Apr 042017
 

Offense:

The game was very much a tale of two halves and the first half was all about the Raider offense. The team came flying out of the gate with big plays, and with the help of a Buffalo miscue or two, jumped out to the 20-0 tailwind. While the passing game was responsible for the touchdowns, it was the running game that sustained the effort, and a good thing, too, because aside from the early scores, the passing game was atrocious.

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Nov 292016
 

It had been an uncomfortably hot day in Sacramento but by game time the sun had gone down and the temperature had dropped into the mid-70s. A pleasant breeze took any remaining heat off the air and clear skies promised a perfect evening for football. It was under these conditions that the Oakland Raiders and New York Titans took the field at Hughes Stadium, on the campus of Sacramento City College. Just 9,551 paying customers filled the 22,000-seat facility to see the 0-1 teams get acquainted for the first time.

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Oct 052016
 

The team had been given a day off following the game, but head coach Eddie Erdelatz took that time to review the films, and based on what he saw, cut five players the following morning: halfbacks Alex Gardner and Ray Peterson, tackle Willie Boykin, guard Bob Harrison, and defensive back Bob Fails. He then added one player in the person of 6’1″, 185-pound halfback John Harris, formerly of Santa Monica Junior College. Harris combined speed and strength as a runner for the Corsairs and made first team All-Metro Conference in 1957 and later spent a season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Most recently, he had been in Chargers camp, but had been waived, giving the Raiders a chance to pick him up. Also returning to the team was tackle Fred Fehn, who had spent the past couple of weeks nursing a leg injury. This put the head count at 48, five over the limit of the first mandatory cut on August 22.

Erdelatz said he found no surprises in the movies. “We’ll try and correct the mistakes made in that game before going on to the new stuff,” he said, “They performed well considering everything and we’re expecting considerable improvement by the time we play New York.” To that end, he held a surprise 90-minute scrimmage that focused on bolstering both the running and the passing game.

After the workout, even more changes were made. Guard Charlie Kaaihue, a potential first-teamer who had been temporarily sidelined because of injury, was cut for what was reported as “disciplinary reasons.” The team also announced the signing of yet two more players, fullback Jim Varnado, and end Charles Moore.

Varnado, a rookie fullback out of Southern University, had been drafted last November by the New York Giants, but almost immediately signed with the Chargers. In June, the Giants cried foul, claiming that current Boston Patriots general manager and former Notre Dame coach Ed McKeever, had been scouting for them at the time of the draft but had also been working for the Chargers and had steered Varnado and fullback Charlie Flowers to Los Angeles in violation of his contract. Varnado was cut by the Chargers soon after, making him available to Oakland.

Moore, a 6’3″, 215-pound end from Northeastern State in Oklahoma, had a nose for getting to the end zone and had been named to the first-team all-Oklahoma collegiate squad in 1958, the year he helped lead the Redmen to the NAIA championship. Varnado’s signing meant a move for Brad Myers from fullback to halfback. Additionally, Erdelatz made an offensive line adjustment, moving Ron Sabal from right guard to right tackle, in place of Don Churchwell. Don Manoukian moved in to take Sabal’s spot at guard.

Preseason Statistical Summary

Eureka Humboldt Standard
Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times