ability to move.
Chuck had played at little Whittier College and made the East-West Game, but he was still pretty much of an unknown quality (or quantity). In his early stages with Buffalo, the inexperience of the 22-year-old Giant was transparent. He could be trapped and knocked off his pins- you didn't dare challenge him head-on. But he came fast as the season progressed."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

1961 Rookie Profile: Billy Majors

Safety
9th Round
Tennessee
"The rookie most likely to earn a '61 post is Billy Majors, the ninth draft choice who bears a famous football name. An outstanding safetyman at Tennessee, he switched from a '59 tailback to a '60 safety slot, and was a sure-shot tackler and a buzz saw against a passing attack.
Billy is also valuable as a returner of kickoffs and punts."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

1961 Profile: Dan McGrew

Center
No. 52
Purdue
"A blocking force with the efficiency and downfield fierceness of a guard is Dan McGrew, the 23-year-old Martins Ferry (Ohio) phys ed instructor who was drafted originally by the Lions. Dan's long snaps are easy to handle and constantly on target for the punter and the place kicker."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

1961 Profile: Elbert Dubenion

Flanker
No. 44
Bluffton
"The only other halfback who's as spectacular as Abner Haynes is Elbert Dubenion of the Buffalo Bills. He went to little Bluffton College and scored 53 touchdowns. He was supposed to be the 'sleeper' of the Browns in 1959, but a bad knee suffered in the College All-Star camp sidelined him for the year.
The Bills, who play him as flanker back, rate him the fastest man in the game. He scored six touchdowns on runs of 40 yards or more last season. With a year of experience, he might set the league on fire in 1961- just like Abner Haynes in 1960."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

1961 Profile: Richie Lucas

Quarterback
No. 11
Penn State
"Runner, passer, pass-receiver - all were the '60 duties of Richie Lucas, the 22-year-old class guy out of Glassport, Pennsylvania. Richie worked at quarterback and halfback, and proved to be among the most versatile in the loop. His fine running and pass-catching abilities may earn him a flanking back slot in '61."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

1961 Profile: Wray Carlton

Fullback
No. 30
Duke
"First of the Bills in '60 rushing figures was Wray Carlton, the 25-year-old Wallace (North Carolina) walloping fullback. Wray racked up 533 yards and seven touchdowns as a ball-carrier, and gained 477 yards with 29 pass receptions, good for four tallies, helping him lead the club scorers with 66 points."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

1961 Profile: LaVerne Torczon

Defensive End
No. 87
Nebraska
"Few will argue about calling LaVerne Torczon, the Platte Center (Nebraska) bone-crusher, one of the AFL's superior defensive ends. Now 25, he lost his NFL shot with the Browns when called into service after gaining an All-America berth in '56. A unanimous All-AFL end selection, his crashing style dissolved many blocks.
The Bills' captain, his spirit generates throughout the squad."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

"The ends playing alongside these behemoths at defensive tackle are generally more modest in scale. They're like LaVerne Torczon, the captain and field leader of the Bills, a mere snip of a 240-pounder who was all-league last season. He's with the Bills because general manager Dick Gallagher remembered him from a trial with the Cleveland Browns (where Gallagher was a coach) four years ago. Torczon was a 210-pounder then and a linebacker. He had played center, guard and tackle for Nebraska, although he never played organized football until he went to college. The 25-year-old school teacher from Platte Center, Nebraska didn't make the Browns, but they admit they could use him at defensive end right now."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

1961 Profile: Archie Matsos

Middle Linebacker
No. 56
Michigan State
"Eight intercepted passes in '60 helped 26-year-old Archie Matsos gain All-League recognition. He has marvelous maneuverability and his fine speed enabled him to average 17.8 yards per return with his pass thefts. This Detroit dandy guards his middle linebacking post so well that he's assured of steady employment for the next few seasons."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

