The Raider coaching staff held a surprise scrimmage today and afterward head coach Eddie Erdelatz offered only the very faintest of praise. “This wasn’t too bad a scrimmage for the first time,” he said, “but we’ve got an awful long way to go.”
He did single out a handful of players that performed well in his estimation. He had good words for the blocking of fullbacks Jetstream Smith and Alan Miller and said the team had “good, healthy competition” for the position. He was also happy with the effort shown by Jack Stone and Wayne Hawkins on the offensive line and by tight end Doug Asad’s much-improved work running pass patterns.
Prior to the scrimmage Scotty Stirling had filed a camp report in the Tribune the included bad news for the team involving running back Tony Teresa. In previously unreported news, Teresa had spent a week and a half in a hospital in June because of back pain and it was acting up on him again. According to Teresa it didn’t bother him during practice but got bad at night.
The hospital told him there was “swelling, causing pressure back there and the only thing that will clear it up is lots of running, and time.”
Despite the news, trainer George Anderson was pleased with the way things were going so far. “We had at least a half-dozen guys on the sidelines with muscle pulls after the first couple of days work last year,” he said. “So far this year we’ve had only one pull and that wasn’t serious. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Stirling also reported that linebacker Al Bansavage was continuing to impress his coaches. Secondary coach George Dickson said, “he has good size and speed and one other quality I greatly admire, ruggedness.”
Eddie Erdelatz said he was happy with the defense, overall: “They seem to be getting much better—greatly improved over last year at the same time. I liked the way our defensive line and linebackers were moving.”
Dickson added, “We’re not doing things too differently from a technique point of view, but (the players are) making a real effort to improve. They must set a high standard and achieve consistency. The secret of pass defense is aggressiveness, cohesion, and unity, and they’re working toward it.”
Other injury news
Guard Jim Green had his nose broken during the scrimmage, but wouldn’t miss any practice after getting a more protective facemask for his helmet
John Harris, who spent most of last year as a reserve in the secondary, was promoted to a starting corner position ahead of the reigning team leader in interceptions, Eddie Macon. Erdelatz said Harris had been the top defensive back in camp so far and deserved the spot.
A different uniform
The Tribune reported that as many as 18 Raiders could be called up to military service. Prompted to look into the matter by President John Kennedy’s recent speech on the Berlin crisis, the paper discovered that 18 players were classified 1-A in the draft or were in the military reserves. Most of the rest of the players had either served already or had been granted hardship deferments. Among the Raider veterans who could be subject to call-up were Doug Asad, Wayne Hawkins, Tom Louderback, Alan Miller, and Gene Prebola.
In the Salinas Californian, columnist Jack Daugherty wrote a feature about two native sons, Tony Teresa and Bob Cabanyog, in camp with the Raiders. Daugherty praised Teresa for his “guts” and “heart” and passed along some praise Teresa had for his coach, Eddie Erdelatz.
“We play our hearts out for him,” he said, “and it hurts us when we let him down. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t try to do for him.”
Daugherty said Cabanyog’s biggest challenge was the vast difference between college and pro football. Cabanyog said he had been told that college players were bigger, but slower than high schoolers and that he had been told the same thing about the pros. “Only thing wrong,” he said, “is that at each place they were bigger, but also faster.”
The column also included the team’s daily schedule during two-a-days:
9:30am Player meetings by position group
10:00am Practice until 11:30
Noon Lunch with a rest break afterward
3:30pm Practice until 5:00
8:00pm Team meeting
11:00pm Lights out
Three more players hit the waiver wire today: center Roger Fisher, the team’s 23rd-round draft pick, and a pair of free agent signees, halfback Ted Cano, and end Charley Moore, who had been in camp with the team last year, too.