Friday, August 26, 2022

Norm Van Brocklin's First NFL Touchdown Pass—A Clark Shaughnessy Special

 By John Turney 
In 1949 Rams rookie Norm Van Brocklin was Bob Waterfield's backup. He only played eight games but he did get into the opener—when the game was on the line.  

The Rams were hosting the Detroit Lions, who donned red jerseys and black pants for this tilt.

Late in the game, the Lions were leading 24-17 when Van Brocklin was given the keys to the offense by Rams head coach Clark Shaughnessy and he quickly moved the ball down the field for a game-tying touchdown pass to Elroy Hirsch. 

The and the Dutchman's first touchdown was a classic Shaughnessy play.

The Rams were in the T-Formation and Hirsh, from his left halfback position, motioned to the left flank and runs what was possibly called an "out and up" route (we are not sure of the Shaughnessy terminology). It was a double move that caused the right defensive halfback to bite and with a quick pump fake Van Brocklin let it fly for the score. 

It was not a perfect throw, it was a little behind Hirsch, but when a receiver is that wide open there is room for error. 

But the play, halfback motion, is textbook Clark Shaughnessy.


  1. I love the white ball

  2. LOVE these nuggets from the (increasingly distant) past.....any idea what the story is regarding the Lions red/black uni's (according to Gridiron Uni Database worn in this opener and game 3) OR the 49 Rams red helmets/socks/jerseys?