By TJ Troup
Randy Gradishar's birthday, and am of the firm belief he should be enshrined in Canton.
That said, let's take a look at the 1952 Defensive Players of the Week—
Ollie Matson. The Cardinals trail 10-7 when the former Olympic medalist returns a Bear kick-off for a touchdown. He shows strong ability in defending the run as the film shows him tackling both Dottley and Hunsinger with physical tackles. The Bears attempt at a comeback win is foiled when Ollie rips the ball away from a Bear and dashes into the end zone with his fumble return touchdown in the 21-10 victory.
Ed Henke plays the outside run well, hustles on special teams (impressive open field tackle), and helps pillage the Lion pass pocket for 5 sacks. Ed also forces Layne to throw early as he rockets in from his stand-up stance.
Jim Doran records 4 sacks and pressures Otto Graham the entire game.
Blaine Earon is not a household name, not even in Detroit, yet the youngster helps his teammates limit the Dallas Texans to just 68 yards rushing in the 43-13 demolition of Dallas. Earon also recovers a fumble, the first of 5 he will recover down the stretch as the Lions take aim at a division title.
Claude Hipps intercepts 3 times (he returns them 31 yards) to keep getting the ball for Jim Finks and the offense.
|Nigh Train Lane|
First quarter and Pittsburgh faces 3rd and 20; as Finks passes and Richard Lane intercepts and returns 12 yards. Rams drive deep but are denied at the goal line. Second quarter, and on 2nd and 10 Finks throws to his left, and Lane knifes in front of the receiver and speeds 42 yards to score for the Rams. Third quarter and Pittsburgh is on the Los Angeles twenty-one yard line as Finks fires again, and Lane intercepts again. This time on his own eight-yard line. He returns 12 yards.
The Rams offense drives eighty, and scores to put the game out of reach. Buddy Morrow sings about the "Night Train", and that is his nickname now and forever for the defensive player of the year. Lane has now recorded 14 interceptions in the last nine games to set a league record that still stands, and the Rams have won eight in a row to tie Detroit for the division title. In closing this saga; sure appreciate the comments at the end of my last story, and hope there is more of the same.