Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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

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