"Archie Matsos, the middle guard for the Bills, justified every All-Pro vote he got in 1960, and he got them all. The gregarious Greek- a charming, witty talker- is a burning competitor who caused Buffalo coach Buster Ramsey to exclaim after Archie's show in a game against Denver last September, 'One of the greatest jobs I have ever seen in football.' Buster isn't a guy who goes in for superlatives easily. He's used to the very best, and he had it when he coached the defense for the Detroit Lions, who have a middle linebacker named Joe Schmidt.
With his jokes and constant chatter, Archie is the opposite of silent Joe. But's he like the Lion leader as a middle man of the defense- a lot of heart and a lot of hustle.
When he showed up at the Bills' training camp last year, Ramsey figured, 'He's just not big enough for a linebacker.' The scales stopped at 205 pounds. But Matsos made a place for himself in the first contact drill when he rattled a couple of fullbacks with driving tackles. His modest (by football standards) size had a compensating factor. Archie is probably the quickest of all AFL linebackers. He intercepted eight passes last fall to rank third in the league and returned them an impressive 142 yards, surpassed only by David Webster of Dallas.
The Chief, as the Bills call him, is from Detroit and played three years at Michigan State as a center, guard and linebacker. But he never scored a touchdown until he plucked off a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter of their November meeting and raced 20 yards into the end zone to inaugurate a 32-3 rout of the Western Division champs. Not a bad beginning.
As a collegian Matsos never attracted much attention. The other linebacker for the Spartans was All-American Dan Currie, now of the Green Bay Packers. Archie is 26 years and has an insatiable yen to travel- during the fall, in the direction of the ball."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

1961 Profile: Buster Ramsey

Head Coach
"Recognized as a top defensive teacher, he was boss of the Lions' line for eight years before taking the head post at Buffalo.
Born in Townsend, Tennessee, he was that state's outstanding scholastic lineman before moving to William & Mary, where he was an All-America guard for two years. Buster played five seasons with the Cardinals, shining as an elite linebacker, and he retired as a player in mid-'51.
Cooking, bridge and dancing are his main off-the-field pursuits."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook

"Buster Ramsey knew what would work against pro offenses- his Bills led the AFL in total defense. It should have been expected. When he was defensive coach for Detroit, it perennially featured the finest defense in the game. And Buster quickly drilled Buffalo into being the stingiest unit of the new league; the Bills also led in pass interceptions.
Buster is a blustery mountaineer from the heart of the Smokies in east Tennessee. He came out of the hills to sedate William and Mary College and became an All-American guard. After three years as a CPO in World War II, he was a linebacker with the Chicago Cardinals and made All-Pro. As a player he was extremely aggressive, and he transferred those qualities to coaching, which he took up full time in 1952 at Detroit. Buster was with the Lions eight seasons and developed the greatest defensive stars in the game- Joe Schmidt, Yale Lary, Jack Christiansen, Jim David. 'The Lions had a great defense,' he says, 'because we left nothing to chance. We really worked at it.'"

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

1961 Buffalo Bills Outlook

"The fight to finish behind Houston in the East is expected to be a close-to-the wire thing. Buffalo's Bills are good-field no-hit; the Titans of New York are good-hit no-field and the Boston Patriots are a little of this and that, needing size, speed and a complete collapse by the other three clubs in their division to escape a cellar berth.
Too much defense and a promising group of yearlings suggest that the Bills have the best shot at the runner-up slot. Coach Buster Ramsey's group had the best defensive figures in last year's AFL taffy pull and there's no reason to doubt that this stubbornness will continue. The need, however, is for a tiptop quarterback and an offensive line that will create some daylight.
Johnny Green, Richie Lucas and Northwestern's John Talley, a rookie, are the scramblers for quarterback, each with specific recommendations, particularly Talley, who can throw as deep as anyone now on the pro rolls. Halfback and fullback candidates are plentiful and powerful, particularly Syracuse's Art Baker and Fred Brown of Georgia. Both should give a bit more foot to a sluggish running attack. They will battle holdovers Wray Carlton and William Fowler, and Ramsey may be placed in the happy position of alternating pairs of runners. There's no question of the flanker-back position; it belongs to Elbert Dubenion.
The pass-catching ends come in size, speed and ability, and the development of a bull's-eye thrower will determine the offensive success of the Bills. In addition to Dubenion, other top-rate receivers are ends Tom Rychlec, Monte Crockett, Dan Chamberlain and Al Hoisington. First-year challengers are Wake Forest's Bob Allen, Tommy Causey of Louisiana Tech and Villanova's Tony Varrecchione.
Up front is where the Bills took a beating in '60, and it is where they must produce the juice that makes for a respectable attack. Rookies to get some careful priming for offensive line jobs are tackles Ken Rice, Auburn, and Stu Barber, Penn State. At center may be Al Bemiller of Syracuse. Bill Shaw of Georgia Tech and Barber will be tested at guard.
There's little wrong with the defense, from line to deep safetymen, and a freshman will have a difficult time getting his name in the starting lineup. Most likely to catch on, however, are tackle Harry Rakowski, The Citadel; halfbacks Billy Majors, Tennessee, and Ken Webb, Houston; and linebackers Jerry Frye, South Carolina, and Lou Reale, U. of Buffalo.
Those rib-rocking defensive ends, LaVerne Torczon and Mack Yoho, middle linebacker Arhie Matsos and halfbacks Billy Atkins, Jim Wagstaff, Richie McCabe and Jack Johnson are seven rather obvious reasons why a defensive rookie candidate will find himself steeped in worry and overtime. The Bills are bold and obstinate defensively, an overwhelming reason for selecting them to finish no worse than second."

