Which follows the licking given the Detroit Lions by the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. I’m afraid it wasn’t pretty. Lost opportunities, injuries, unfortunate mistakes. Detroit Free Press Lions reporter Jeff Seidel succinctly summed up the scrimmage. “Everything went wrong for the Lions,” he wrote. “Time after time, the Lions had chances but came up empty.” Let’s not dwell on the past. Green Bay next Sunday, at home! We can do this!
In 1957, the Lions regular season opened on Sunday, September 29th and lasted 12 weeks. Before we look at their first game (and it’s one for the record books), let’s review the team roster and get familiar with our lineup.
Head Coach: George Wilson
Quarterbacks: Bobby Layne, Tobin Rote, Jerry Reichow
Running Backs: Gene Gedman (LH), Marv Brown, Howard Cassady (KR/RH), John Henry Johnson (FB), Tom Tracy (FB)
Wide Receivers: Jim Doran (LE), Dorne Dibble, Dave Middleton, Jerry Reichow, Howard Cassady (KR/RH)
Tight Ends: Leon Hart, Steve Junker (RE)
Offensive Linemen: Lou Creekmur (T), Harley Sewell (G), Frank Gatski (C), Stan Campbell (G), John Gordy (G), Charlie Ane (T), Ken Russell (T)
Defensive Linemen: Darris McCord (DE), Gerry Perry (DE), Gene Cronin (DE/G), Ray Krouse (DT), Bob Miller (DT), Gil Mains (DT)
Linebackers: Robert Long (OLB), Jim Martin (OLB), Joe Schmidt (MLB), Roger Zatkoff (OLB)
Defensive Backs: Jack Christiansen (RS), James David (CB), Terry Barr (RDH), Gary Lowe (CB), Yale Lary (LS/P/PR), Charles Edwards (FS/FB), Carl Karilivacz (SS)
Special Teams: Bobby Layne (K/PAT), Jim Martin (K), Yale Lary (LS/P/PR)
Here’s the kicker. An amazing number – seven – of these men have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And, of the six jerseys retired by the Lions franchise throughout its history, two of them were worn with pride by members of the 1957 team. We’ll get to know these gridiron greats in detail as the season continues.