Paul Warfield, and he is part of the story of the day. 55 years ago today the Cleveland Browns were crowned champions for the last time.
My morning coffee, and another review of the film of the Browns vs. Colts is always enjoyable to watch from a strategy point of view. Blanton Collier replaced a legend at the University of Kentucky in 1954 (Bear Bryant), and he now was in his second year having replaced another legend(Paul Brown).
The Browns in '63 were the first team in league history to begin a year 6-0 and not earn a playoff berth(don't count the play-off bowl). Cleveland added a dimension to the roster in '64 that was sorely needed; that of a game-breaking receiver that could stretch the field DEEP.
That man was one of my receiving heroes—Paul Warfield.
|Warfield on a slant|
Cleveland would attack the Colts on their vulnerable right side (Namath would do the same four years later). Almost all teams played man to man coverage or strong zone to the two receiver side; called "cloud or sky".
Collier noticed that right safety Jim Welch had "rolled" weak to help Lenny Lyles against Warfield. Cleveland is now ahead 3-0 after Jim Brown on a flare pass to the left set up Groza's field goal. The Browns are in pro left with running back Ernie Green (a willing and strong blocker) lined up as a wing left. Single back set and toss to Jim Brown going left.
|Jim Brains gains 46|
Welch has experience yet he is by far the weak link in the Baltimore secondary. Watching the title game clash he is virtually non-existent in helping stop Brown when he runs, and he is nowhere to be seen on the pass completions by Ryan. Collier by his offensive alignments and the presence of Warfield has made Welch a non-factor.
Paul Brown had called Blanton Collier a "scientific football man", and the Millersburg Kentucky native sure lived up to that moniker on December 27th, 1964. The 2019 NFL regular season will come to a close this Sunday with a handful of meaningful games.
There are teams that are just not playing cohesive team pass defense; what I call the "SLOPPY SIX". Washington, Detroit, NYG, Miami, Oakland, and the porous Cardinals all have a defensive passer rating of at least 100. Since Dallas, Green Bay, and Philadelphia all need victories and have quarterbacks cranked up and ready to shred three of the Sloppy Six you might see the ball in the air plenty Sunday afternoon.