Mar 282017

With Tom Flores unavailable to play quarterback in the near term and with roster reductions looming, Raiders head coach Eddie Erdelatz was planning to give more playing time to the men on the far end of the bench, starting with Paul Larson. So far, Larson hadn’t shown all that much in camp, displaying an inaccurate arm. Consequently, he had received almost no in-game opportunities, but he was going to get a chance tomorrow, sharing time with Babe Parilli. Plenty of other neglected players were going to get their chances, too.

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Dec 072016

After having watched films of the Titans game, Raider head coach Eddie Erdelatz said he was making some changes to the offense. The team would now use a split end and a tight end instead of the two tight end formation they had previously been using. Along with that change, Erdelatz announced a shuffling of the depth chart at the ball-handling positions. To wit:

Split end: Charlie Hardy, Alan Goldstein, John Brown
Tight end: Gene Prebola, Charles Moore
Flanker: Dan Edgington, Irv Nikolai, Brad Myers
Halfback: Tony Teresa, Jack Larscheid, Ron Drzewiecki
Fullback: Billy Lott, Buddy Allen, Dean Philpott

Despite the changes, the Raider coach had nothing but good things to say about his team’s performance, praising the interior of the offensive line — Jim Otto, Wayne Hawkins, and Ron Sabal — in particular.

“We played well as a team against the Titans,” he said, “It appears as though the way we practice is paying off. The kids could have gone another half had they needed to. This gang has great spirit. I’ve seen such hustle work wonders before and it looks like it’s happening again.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

Aug 262016

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz announced that halfback Wayne Crow, who was now 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 most effectively utilized 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 Claude 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 focus 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.

Oakland Tribune

Jun 062016

The Raiders announced they had expanded their roster to 67 players with the signing of seven new members:

Joe Barbee, a 6’3″, 250-pound tackle from Kent State. He was named first-team All-Mid American Conference in 1954 and signed with the Colts as a free agent in 1955. He failed to make the team out of camp, however, and spent most of the rest of the decade playing on service teams with the Air Force in Texas and Ohio.

Claude Boyette, tackle, had had his signing rights assigned to Oakland in March by the league, but only now was signed to a contract by the team.

Dave Holden, a 6’6″, 248-pound tackle from Los Angeles State. A junior college transfer from Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys, he was an All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honorable mention player with the Diablos his senior year and an 18th round draft choice of the Lions in 1959.

Billy Ray Locklin, a 6’2″, 225-pound tackle from New Mexico State. He played both end and guard for the Aggies before switching to tackle and made 1st team All-Border Conference his junior year. He spent much of his senior season nursing an ankle injury, but capped off the year with a fumble recovery in the end zone in his team’s 28-8 win over North Texas State in the Sun Bowl. The Chargers drafted him, but let him go, giving Oakland the chance to pick him up.

Irv Nikolai, a 6’2″, 205-pound end from Stanford. An Alameda High School product and junior college transfer, he was a prolific, but injury-prone, pass catcher for the Indians. He was originally a Boston Patriots draft choice before coming back home to the Raiders.

Ron Sabal, a 6’3″, 250-pound guard from Purdue. He made 3rd team All-Big Ten as a senior and was picked in the 19th round of the 1958 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Sabal impressed coaches in camp and started a pre-season game, but was ultimately cut before the regular season and moved on to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian leagues in 1959.

Mac Starnes, a 6’3″, 215-pound center from Abilene Christian. In 1956, he made 1st-team All-Gulf Coast Conference as a junior and 2nd-team All-Lone Star Conference the following year. He was drafted in 1958 by the Chicago Cardinals in the 17th round, but didn’t make the regular season roster.

Kent State Football Media Guide
New Mexico State Football Media Guide
Oakland Tribune
Stanford Football Media Guide