The Raiders held only a brief workout today and while the players took a breather, Tribune sports editor Alan Ward took some time to take stock of the team and head coach Eddie Erdelatz, in particular. According to Ward, Erdelatz was, above all, energetic and organized, determined to get the most out of every moment of practice. Faced with the impossible task of putting a cohesive team together in just a few short weeks, he worked his players extremely hard.
As one unidentified player put it, “Erdelatz is a tiger. I’ve been in pro football, but workouts were never like this. Before I came to camp I wondered if I’d get in shape by the first of September. I’ll be ready by July 31 (the date of the preseason opener against Dallas).”
While Erdelatz was a task master on the practice field, he was a man of few rules off it. He did impose an informal 11pm bedtime, asked his players not to smoke in public, and placed some restrictions on meal choices, but otherwise left it up to his players to govern themselves. “They’re men, not kids, and I treat them as such,” he explained, “We have no official curfews, no policing. But I’ve let the players know they owe an obligation to the team, to the game of professional football. But most of all, to themselves. They’re a fine bunch. We’re behind schedule, but we’re catching up. We were the last club in the league to get started, but neither I, nor the public, will be ashamed of their effort when play is commenced.”