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Coffin Corner Index

THE COFFIN CORNER - VOLUME 17 - 1995

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Number 1:

Winslow, Kellen by Don Smith. Kellen Winslow, a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 1995, helped redefine the position of tight end during his nine-year career (1979-87) with San Diego, catching 88 or more passes three times in a span of four years.

Dick McCann by Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dick McCann, a former journalist and general manager of the Washington Redskins, was the first director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Best of 1945 by Bob Carroll. Who were the best players in the NFL in 1945? The writer weighs the selections from several official and unofficial contemporary polls to arrive at his own all-star squad.

[Knute] Rockne's Pro Football Roots by Emil Klosinski. Knute Rockne got his start in football as a sandlot pro player and his coaching start as a pro coach of South Bend teams. An anecdote-filled account of the famous coach’s formative years.

Indiana Football Hall of Fame by Bob Carroll. The Indiana Football Hall of Fame opened in Richmond in 1974. The hall features individual displays of each inductee, some of whom earned their plaques as Indiana high schoolers, some at the university level, and others who made names for themselves as pros.

Eddie Rucinski (mini-bio) by Bob Carroll. A thumbnail profile of end and defensive back Eddie Rucinski, who played six seasons (1941-46) with Brooklyn and the Chicago Cardinals.

The Greatest Game Ever Played (poem) by V. Mastro and C.C. Staph. A poem celebrating the 1958 Colts-Giants classic overtime title game.

Doc Young and the Hammond Pros by Bob Carroll. Dr. Alva Young was one of the NFL’s founders. “Doc’s team, the Hammond Pros, never had a winning year in the league and probably never finished a football season with a black entry in the ledger book. Nevertheless, Doc Young helped get the league started, helped for a while to keep it going, and deserves some measure of honor for fighting the good fight.”

Number 2:

Phil Bengston: Green Bay's Defensive Genius by Ed Gruver. A short, appreciative profile of Phil Bengtson, the architect of Green Bay’s defense during the glory years of the ‘60s.

Henry Jordan by Don Smith. The Hall-of-Fame defensive tackle’s career spanned 13 seasons (1957-69), all but the first two as a key member of Green Bay’s five championship teams of the 1960s.

PF, SEF, DEF and the Greatest Offenses by Raymond Lee. Simply measuring a team’s average yards per game or points scored per game may not be the best way to determine its offensive power. Using a new system employing Points Factor, Scoring Efficiency Factor, and Drive Efficiency Factor, the author arrives at the 15 most dominant offensive clubs in history, led by the 1951 Rams.

Alex Webster (mini-bio) by Bob Carroll. After starring in Canada, the hard-running back helped propel the New York Giants into six championship games during his 10 seasons. Webster went on to coach the Giants for five seasons.

HOF Top 20: Coaches, Comb Yds, Pass, Rush, Rec Score by Pro Football Hall of Fame. A list ranking head coaches by lifetime victories. Also lists of the Top 20 passers, receivers, rushers, and scorers through the 1994 season.

Jim Benton (mini-bio) by Bob Carroll. Lanky Jim Benton ranked only behind Don Hutson as a pro pass receiver during most of the 1940s. He combined deceptive speed, a long reach, and sure hands to lead the league in each major receiving category at least once.

Lynn Chandnois by Jim Sargent. Reviewing the career of Lynn Chandnois, who was regarded as one of the game’s top halfbacks during his seven seasons in Pittsburgh (1950-56).

Number 3:

Lee Roy Selmon by Don Smith. Tampa Bay defensive end Lee Roy Selmon was the first player selected in the 1976 NFL draft; two decades later the 1980 NFL Man of the Year and perennial Pro Bowler was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ohio Valley in 1924 by Bob Gill. In 1924, NFL-caliber independent powerhouses in Ironton, Middletown, and other cities in the Ohio Valley were on the cusp of establishing an organized circuit.

Jets' First Training Camp by John Hogrogian. In the summer of 1963, newly hired Weeb Ewbank began the process of rebuilding the former New York Titans into the Jets team that in a few short years would shock the football world.

Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame by Bob Carroll. Little Rock, Arkansas is home to the state’s Sports Hall of Fame, whose inductees include such familiar names as Lance Alworth, Pat Summerall, Don Hutson, and Paul “Bear” Bryant.

San Diego 1963: The AFL's First Super Team by Ed Gruver. Featuring such stars as Paul Lowe, Keith Lincoln, Ernie Ladd, and Lance Alworth, coach Sid Gillman’s 1963 AFL champion San Diego Chargers would have been a handful in a mythical Super Bowl with the NFL champion Chicago Bears. Said Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, “It would’ve been a very interesting matchup between a space-age offense and a stone-age defense.”