-1961 Pro Football Handbook


OFFENSE
"Ends: Tom Rychlec, an old Lion, is the steadiest of the bunch as the tight end. Monte Crockett is coming on to challenge Dan Chamberlain for the spread-end position.
Rating: Good
Tackles: This could be the most improved spot on the team if those rookie tackles like Shaw and Barber pan out. Harold Olson will be with the club from the start and he'll help.
Rating: Fair
Guards: Don Chelf and Phil Blazer are incumbents but face a stiff fight to hold off new talent, which includes the rookie tackles. More speed is badly needed to do the job.
Rating: Fair
Centers: Dan McGrew is experienced but don't be surprised if Al Bemiller beats him.
Rating: Fair
Quarterbacks: The big question mark. Buffalo still predicts greatness for Richie Lucas.
Rating: Poor
Halfbacks: Wilmer Fowler has the inside track, but Fred Brown will probably alternate.
Rating:Fair
Flankers: Elbert Dubenion could prove one of the truly exciting players.
Rating: Very Good
Fullbacks: Wray Carlton gets plenty of support from the hard-blocking, plunging Art Baker.
Rating: Good
Strength: The running has perked up with the addition of Brown and Baker to spell Carlton and Fowler. Dubenion is always a breakaway threat. Weakness: The Bills put too much reliance on rookies to bolster the interior line blocking. And the quarterbacks have to prove themselves.
Rating: Fair"

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1961 Football

DEFENSE
"Ends: LaVerne Torczon was All-Pro and the leader of the line, with Mack Yoho running him a close second. They can do it all by themselves, but Harry Rakowski will help."
Rating: Very Good
Tackles: If Gene Grabosky's knee is okay after surgery, that's some pile of beef the enemy must buck when he's paired with Chuck McMurtry. And Jim Sorey's just as big.
Rating: Very Good
Linebackers: Archie Matsos was the class of the league's linebackers last season, an inspirational performer. The Bills plan to try out some kids at the corners, which means that Jack Laraway (his shoulder mended) and Joe Schaffer will have to step lively.
Rating: Good
Halfbacks: Richie McCabe and Billy Kinard are pro-tested vets who make few mistakes and have the spryness to keep up with fast ends. A swing man would help here.
Rating: Good
Safeties: Billy Atkins' retirement would hurt if prize prospect Billy Majors hadn't happened along. Jim Wagstaff at the other safety is going to be one of the best.
Rating: Good
Strength: The forward wall is stingy against the run. Matsos is all anyone could ask for in a middle linebacker, and the secondary is airtight against passes. Weakness: Coach Buster Ramsey hopes to shore up the corner linebackers and wants another top defensive back.
Rating: Very Good"

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1961 Football

"If the Bills find their quarterback in Richie Lucas or Johnny Green, they'll make a pack of trouble. As expected, Buster Ramsey organized a fine defense in '60 but didn't do so well with the offense. He's on the spot and the Bills think he's learned his lesson.
The front office did the best job of collaring talent where it was needed- Art Baker of Syracuse to help Wray Carlton at fullback, and three superb tackle prospects (Ken Rice, Billy Shaw, Stew Barber) to strengthen the line. Elbert Dubenion should be an exciting receiver; Arch Matsos is the class of the linebackers."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football

