1959 Green Bay Packers season

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1959 Green Bay Packers season
Head coach Vince Lombardi
General manager Vince Lombardi
Home field City Stadium
County Stadium (Milwaukee)
Results
Record 7–5
Division place 3rd NFL Western
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1958 1960 >

The 1959 Green Bay Packers season was their 39th season in the National Football League and 41st overall. The club posted a 7–5 record in the 1959 NFL season under first-year coach Vince Lombardi to earn a third-place finish in the Western Conference. It was the Packers' first winning season in a dozen years, the last was a 6–5–1 mark in 1947. Green Bay had just one victory during the previous season in 1958.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Main article: 1959 NFL Draft
Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
1 1 Randy Duncan Quarterback Iowa
2 13 Alex Hawkins Back South Carolina
3 25 Boyd Dowler Wide Receiver Colorado
5 55 Andy Cvercko Guard Northwestern
6 61 Willie Taylor Center Florida A&M
7 73 Bobby Jackson Back Alabama
7 83 Gary Raid Tackle Willamette
8 85 Buddy Mayfield End South Carolina
8 95 Bob Laraba Back UTEP
9 97 George Dixon Back Bridgeport
10 109 Sam Tuccio Tackle Southern Miss
11 121 Bob Webb Back St. Ambrose
12 133 Larry Hall Guard Missouri Valley
13 145 Jim Hurd Back Albion
14 157 Ken Kerr Guard Arizona State
15 169 Dick Teteak Guard Wisconsin
16 181 Dan Edgington End Florida
17 193 Tom Secules Back William & Mary
18 205 Dick Nearents Tackle Eastern Washington
19 217 Bill Butler Safety Chattanooga
20 229 Charley Sample Back Arkansas
21 241 Dave Smith Back Ripon
22 253 Charlie Anderson End Drake
23 265 Ben Lawver Tackle Lewis & Clark
24 277 Joe Hergert Center Florida
25 289 Leroy Hardee Back Florida A&M
26 301 Ken Higginbotham End Trinity (TX)
27 313 Timothy Brown Running Back Ball State
28 325 Jerry Epps Guard West Texas State
29 337 Jack Flara Back Pittsburgh
30 349 Dick Emerich Tackle West Chester
  • Yellow indicates a future Pro Bowl selection

The Lombardi Era Begins[edit]

On February 4, 1959, Vince Lombardi seized his opportunity and began building his football dynasty in Green Bay. He started by trading away the Packers' best receiver of the decade, Billy Howton, to the Cleveland Browns. To bring some much-needed leadership to the defensive backfield, Lombardi obtained future Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell from the New York Giants. He also acquired Fuzzy Thurston from the Baltimore Colts and defensive tackle Henry Jordan from Cleveland by the start of training camp. In all, 16 veterans from the previous season were sent packing as Lombardi installed a new attitude in the Packers' locker room.

Training Camp[edit]

Lombardi borrowed from the Giants model — the players had to feel like champions. The team traveled first class under the philosophy that "you can't be a winner unless you feel like one." The change in culture was pronounced. Lombardi had to find a quarterback, and he was resistant to making Bart Starr the quarterback. Starr was in his fourth year in the league and hadn't won a game in which he'd played four quarters. "Did Bart tell you how bad he was?" a player was to later quip to biographer John Eisenberg. Former Razorback Lamar McHan beat out Starr.

A Master Plan[edit]

Through his now legendary coaching style, Lombardi whipped the underachieving Packers into instant winners. He set his plan immediately into action at his very first team meeting. "I have never been on a losing team, gentlemen, and I do not intend to start now!"

A Dramatic Improvement[edit]

The results of Lombardi's approach were dramatic. In the season opener against the Chicago Bears, the Packers held on to win 9–6 and celebrated the victory by carrying their new head coach off the field. In his first year on the sidelines, the Packers posted their first winning record since 1947. The team's quick turnaround netted Lombardi unanimous honors as NFL coach of the year.

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Lombardi’s first game as Packers coach was on September 27.[1] In front of 32,150 fans, the Packers won the game. In the final seven minutes, the Packers put up nine points to win the game by a score of 9–6. Jim Taylor scored a touchdown to put the Packers on the scoreboard. Max McGee would have a sixty-one yard punt which would land on the Bears 2 yard line. The punt set up the final score of the game. Hawg Hanner scored a safety on Bears quarterback Ed Brown.[2] After the game, Jim Ringo grabbed the game ball and gave it to Lombardi.

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 27, 1959 Chicago Bears W 9–6 City Stadium
32,150
2 October 4, 1959 Detroit Lions W 28–10 City Stadium
32,150
3 October 11, 1959 San Francisco 49ers W 21–20 City Stadium
32,150
4 October 18, 1959 Los Angeles Rams L 45–6 Milwaukee County Stadium
36,194
5 October 25, 1959 at Baltimore Colts L 38–21 Memorial Stadium
57,557
6 November 1, 1959 at New York Giants L 20–3 Yankee Stadium
68,837
7 November 8, 1959 at Chicago Bears L 28–17 Wrigley Field
46,205
8 November 15, 1959 Baltimore Colts L 28–24 Milwaukee County Stadium
25,521
9 November 22, 1959 Washington Redskins W 21–0 City Stadium
31,853
10 November 26, 1959 at Detroit Lions W 24–17 Briggs Stadium
49,221
11 December 6, 1959 at Los Angeles Rams W 38–20 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
61,044
12 December 13, 1959 at San Francisco 49ers W 36–14 Kezar Stadium
55,997

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: vs. Chicago Bears[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 3 0 3 6
Packers 0 0 0 9 9

Standings[edit]

NFL Western
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Baltimore Colts 9 3 0 .750 374 251 W-5
Chicago Bears 8 4 0 .667 252 196 W-7
San Francisco 49ers 7 5 0 .583 255 237 L-2
Green Bay Packers 7 5 0 .583 248 246 W-4
Detroit Lions 3 8 1 .273 203 275 L-1
Los Angeles Rams 2 10 0 .167 242 315 L-8

Roster[edit]

Green Bay Packers roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Rookies and first-year players in italics

Awards, records, and honors[edit]

  • Vince Lombardi, Coach of the Year [3]

Milestones[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 225, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  2. ^ When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 226, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  3. ^ When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 228, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3