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  1. #1
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    BigRedMan's Power Sweep

    Everytime I see BigRed's current signature picture I remember that great, often very strong and effective play, the Power Sweep. Powerful indeed! And I wanted to share my early impressions on it.

    Two guards pulling in uniformity while escorting a patient but charging RB, sometimes with a second RB in front for added measure (Willie Ellison in BRM's photo).

    It was poetry in motion for me. :r

    Little did I know back then, mid 60s, that such a formidable play was actually one with roots firmly planted in Rams training camps years before and not so much originated in Green Bay as I thought [see book excerpt below], with the typical image of Paul Hornung or Jim Taylor -- later Donny Anderson -- following guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston.

    It did become famous as the Packer Power Sweep because they resorted to it with certain frequency but, to a lesser usage, so did other teams in either the NFL or its close relative, the AFL -- American Football League.

    But my fondest memory of this beautiful football play (i.e., when executed properly) was that of the Los Angeles Rams stomping yards with it on the battlefield.

    Guards Joe Scibelli, No. 71* and Don Chuy, No. 62 or HOF Tom Mack, No. 65, pulling as two heavy bodyguards truly on the offensive. RBs Dick Bass No. 22 or Les Josephson, No. 34 following and ready to slam through the protection before them.

    Oftentimes the precision with which this play was performed was amazing. You could usually see the two Ram guards and the Ram running back in true synchronization, even with their feet marching to the same step!

    :l Absolutely beautiful! GO RAMS!


    Run to daylight. Later that phrase would become the trademark of Lombardiís offense in Green Bay, but it was conceived in 1956 on the practice field in Vermont. And so was the seminal play of his pro offense, the power sweep. Before it became famous as the Packer sweep, it was the Giants power sweep, and apparently before that it was the Rams sweep. Lombardi first saw the play while watching films of Los Angeles in 1955. He analyzed the movements of every offensive player, stuffed his research into his playbook satchel and showed it to the Giants that August.

    Lombardi had used the sweep in New York, and had originally borrowed it from the playbook of the Los Angeles Rams, but once he arrived in Green Bay he transformed it into something that was singularly identified with him and his Packers.


    --When Pride Still Mattered, by D. Maraniss, Simon & Schuster, 1999; pp. 168, 221. Vince Lombardi's biography.

    *. BigRedMan replaced this jersey No. with his own, 57, on his red sig. :-)
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-18-2006 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Format


  2. #2
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    Re: BigRedMan's Power Sweep

    Hmmm. :\

    While doing a little research on the Rams power sweep play today I just learned that Rams ProBowler G Joe Scibelli had passed away some years ago. Found this message in the L.A. Rams site.

    Posted by Chris Scibelli on Tue - Apr 20 - 00:25am:

    In Reply to: Re: Joe Scibelli R.I.P. posted by L. Britt on Wed - Mar 17 - 4:11pm:

    While cruising around on Google tonight, I was blown away to find your recent email exchanges regarding my father and your memories of him.

    Sadly, he died of cancer in December 1991 at age 52. Ironically, today (April 19th)would have been his 65th birthday, so finding your kind words and fond memories were quite meaningful to me. I look forward to sharing your emails with my son and daughter - when they get older - so that they may appreciate and understand what type of man that he was.

    Thank you. //

    Scibelli played for the Rams OL from 1961 to 1975. 15 Seasons! :r

  3. #3
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    Re: BigRedMan's Power Sweep

    "There is nothing spectacular about it," Lombardi once said of his sweep. "It's just a yard gainer.'

    'But on that sideline, when the sweep starts to develop, you can hear those linebackers and defensive backs yelling, 'Sweep!' 'Sweep!' and almost see their eyes pop as those guards turn upfield after them... It's my number one play because it requires all eleven men to play as one to make it succeed ... and that's what 'team' means." -- Vince Lombardi


    By Ed Gruver, Professional Football Reserach Assn.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: BigRedMan's Power Sweep

    FOR YOUR RAM VIEWING PLEASURE:

    1. http://gogomag.com/cgi-bin/rams_viewer.pl?pic_cowan

    Left to right, ca. 1965: RB Dick Bass throwing a block Vs Frisco defenders; sweeping OL Charlie Cowan, Joe Scibelli and Roger Pillath; RB Les Josephson with ball after handoff from QB Roman Gabriel (barely visible behind Les).
    _______________________________________________________

    2. http://gogomag.com/cgi-bin/rams_viewer.pl?pic_sweep

    Big Red Man's current signature photo. :-)

    Left to right, ca. 1968: RB Willie Ellison about to throw block; HOF G Tom Mack and ProBowl G Joe Scibelli, power sweeping for RB Les Josephson. Notice uniformity of pulling guards. QB Gabriel is barely visible behind Mack.
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-22-2006 at 03:24 AM. Reason: Format

  5. #5
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    Re: BigRedMan's Power Sweep

    STRONG SIDE SWEEP

    In the three-end set as developed by the Rams and adopted by other NFL teams, backs were rarely called upon to block, except to pick up blitzes, and the tight end did most of his blocking downfield, though he was sometimes responsible for a linebacker.

    -- HickcokSports.com / Pro Football Formations

    Clic on image to activate play. :r

    Note: "H" on the right, or strong side, was a 'Flanker', now called a WR who lines up at scrimmage. The "E" next to the RT is in this case, the TE. Same applies to the Weak Side play in next post.

    http://www.clanram.com/forums/attach...1&d=1161247958
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BigRedMan's Power Sweep-rb-sweep.gif  
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-19-2006 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Format

  6. #6
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    Re: BigRedMan's Power Sweep

    WEEKSIDE SWEEP

    The weakside sweep was really the power sweep, but "with a little less power".

    Vince Lombardi liked to run it if the safeties were cheating to stop the power sweep. The fullback was usually the ball-carrier on the weakside sweep, and the two most important blockers were the halfback and the split end--players who were rarely expected to make key blocks in the T formation up to then.

    The halfback was responsible for taking the defensive end, first straight on and then using a hook block to keep him to the inside. The flanker would drive straight in at the outside linebacker and then take him in the direction he wanted to go. The fullback would key on that action, cutting inside if the flanker's block was to the outside and turning the corner if the block was to the inside.

    -- HickcokSports.com / Pro Football Formations, History of --

    :r Click on image to activate play.

    http://www.clanram.com/forums/attach...1&d=1161249098
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BigRedMan's Power Sweep-rb-sweep2.gif  

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