"It was no surprise that Buster Ramsey had a strong defense in the opening AFL campaign, but the big question is still: 'Can his offense move the ball?' The popular theory that defense wins pro football championships was given a severe jolt in the seat of the pants last season in upstate New York.
Buster Ramsey, just as everyone suspected, fielded a crack defensive outfit at Buffalo in the first year of the American Football League. Ramsey had an impressive defensive background himself, eight years as a highly respected defensive coach with the Detroit Lions in the senior loop.
The Buffalo Bills were considerably out in front of the other seven teams in defense. For example, they allowed the opposition a passing average of only 75 yards per game, some 30 steps lower than the next ranking team. The Bills' opponents averaged fewer than 100 yards rushing; the Buffalo secondary picked off 33 enemy passes. This was an excellent showing in any league and made beautiful reading in AFL statistics at the season's end.
But there was something else that read rather ominously to Buffalo researchers- the club's 5-8-1 record in league play and its third-place finish in the Eastern Division. Ramsey's bunch just couldn't move the ball. They trailed everyone in pass offense and total offense, and rated just a fraction ahead of last-place Denver in rushing.
So Ramsey has got to juice up that offense in '61. First, of course, he must find a real operator for quarterback. That was a trouble spot all last season. The Bills tried three guys there, but none of them panned out. Tommy O'Connell, the most experienced, tried to make a comeback from the college coaching ranks (as did Cotton Davidson in Dallas). It was rather unsuccessful, and now the former Illinois quarterback has returned to coaching, this time on the Buffalo staff. Johnny Green, a Chattanooga product who saw a little action with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Toronto Argonauts, succeeded O'Connell in mid-season and had his hot-and-cold moments.
Richie Lucas, the former Penn State All-American, finished up the season. Richie was bothered by injuries during the first part of the year, so he hasn't had a real good shot at the job. He'll get it this year, along with the strong-armed Green and a touted rookie passer, John Talley, who had a brief tryout with the Dallas Cowboys in the summer of 1960.
The Buffalo quarterbacks certainly weren't entirely to blame for the situation; most of the time large and ferocious linemen from the opposing squad were climbing aboard their protesting frames, ripping off arms and legs. Therefore, most of the fault was placed on the offensive line.
'The speed and the experience just wasn't there,' said Ramsey. 'We didn't block for our runners and we didn't offer our passers protection. We have got to improve in that department if we're going to be a contender in 1961.'
With the problem thus pinpointed, the Bills went about building up the levee. General manager Dick Gallagher signed six of the club's first seven draft choices. And four of them were big, healthy college linemen with garish reputations.
Ken Rice, for example, everybody's All-American from Auburn, is a tremendous prospect at 250 pounds- and he's still growing. Then there are Bill Shaw, a 240-pounder from Georgia Tech; Al Bemiller, a king-size center from Syracuse; and Stewart Barber, 235, a whopper from Penn State.
The Bills weren't exactly deficient in runners, but they lacked teammates who could knock enemies out of the way. Fullback Wray Carlton, the Duke product, was the workhorse, along with speed merchant Wilmer Fowler. Thanks to the draft deparment, they will have aid this season. Art Baker, a Syracuse powerhouse, has been added to the fullback stall, and Fred Brown, a star Georgia halfback, will join Fowler's circle.
The most exciting prospect on the roster is flankerback Elbert Dubenion, already carrying the future tag of 'superstar.' Dubenion scored six touchdowns on runs of 40 yards or more last year and snagged 42 passes to earn Ramsey's description of having 'the potential to be one of football's all-time greats.' The Buffalo publicity department calls Dubenion 'the fastest man in pro football.'
Other proven receivers are Tom Rychlec, a gluey individual who ranked ninth among the league's receivers last year despite Buffalo's poor record; spread-end Monte Crockett; and Dan Chamberlain.
So, there you have Buffalo's two most acute weaknesses, offensive linemen and quarterback, and the candidates for the cure.
To turn to brighter things, take a look at these Alps who fill up the middle of the Bills' defensive line. Chuck McMurtry goes a mere 310 pounds when he can find a pair of scales equal to the task. Jim Sorey, in his third year of pro ball, weighs in at 270 and is called 'Bull' for obvious reasons.
As if that weren't a vulgar display of beef, remember there's a heralded gent from Syracuse, 275-pound Gene Grabosky, who is shipshape again after a knee operation in January.
The front line of defense is captained by All-AFL end LaVerne Torczon, the 235-pound Nebraska roughhouser, and balanced by Mack Yoho, a 240-pounder who also got votes on the all-league team.
Archie Matsos was an All-AFL linebacker and Richie McCabe received similar honors at defensive halfback. Ramsey, a hard man to please in this area, would like to find another linebacker and defensive back among the draftees. The top halfback prospect would seem to be Billy Majors, member of the illustrious Tennessee football clan, who may fill in for the retired Bill Atkins.
Buffalo is being picked by most AFL observers to contend with Houston for the Eastern Division title. But to do that, defensive specialist Ramsey must come up with a considerable tougher offense. The 1960 Bills proved defense can't do it all."

