Two days out from the loss to the Oilers, the Raiders made a number of personnel moves. Four players were cut, including tackle Joe Barbee, halfback Luther Carr, tackle Don Churchwell, and quarterback Paul Larson.
The team had first installed Barbee, a June signing, on the defense, then moved him to offense, but he never could crack the starting lineup, and had run out of chances. Carr had shown some promise after joining the team in August, looking good against the Bills, but he hurt his ribs in the Boston game and wasn’t healing fast enough to justify the roster spot. Churchwell had been there since the allocation draft in the spring and was a starter early in camp, but eventually Ron Sabal took his spot and made him expendable. Larson, signed in mid-April, had been the highest-profile addition to the team upon his arrival and was a shoe-in to be Tom Flores’s backup until Babe Parilli’s signing, whereupon he became the forgotten man on the roster. And with only 35 spots available, carrying three quarterbacks was a luxury the team didn’t think it could afford.
Taking a couple of the open spots were tight end Doug Asad and halfback Nyle McFarlane. Asad was a 6’2″, 205-pound tight end from Northwestern. A three-year letterman with the Wildcats, he caught only a handful of passes each year, but was good enough to play in the 1959 Blue-Gray game. Picked up by the Oilers in July, he started at least one preseason game for Houston, but didn’t make the team’s final cut , giving the Raiders a chance to grab him.
McFarlane was a 6’2″, 205-pound halfback who was a solid ground-gainer during a couple of seasons at Brigham Young, but battled injuries and academic issues during that time. In the spring of 1960, he was still with the Cougars prepping for the fall campaign, but at some point after that he left the team. By August, he was in camp with the Dallas Cowboys, but they cut him before their regular season and the Raiders signed him to take Carr’s spot.
Two additional players, defensive lineman Glenn Holtzman and linebacker Riley Morris, had yet to report to the team after having been signed last week.
While Eddie Erdelatz shuffled players trying to improve his squad, the front office was focusing their concern on ticket sales. The reported attendance for the Oilers game was 12,703, but according to the Kezar Stadium management team, the actual paid figure was only 8,620. General manager Chet Soda said the team needed to average 20,000 per home date to break even. Consensus among the ownership group was that ticket prices were too high and they received permission from the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission to lower the price of west end zone seats from $4.50 to $2.50 matching the east end zone price.
And in other news, the team completed a change in their practice facility, moving from the Oakland Naval Air Reserve Station to the Alameda Naval Air Station, just a few miles north on Alameda Island. The team cited better field conditions and facilities as the reason for the change.
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