Fully a week into training camp, the Raiders held their first scrimmage and head coach Eddie Erdelatz was cautiously pleased. “For the first time out it wasn’t too bad,” he said. At quarterback, Paul Larson looked a sharper than Tom Flores, completing 11 of 21 passes with many of the incompletions coming from receiver drops. Flores had a rougher time, connecting on just 5 of 14, throwing three interceptions. Third-stringer Bob Webb got off to a good start, connecting on the longest play of the day, an 18-yard pass to Charlie Hardy, but disaster struck when he went down with a knee injury. Trainer George Anderson said he may have torn cartilage and could need surgery, which would shut him down for the year. At other positions, tight end Gene Prebola, defensive end Carmen Cavalli, and cornerback Eddie Macon looked particularly good. Observers thought the defensive line played well as a group, but Erdelatz downplayed it, saying, “The defense is always ahead of the offense at this stage of the game.”
Once the scrimmage was over, it was time for another round of cuts, reducing the number of players in camp to 56. On their way out were tackle Cloyd Boyette, halfback Purcell Daniels, halfback Wes Fry, Jr., son of Raider player personnel director Wes Fry, Sr., tackle Willie Hudson, a former honorable mention AP Little All-American for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, who was in camp without a contract after getting cut by the Chargers, and Hudson’s former college teammate, tackle Rich Max.
Long Beach Press Telegram
Head coach Eddie Erdelatz announced that halfback Wayne Crow, who was now fully recovered from an ankle injury suffered a few days earlier, would likely play on defense for the Raiders. Blocked at quarterback by Tom Flores and Paul Larson, and slower afoot than Buddy Allen and Billy Lott, the current pack leaders at halfback, Crow would be utilized most effectively at cornerback.
Meanwhile, practice went on. Flores, who had been slowed recently with a pulled muscle, was thought to have the upper hand over Larson at quarterback, but Larson was working hard to keep up, putting in extra time at the end of sessions. Not that this came without its costs. During one such workout with Larson, end Irv Nikolai turned an ankle and was not at full strength thereafter. Other injured players were tackle Cloyd Boyette, victim of a muscle pull and guard Charlie Kaaihue with an injured ankle. But the most serious injury so far belonged to defensive tackle Jim Woodard. Aggravating an old knee injury, Woodard, according to the team, could be out several weeks recuperating and was due for a more thorough examination to determine the extent of the damage.
Erdelatz attributed most of the injuries to a lack of conditioning and was frustrated at how they hampered practice. “It’s hard to schedule (a) scrimmage because the injuries prevent us from running the squad in teams. Today, for instance, we wouldn’t have had enough men to stage an effective scrum.”
There was one departure from camp when guard Tom Cousineau left for personal reasons. Erdelatz said he didn’t expect further cuts until at least the 16th.
In other news, assistant general manager Bud Hastings announced that former Cal backfield coach Wes Fry was named the team’s player personnel director. Fry was expected to be focused primarily on college scouting, but his most immediate task was to review camp cuts from the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. According to guidelines set up by the league, the Raiders had first rights among AFL teams to any 49er cuts and half of any players set free by Washington.
The Raiders announced they had expanded their roster to 67 players with the signing of seven new members:
Joe Barbee, T Kent State, named to first team All-Mid American Conference end in his senior year, 1954, but had no NFL experience since.
Cloyd Boyette, T Texas Southern, who had had his rights assigned to Oakland following his selection by Minneapolis/St Paul in the first AFL draft.
Dave Holden, T Cal State-Los Angeles, originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 18th round in 1959.
Billy Ray Locklin, T New Mexico State, was named to the All-Border Conference team in 1958, then recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the 1959 Sun Bowl as part of a 28-8 victory over North Texas State.
Irv Nikolai, E Stanford, most noted for his role in the 1958 Big Game when he was ruled out of bounds while attempting to catch a two-point conversion pass, thereby giving Cal a 16-15 win.
Ron Sabal, G Purdue, drafted in 1958 in the 19th round by the Philadelphia Eagles, but did not play during the regular season.
Mac Starnes, C Abilene Christian, drafted in 1958 by the Chicago Cardinals in the 17th round.
Kent State Football Media Guide
New Mexico State Football Media Guide
Stanford Football Media Guide
Early on the first morning of the league meeting in Oakland, commissioner Joe Foss and Oakland general manager Chet Soda made an announcement that 14 players had been assigned to the team:
George Blanch, a 6’0″, 195-pound halfback from Texas. A solid performer for the Longhorns in 1957 and 1958, he made UPI 2nd team All-Southwest Conference his junior year, but in his senior season, 1959, his performance faded on offense and he spent most of his time on the defensive side of the ball.
Read more “March 3, 1960”
After much courting of the Twin Cities by the NFL, the backers of the AFL franchise decided to abandon their effort and the new league released the group from its obligations. EW Boyer, one of the group’s investors, was apologetic, but explained that prospective coaches, such as Wayne Robinson and Phil Bengtson, cited the possibility of an NFL team in the same area as a reason not to join up. The franchise had signed three of its draftees: Cloyd Boyette, Sam McCord, and Bob Parker, but these players would be released from their contract as well. A scramble now ensued to determine the new location of the eighth league franchise. Atlanta and Miami were identified as the initial possibilities.