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1961 Football

BUFFALO ROOKIES
"The Bills corralled Fred Brown, a speedster from Georgia. Brown, a nephew of former Alabama great Johnny Jack Brown, fills Buffalo's need for a breakaway threat and auxiliary receiver. Fullback Art Baker of Syracuse is a powerful runner, a fierce tackler as a linebacker and a strong, solid blocker. The Bills outbid the Eagles for him, and he'll play plenty.
Defense was also a prime consideration- Buffalo has Billy Majors of the Tennessee Majors clan (all three brothers played varsity ball and Johnny was All-America)."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1961 Pro Football


"If there is a dark horse choice for the AFL championship this year, it has to be the Bills. Slowly but surely, coach Buster Ramsey is putting together the sort of team that could tear the league apart if a few more cogs and wheels get fitted into the right places.
A year ago Buffalo was only able to sign one outstanding rookie, tackle Harold Olson of Clemson. Ramsey had to rely on free agents and NFL castoffs, and the Bills had a rough time getting started. They lost eight of their first ten exhibition and official games. Ramsey concentrated on his defense and gambled that the offense would come around. It didn't quite work out that way but the Bills managed to win five games and tie another.
Buffalo placed three men on the all-league team, and all were defensive specialists: end Laverne Torczon; linebacker Archie Matsos; and halfback Richie McCabe. A pair of huge tackles, 280-pound Jim Sorey and 290-pound Chuck McMurtry, anchored one of the best lines in the AFL.
With 12 of his first 18 picks signed up this season- the best record of any team in the league- Ramsey thinks he has the material to fill in the few remaining gaps. The defense is still being emphasized and the Bills signed up three fine tackles in Ken Rice of Auburn, Bill Shaw of Georgia and Stew Barber of Penn State, along with center Al Bemiller of Syracuse.
'If those four boys come through for us,' says Ramsey, 'we can be awfully tough.'
The backfield isn't being ignored, either. The Buffalo quarterbacking was the poorest in the league last season until former Penn State All-American Richie Lucas took over from Tommy O'Connell and Johnny Green in the final game. Ramsey liked what he saw so much that Lucas is getting first crack at the job this year. With O'Connell now a Bills assistant coach, Richie must beat out the long-throwing Green and newcomer John Talley of Northwestern.
Talley could be a sleeper. He reported to the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL last year, but left quickly when he learned that the team had three other quarterbacks with no-cut contracts. One of the Cowboy coaches admits privately that Talley could have won a job otherwise.
Billy Majors of Tennessee, one of the better defensive backs in the country a year ago, should lend youth to a department where Buffalo was good but lacked depth. But Ramsey's big effort will be to bring his offense up to the level of his defense, and that may take some doing.
Elbert Dubenion, a 197-pound sprinter who plays flanker halfback, is a great running and pass-catching threat in the Buffalo backfield, which is otherwise undistinguished. Wilmer Fowler and rookie Fred Brown of Georgia will push Joe Kulbacki for the other halfback job, while fullback Wray Carlton could lose his job to 220-pound Art Baker of Syracuse.
With all those linemen around, it wouldn't take much of an offense to win games for the Bills. Even Ramsey admits that he would be content with average but consistent quarterbacking.
When a coach says that, you know he's got to have quite a team. And the Buffalo Bills like quite a team this year."

-Pro Football Stars, 1961 Edition


1961 BUFFALO BILLS PRESEASON DEPTH CHARTS
OFFENSE
Ends
Dan Chamberlain (Sacramento State)
Monte Crockett (New Mexico Highlands)
Tom Rychlec (American International)
Al Hoisington (Pasadena JC)

Tackles
Harold Olson (Clemson)
Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech)
Jack Scott (Ohio State)
Stew Barber (Penn State)

Guards
Phil Blazer (North Carolina)
Don Chelf (Iowa)
Chuck Muelhaupt (Iowa State)
Jake Bodkin (South Carolina)

Centers
Dan McGrew (Purdue)
Al Bemiller (Syracuse)

Quarterbacks
Richie Lucas (Penn State)
Johnny Green (Tennessee-Chattanooga)

Halfbacks
Joe Kublacki (Purdue)
Wilmer Fowler (Northwestern)

Flankers
Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton)
Fred Brown (Georgia)

Fullbacks
Wray Carlton (Duke)
Art Baker (Syracuse)

DEFENSE
Ends
Mack Yoho (Miami-Ohio)
LaVerne Torczon (Nebraska)
Harry Rakowski (Citadel)
Floyd Powers (Mississippi State)

Tackles
Chuck McMurtry (Whittier)
Jim Sorey (Texas Southern)
Gene Grabosky (Syracuse)
Ken Rice (Auburn)

Linebackers
Archie Matsos (Michigan State)
Lou Reale (Buffalo)
Jack Laraway (Purdue)
Joe Hergert (Florida)
Joe Schaffer (Tennessee)
Bernie Buzyniski (Holy Cross)

