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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

THE GREAT ONES STUDY THE GAME

In the early years of the Lombardi regime, he (Bart Starr) often transported the film to Gary Knafelc's house, where they projected the movies on the wall and searched for clues.

"Dedication made Bart a great football player," Knafelc said.  "You could see his dedication in the way he watched film obsessively, before most people in the league watched much film.  He was very astute at picking out the tiniest things...Those little things gave us openings.  And he knew how to take advantage (of weaknesses) better than any quarterback I have very seen.

The dedication gradually made Starr smarter, and his intelligence emerged as an increasingly powerful weapon in the Packers' arsenal.

Even as the accumulation of live game experience with Lombardi's system helped him grow into the position, it was through obsessive film study that he was able to learn what to look for in the opposition and among his own players.

Next to the film projector in his basement, Starr kept a blackboard.  In later years, he and longtime backup Zeke Bratkowski spent hour upon hour drawing up hypothetical situations and testing each other with hypothetical adjustments.