Number 4:

Providence Starts Rolling: 1924 by Bob Gill. Providence was still an independent club in 1924, but its 12-3-1 record (including six games with NFL clubs) put it on the pro football map. The following season the Steam Roller made its NFL debut.

John Hannah by Don Smith. A profile of the New England guard, who in 1991 became the first Patriot to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Earl Campbell by Don Smith. In just eight seasons (1978-85) with Houston and New Orleans, the big fullback rushed for 9,407 yards, averaging a remarkable 1,175 yards per season, and won four rushing titles and three NFL MVP awards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible.

Jim Finks: Builder by Don Smith. Although Jim Finks was a fine quarterback during his seven-year stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the ‘50s, it was because of his organizational accomplishments in Minnesota, Chicago, and New Orleans that he became a Hall of Famer.

Steve Largent by Don Smith. During a 14-season, 200-game career that started with the Seattle Seahawks’ first-ever game in 1976 and continued until the 1989 season finale, Steve Largent was arguably the finest wide receiver of his time and one of the very best ever. Among the major records he held at the time of his retirement were 819 career receptions and 177 consecutive games with a catch.

George Ratterman (mini-bio) by Bob Carroll. The quarterback had an up-and-down ride during his 10 years in the AAFC and NFL.

Tommy Thompson: When Is a Tommy Not a Lurtis? by Bob Carroll. Digging into the mystery of quarterback Tommy Thompson’s real name. Could it have been “Tommye” or even “Lurtis”?

Still Another Look at Early Interceptions by Ed Coen. Updating the individual interception totals for Green Bay Packers for each year from 1935 through 1940.

Number 5:

President's Corner by Jack Clary. In a tribute to recently deceased former players and coaches, the author examines the connections in life between Phil Bengtson and Lee Roy Caffey; Jim Lee Howell and Jack Stroud and Jim Katcavage; and Art Spinney, Steve Myhra, and Bill Pellington.

Mario Tonelli; The Greatest Tonelli of Them All by Mike Isaacs. A visit with Mario “Motts” Tonelli—“a star Notre Dame football player, a gifted professional athlete, a World War II prisoner of war survivor, a feisty politician who bucked the odds.”

Billy Wade (mini-bio) by Bob Carroll. In his 13 years with Los Angeles and the Chicago Bears (1954-66), Billy Wade didn’t always live up to expectations. But he did lead the Bears to the 1963 NFL title, scoring both touchdowns on quarterback sneaks in the 14-10 win over the Giants.

Carl Brumbaugh: A Darned Good Quarterback by Carl M Becker. A long profile of Carl Brumbaugh, who helped develop the techniques and strategy of the “T” formation.

How to Get from Dayton to Indianapolis by Bob Carroll. Tracing the franchise history of the Indianapolis Colts.

Number 6:

President's Corner: Part 2 by Jack Clary. Continuing with some memories of pro footballers who passed away in 1994, including Frank Filchock and Merle Hapes of the New York Giants, who in 1946 were offered bribes on the eve of the NFL title game with the Bears.

Tex Schramm by Don Smith. Hall-of-Fame executive Tex Schramm's ambition was not to be remembered as a great NFL leader and innovator, but as the head of a great organization—an ambition he realized as general manager and president of the Dallas Cowboys.

Jan Stenerud by Don Smith. On the strength of a strong right leg that produced 1,699 points in 19 seasons (1967-85) with Kansas City and Minnesota, Jan Stenerud became the first “pure” placekicker to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Roman Gabriel by Robert R Jackson. An interview with the first big quarterback of the modern era, Roman Gabriel, who played 16 years with Los Angeles and Philadelphia from 1962 to 1977.

Joe Schmidt: Detroit's Lion behind the Line by Jim Sargent. Middle linebacker Joe Schmidt was a perennial All-Pro selection during his 13-year career (1953-65) with Detroit, which included NFL titles in 1953 and 1957.

Bob Gain (mini-bio) by James D Whalen. A biography of the stalwart defensive tackle, who played in five Pro Bowls and starred on three NFL championship teams with Cleveland.

Passing Stats by Pro Football Hall of Fame. All-time passing ratings and statistics through the 1994 season.

Annual: Down Payments by Phil Dietrich

2020 Convention
June 18-21, 2020
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Canton, Ohio

This month's Coffin Corner

1958 Baltimore Colts

The 1966 Green Bay Packers

The All-America Football Conference