Halfbacks
Richie McCabe (Pittsburgh)
Billy Kinard (Mississippi)
Joe Griffith (Miami-Ohio)
Max Webb (Rice)

Safeties
Jim Wagstaff (Idaho State)
Jack Johnson (Miami)
Billy Majors (Tennessee)
John Moore (Miami-Ohio)

-Murray Olderman, All-Pro 1961 Football

OFFENSE
QB- Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11, Johnny Green (Tennessee-Chattanooga) 18, John Talley (Northwestern)*
HB- Wilmer Fowler (Northwestern) 23, Fred Brown (Georgia)*, Joe Kublacki (Purdue) 43
FB- Wray Carlton (Duke) 30, Art Baker (Syracuse)*, Carl Smith (Tennessee) 35
SE- Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 88, Dan Chamberlain (Sacramento State) 85, Tom Causey (Louisiana Tech)*
T- Harold Olson (Clemson) 74, Ken Rice (Auburn)*, Jack Scott (Ohio State) 76
G- Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech)*, Jake Bodkin (South Carolina)*
C- Al Bemiller (Syracuse)*, Dan McGrew (Purdue) 52
G- Chuck Muelhaupt (Iowa State) 70, Wayne Wolff (Wake Forest)*
T- Stew Barber (Penn State)*, Don Chelf (Iowa) 77
TE- Tom Rychlec (American International) 81, Monte Crockett (New Mexico Highlands) 80, Jerry Frye (South Carolina)*
FL- Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44

DEFENSE
DE- Mack Yoho (Miami-Ohio) 71, Harry Rakowski (Citadel) 86
DT- Chuck McMurtry (Whittier) 73, Jack Scott (Ohio State) 76
DT- Jim Sorey (Texas Southern) 79, Gene Grabosky (Syracuse) 78
DE- LaVerne Torczon (Nebraska) 87, Floyd Powers (Mississippi State)*
LB- Ralph Felton (Maryland) 57, Joe Hergert (Florida) 54
MLB- Archie Matsos (Michigan State) 56, Bernie Buzyniski (Holy Cross) 55
LB- Joe Schaffer (Tennessee) 67, Lou Reale (Buffalo) 53
CB- Richie McCabe (Pittsburgh) 45, John Moore (Miami-Ohio) 32
S- Jim Wagstaff (Idaho State) 22, Joe Griffith (Miami-Ohio) 41
S- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20, Billy Majors (Tennessee)*
CB- Billy Kinard (Mississippi) 24, Jack Johnson (Miami) 42

SPECIALISTS
K- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
P- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
KR- Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44
PR- Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 88

* rookie

Saturday, May 17, 2014

1960 Buffalo Bills Pre-Season Roster and Depth Chart

ROSTER
Birtho Arnold (T) Ohio State
Bill Atkins (DB) Auburn
Maurice Bassett (FB) Langston
Ed Bowers (DB) Syracuse
Bob Brodhead (QB) Duke
Dick Brubaker (E) Ohio State
Gary Cobb (G) Miami (Ohio)
Ed Coffin (HB-FB) Syracuse
John Conger (T) Appalachian State
Albert Lee Crow (T) William & Mary
Ray Davis (FB) Detroit
Elbert Dubenion (HB) Bluffton
Dick Evans (E) VMI
Willie Evans (HB) Buffalo
Frank Finney (QB) Brown
Bob Finkowski (HB) Iowa
Russ Goings (G) Xavier
Joe Guido (HB) Youngstown
Darrell Harper (HB) Michigan
Billy Kinard (DB) Mississippi
Gerald King (LB-G) Kent State
Tony Latell (E) Dayton
Richie Lucas (QB) Penn State
Archie Matsos (G-LB) Michigan State
Dan McGrew (C) Purdue
Chuck McMurtry (T) Whittier
Ed Miller (G-LB) East Kentucky State
Ron Miller (E) Vanderbilt
Ray Moss (LB) Tennessee
Mike Muehlbauer (G) Notre Dame
Chuck Muelhaupt (G) Iowa State
Dave Nichting (E) John Carroll
Tommy O'Connell (QB) Illinois
Harold Olson (T) Clemson
Pete Opolka (FB) Buffalo
Vince Palyan (FB-LB) Dayton
Jim Payne (G) Clemson
Bob Pepe (E) North Carolina State
Merlin Priddy (FB) TCU
Dennis Remmert (LB) Iowa State Teachers College
Charlie Rutkowski (T-DE) Ripon College
Tom Rychlec (E) American International
Charles Santos (FB)
Joe Schaffer (T-G) Tennessee
Tom Schulte (E) East Kentucky State
Bob Sedlock (T) Georgia
Jim Sellars (LB) Cortland State
Art Smith (FB-HB) Cortland State
Jim Sorey (T) Texas Southern
Phil Svetich (FB) Drake
George Tardiff (T-G) St. Benedict's (Kentucky)
LaVerne Torczon (E) Nebraska
Joe Trivisonno (FB) Ohio State
Jerry Ward (G) Dayton
Bob Williams (G) South Carolina State
Frank Wyde (T) Cornell
William Zavaldi (LB) Western Illinois

