The Raiders conducted their first organized training drills today and according to Scotty Stirling of the Tribune Eddie Erdelatz was happy with how things went, especially at quarterback. “The quarterbacks in this camp are much better than what we started with last year,” he said. He added that rookies Mike Jones and Nick Papac “were impressive in our passing drill and, of course, Tommy Flores is an exceptional thrower. Tom obviously has been practicing prior to coming here, so we’ll be much further along with our quarterbacking than in 1960.”
Several players commented on how quickly things were moving this year, including linebacker Bob Dougherty who said, “We’ve got more hustle and spirit than we had last year. With a year’s experience behind us and with a couple of good rookies to fill in, we can have a real good team.”
Stirling noted that a few of the rookies stood out from the crowd, including running back Oneal Cuttery, defensive back Herm Urenda, and ends Jerry Burch and Clair Appledoorn.
Nyle McFarlane, who played on offense at halfback and flanker last year, was being given a shot in the defensive backfield. As McFarlane explained, “Before joining the Raiders I started on defense in six games for the Dallas Cowboys, so I’m familiar with the position.”
Crowded at the top
In today’s Examiner, Bob Brachman reported that the team’s plan to add as many as 35 limited partners to the ownership group was well on its way to fruition. According to general manager Bud Hastings, “the stuff (shares in the team) went like hotcakes. Most buyers were successful East Bay businessmen, which was heartening, because we took the quick sale to be indicative of the confidence they have in the team’s future. The most significant aspect is that the Raiders organization is now on its way to becoming a community enterprise. It has generated a broader interest base. Of course, none of the 35 will have any say about running the team.”
Manouk, come home
Both Brachman and Stirling penned stories on the team’s effort to entice retired guard Don Manoukian back to the fold. Eddie Erdelatz had tried by phone several teams since his announcement, but yesterday the team brought out the big guns with Jim Otto and a number of other Raider veterans getting into the act. The effort was unsuccessful.
“You can tell this isn’t the same training camp as last year,” said Otto. “His play was great, but even more important was the way he kept us loose.”
Carmen Cavalli added he was “lost without the guy around” and said he was willing to give up his bed and sleep on the couch in the apartment he, Otto, and Manoukian shared last year.
Erdelatz said “He’d have had all these rookies really relaxed by now if he was here.”
His position coach, Marty Feldman, said, “He was a terrific guard for us last year. If we had him back, I’d have fewer worries about our line. It’s players like Manoukian that make coaches look good.”
“It’s tough to turn these guys down,” said Manoukain, “but I’m tired of taking the football bumps and can last a lot longer in the wrestling business. Besides, I’m the champ of Texas, and now, Oregon, which leaves me only 48 states to go.”
The team felt Manoukian’s loss particularly keenly today as they discovered tackle Paul Oglesby might be out for the season with a back problem. Oglesby apparently suffered the injury sometime prior to camp and speculation by the training staff ran all the way from just a minor ache to a possible slipped disc.
The news prompted Erdelatz to say, “We don’t have much depth at some positions. If he’s out that could make us look bad.”
Burch, the team’s 13th-round pick, reported to sick bay, too, with what was diagnosed as a hip pointer. He received a cortisone shot and he would be out for an unspecified time.
Also getting treatment from the medical staff were halfback Jack Larscheid and linebacker Riley Morris who each suffered minor cuts and bruises during what were described as “spirited drills.”