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 within 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- Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11, Fred Brown (Georgia) 46, 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

* rookie


1962 Buffalo Bills Profile Summary
Head Coach - Lou Saban

QB - Jack Kemp (Occidental) 15
QB - Johnny Green (Tennessee-Chattanooga) 18
QB - Al Dorow (Michigan State) 12
QB - Warren Rabb (LSU) 17
HB - Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11
HB- Fred Brown (Georgia) 46
FB - Art Baker (Syracuse) 33
FL - Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44
SE- Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 88
TE - Tom Rychlec (American International) 81
G- Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech) 66
T - Ken Rice (Auburn) 75

DT - Chuck McMurtry (Whittier) 73
DT- Sid Youngelman (Alabama) 76
DT - Tom Saidock (Michigan State) 75
DE- LaVerne Torczon (Nebraska) 87
MLB - Archie Matsos (Michigan State) 56
CB - Joe Cannavino (Ohio State) 27
S - Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
S - Richie Lucas (Penn State) 11

K - Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20
P - Billy Atkins (Auburn) 20

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