-1960 Pro Football Handbook


DEPTH CHART
Offense
QB- Tommy O'Connell (Illinois) 14, Bob Brodhead (Duke) 17, Johnny Green (Tennessee-Chattanooga) 18
HB- Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11, Joe Kublacki (Purdue) 43, Darrell Harper (Michigan) 41
FB- Maurice Bassett (Langston) 38, Wray Carlton (Duke) 30, Merlin Priddy (TCU) 32, Carl Smith (Tennessee) 35
SE- Dick Brubaker (Ohio State) 88, Bob Pepe (North Carolina State) 82, Dan Chamberlain (Sacramento State) 84
T- Harold Olson (Clemson) 74
G- Jerry Ward (Purdue) 61, Phil Blazer (North Carolina) 60
C- Dan McGrew (Purdue) 52
G- Chuck Muelhaupt (Iowa State) 70
T- Bob Sedlock (Georgia) 75, Don Chelf (Iowa) 77
TE- Tom Rychlec (American International) 81, Monte Crockett (New Mexico Highlands) 80
FL- Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44, Tony Latell (Dayton) 86

Defense
DE- Mack Yoho (Miami-Ohio) 71, Charlie Rutkowski (Ripon College) 85
DT- Chuck McMurtry (Whittier) 73, Jack Scott (Ohio State) 76
DT- Jim Sorey (Texas Southern) 79
DE- LaVerne Torczon (Nebraska) 87
LB- Jack Laraway (Purdue) 57, Dennis Remmert (Iowa State Teachers College) 53
MLB- Archie Matsos (Michigan State) 56, Bernard Buzyniski (Holy Cross) 55
LB- Joe Schaffer (Tennessee) 67
HB- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20, Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11
S- Jim Wagstaff (Idaho State) 22, Ed Bowers (Syracuse) 21
S- Richie McCabe (Pittsburgh) 45
HB- Billy Kinard (Mississippi) 24, Jack Johnson (Miami) 42

K- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
P- Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
KR- Joe Kublacki (Purdue) 43
PR- Joe Kublacki (Purdue) 43

Friday, May 16, 2014

1960 Buffalo Bills Outlook

"The Buffalo Bills will be handled by Frank 'Buster' Ramsey, the former molder of stout Detroit Lions' lines. Buster is backfield rich and hopes some of his young collegians can click immediately. Particularly bright prospects are Penn State's Richie Lucas, Frank Finney of Brown and Tommy O'Connell, who was the Cleveland Browns' No. 1 T-man before he retired from NFL action. Other backs expected to get steady employment are Maurice Bassett and Billy Kinard, a couple of ex-NFLers."

-1960 Pro Football Handbook

"An old-pro look makes Buffalo's re-entry into professional football promising: the Bills are one-two as a preseason favorite in the AFL. The Bills, carrying pro football back to a town that was a solid entry in the old All-America Conference, have the most professional look in the AFL. Owner Ralph Wilson has owned stock in the Lions. General manager Dick Gallagher was a valued assistant of Paul Brown for many years. Head coach Buster Ramsey built that terrific defense during Detroit's championship years.
And the Bills, more than any other club, thoroughly canvassed the country for men with pro experience and dredged up some good ones. Gallagher persuaded Tommy O'Connell, who piloted Cleveland to an Eastern Division title in 1957, to forget about coaching at Drake and become a quarterback again. He's only 29. Maurice Bassett, Cleveland's regular fullback before Jimmy Brown, is also in the fold.
It's too bad they can't use one of Ramsey's assistants actively, for Jack Butler was the outstanding defensive back in pro ball for several years at Pittsburgh until bad ankles persuaded him to become a strategist this season. There'll be other secondary veterans with experience, though- Bill Kinard of Green Bay and Bill Atkins of San Francisco. Old pros appear at offensive end, too, in Tom Rychlec of the Lions and Dick Brubaker of the Cardinals. Dan McGrew, a center, and LaVerne Torczon, a linebacker, have played in the NFL.
The Bills didn't neglect young blood, either. In the draft they nabbed Richie Lucas, Penn State's All-American quarterback, a fine talent any place in the backfield, offense or defense. Harold Olson carries 250 pounds at tackle and was the equal of the more publicized Lou Cordileone at Clemson. Bob Pepe was a fine end at North Carolina State, and check a kid named Elbert Dubenion of Bluffton College who was caught in a contract squeeze between Canada and Cleveland last year that kept him out of pro ball. He's a halfback who has scampered the 100 in 9.5.
The Bills have already earned enough respect to be ranked with Houston as a preseason favorite in a new circuit where assessment is difficult."

