Aug. 6, 1983

Ron Meyer was preparing for his second season as head coach of the New England Patriots and already, as the first exhibition game beckoned, had personnel problems.

Between injuries and contract holdouts, the Pats’ most acute deficiencies heading into a game against Pittsburgh (being played in Knoxville, of all places) were their corps of lineman, on each side of the ball.

The offensive line was particularly wobbly. Guard Bob Cryder, who was to start for John Hannah, was out, as was tackle Shelby Jordan.

Understandably, Meyer was not anxious to expose veteran quarteback Steve Grogan or rookie Tony Eason to the pressure that the Steelers might want to put through its paces in the preseason openers.

“We’d like to throw the ball tonight,” Meyer told the Boston Globe. “But that will depend on if we can protect. I don’t want our quarterbacks under Katzenjammer Kids-type pressure.”

For those unfamiliar with the Katzenjammer Kids, search under comic strips.

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