Bob Skoronski thinks he knows why the Packer teams of the 1960s are such a tight-knit group.
"(Vince) Lombardi was a tough guy," the former Green Bay tackle says. "He made us love each other very much because that's the only people we could turn to."
Skoronski, drafted out of Indiana in 1956, played 11 years for the Packers. After his rookie season, he spent two years in the military before returning to find Lombardi had taken over the reins as head coach.
In the next nine seasons, Green Bay won five NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls. Skoronski primarily lined up at left tackle and was the Packers' offensive captain. With his help up front, Green Bay racked up some imposing rushing numbers that have stood the test of time.
In fact, from 1961 to 1964, the Packers posted the top four single-season rushing marks in their storied history. The record of 2,460 yards came in 1962, when the Pack went 13-1. Green Bay led the league in rushing three of those years - 1961, '62 and '64.
Skoronski was elected to the Pro Bowl following the 1967 season. He was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1976, the fifth Green Bay tackle so honored.
Skoronski still enjoys returning to Green Bay to catch up with his teammates.
"It was a great group of guys, a group with a high degree of intelligence, a group with a high degree of integrity and it still stands," he says. "It's great to get together with those guys for that reason. They've all done well in their own lives."
These days, Skoronski declares, he would label himself "semi-retired."
"I do a lot of fishing and hunting," he says. "But I do a little of work with a company that I'm involved in with one of my sons in Indianapolis. It's in the medical business, working with nursing homes and home health-care people. I spend probably 30, 40 days a year doing that - sales, customer relations, that kind of stuff. Other than that, I'm fairly retired."
Thus leaving time to dissect the current crop of Packers. "We've got a great team," Skoronski says. "I really feel that someone should beat them early so they would find out they're not invincible. Then they can take each week as a separate game. We're definitely better physically than anybody out there."
GREEN BAY PACKERS SEASON RESULTS (1956, 59-68)
1956: 4-8 (T-5th, Western Conference)
1959: 7-5 (T-3rd, Western Conference)
1960: 8-4 (NFL Runner-Up)
1961: 11-3 (NFL Champions)
1962: 13-1 (NFL Champions)
1963: 11-2-1 (2nd, Western Conference)
1964: 8-5-1 (T-2nd, Western Conference)
1965: 10-3-1 (NFL Champions)
1966: 12-2 (NFL Champions)
1967: 9-4-1 (NFL Champions)
1968: 6-7-1 (3rd, NFL Central)