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Vince Lombardi Speaks Out

May 19, 1964 - Earl Gros could be a great star, and Jim Ringo is the best center in the NFL.

That is what Vince Lombardi thinks. Still, the Green Bay coach-general manager traded them both to Philadelphia fora linebacker. How come?

Lombardi, in New York for the spring meetings of the NFL, explained his trading philosophy like this: “There are two ways to look at a team. One, you wait until the team is down in the bottom of the standings. Then you run around like mad trying to plug the holes. Or you make your moves when you’re near the top. I have a great deal of respect for veterans. Trading a veteran is one of the toughest jobs for me. But you have to do things to help your club. The place we fell down last year was defense. Teams that we used to control the ball against were controlling it against us. We need some linebacking help. After looking over the films, we decided Lee Roy Caffee could be the No. 1 linebacker in the league. So, we gave up what we thought we could replace.”

Lombardi said he expects to make more deals before settling down at training camp. However, he insisted again he would not trade Paul Hornung, his star halfback who is making a comeback after serving a one-year suspension for betting on games.

“Paul will play with us, period,” said Lombardi. “This boy has something to prove to everybody, not just himself.”

Lombardi said Tom Brown, the ex-Maryland player who is playing pro baseball in the Washington chain, might play pro football this year. He also is looking forward to welcoming such rookies as quarterback Dennis Claridge and tackle Lloyd Voss of Nebraska, linebacker Turnley Todd of Virginia, center Ken Bowman of Wisconsin, flanker Bob Long of Wichita, and 6-6, 280-pound lineman Steve Wright of Alabama.

Lombardi announced that John Roach, the reserve quarterback who took over when Bart Starr was injured last fall, has decided to retire. He also said the Packers’ stadium would be enlarged to seat 49,000 in 1965. It presently seats about 44,000.

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