NFL’s Reaction

With the legalization of the forward pass, many teams chose adopt it.  This brought about one of the foremost and obvious reactions from the teams, which was the evolution of the ball itself.  The shape had to change so passing would become easier and the ball could travel better in the air, subsequently making it easier to catch.  “A prolate spheroid had been required for the football’s shape as early as 1896, but specific measurements did not go into effect until 1912. Further specifications in the 1929-1941 period not only led to narrower, more bullet-shaped balls but allowed the use of white or other-colored balls for night games.”1

Image result for chicago cardinals passing
Chicago Cardinals receiver makes a miraculous catch against the Packers

Secondly, is how defenses formed around a new pass-centered playstyle. If passing hadn’t become what it is today, one would not see such defensive methods like Zone or Man-to man coverages, 3-4 lines, and nickel or dime packages as often. Lambeau stated in the Green Bay Press Gazette, “By passing I think we forced ‘em out of the 7-man line. I don’t recall when it was-I think it was in the early ‘30s-they started going to the 6-man line. In fact, we were one of the first. Then it was 5-man, and now its 4.”2 Lambeau changed the way defenses had to play because of his pass heavy offense. Lambeau then continues, “I don’t think we would have gotten into the National Football League without passing, we took advantage of the defense, and it paid off. And, of course, it gave us a reputation.” 3 The NFL was bound to change after the success of Lambeau and his pass oriented offense.


  1. (
  2. Lee Remmel “Lambeau was a Confident Fiery Leader” (Green Bay Press Gazette.) 1969.
  3. Ibid., R-1.