-Murray Olderman, Sports All-Stars 1960 Pro Football

"Up in Buffalo they will tell you in rapid-fire order that the resurrected Buffalo Bills have the biggest coach, the finest rookie, the fastest halfback and the best team in the American Football League.
There is no argument on the first count. Buster Ramsey weighs in at 260 pounds and the outspoken Bills' pilot should be one of the really colorful characters in a league striving desperately for just that quality.
As for the rest:
Richie Lucas of Penn State is the prize rookie and the Buffalo boosters may be right again. He can make this squad at any one of three positions- quarterback, halfback and defensive halfback. There seems to be some question as to his passing accuracy but he does a workmanlike job and when he runs the option they'd better keep out of his way.
The Bills undoubtedly had to bid high to land Lucas. He was the NFL Redskins' top draft selection this season, and All-Americans come high on the open market. But the feeling in the Buffalo front office is that this quiet, almost shy young man, who is a master of the rollout pass option, can develop into one of the top drawing cards in the league.
As an added argument, the 6-1, 183-pounder was one of the country's top collegiate pass defenders last year. He is a vicious tackler in the secondary and could handle the team's punting in a pinch.
Elbert Dubenion is the speedster out of Bluffton College, and certainly his 9.5 time in the 100 supports that contention. But Buffalo fans had better wait awhile. Last fall Dunebion hurt his knee and it cost him a shot with the Browns. When he checked into summer camp, he hadn't played a game in over a year. He can run- but he'll have to prove it.
Now for that 'best team' tag. The Bills rate as top contender for division honors. Ramsey has chosen his talent cautiously and well. He coaxed quarterback Tommy O'Connell out of the head coaching job at Drake and back into pro football. O'Connell, who passed the Browns to a divisional title in 1957, is the quarterback of record. His availability opens the way for Lucas as a passing halfback if Ramsey wants to get more artillery into the attack.
He also has a 205-pound fullback named Merlin Priddy, who is billed by the Buffalo publicity machine as 'the greatest second-string fullback in the history of college football.' That may be overstating the case, but it is true that Priddy had little chance to show to advantage as an understudy for All-American Jack Spikes at TCU. Once out of Spikes' shadow last year in the Cotton Bowl, however, he wound up with the award for most valuable player.
Rounding out the class of backfield talent that checked into summer camp was Maurcie Bassett, the ex-Browns fullback trying for a comeback. The 220-pounder lists his age as 29 (which may be a cautious accounting) and his return to form is by no means certain. A sound Bassett could really add to an already talent-rich backfield situation.
The end corps has good experience. Two NFL vets, Dick Brubaker (Cards) and Tom Rychlec (Lions) are the top hands, with a talented pass-catching rookie from North Carolina State named Bob Pepe as a challenge to the seasoned duo.
The same is true of the defensive secondary where NFL recruits Billy Kinnard (brother of Mississippi All-American Bruiser) and Billy Atkins are sure starters. Atkins will also handle the punting and place-kicking. He averaged 41 yards a boot with the 49ers so there seems to be little difficulty ahead there.
Ramsey's chief headache is centered about the interior line. Key rookies up front include 'Dangerous' Dan McGrew (Purdue center- 238 pounds), Jerry Ward (Dayton guard- 238 pounds) and Bob Sedlock (Georgia tackle- 295 pounds). There is also a 240-pounder from Nebraska named LaVerne Torczon, who is listed as an end but will probably wind up with an assignment in the interior line.
The rest of the line picture is gloomy. But Ramsey is peculiarly suited for his task. He compiled a brilliant reputation as a defensive coach with the NFL Lions. His proteges include Jack Christiansen, Joe Schmidt and Yale Lary.
They have been waiting 11 year for pro football to return to Buffalo and if the defense jells, the Bills could be a winner the first time out. Certainly this club will have drawing power.
'Lucas will make this league,' enthuses Bills' publicity man Chuck Burr. 'He'll be the most colorful player in it.' He may be right."

-Jerry Izenberg, 1960 Dell Sports Magazine Pro Football