July 27, 1961

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

Lineup change

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.

Read more “July 27, 1961”

April 7, 1961

The Raiders announced the signing of five more free agents today: halfback Bob Cabanyog, defensive back Ted Cano, guard Tom Cousineau, halfback Herm Urenda, and defensive lineman Dave Williams.

The 22-year-old Cabanyog, a 6’1″, 205-pounder from Salinas, played his college ball at Pacific where his speed and blocking skills were particularly prized.

Cano, 23, 6’0″ and 190 pounds, went to high school in San Francisco before going north to play running back for Washington State. Given the overwhelming need for players in the secondary the Raiders were going to try him out there.

Cousineau, now 27, had been with the Raiders briefly in training camp last year, but returned to Indiana to “fulfill a high school teaching commitment” and was being given another shot at pro ball this season.

The 5’10”, 180-pound Urenda, 22, was a backfield teammate of Cabanyog at Pacific and despite good running skills in the open field was also going to be tried out in the defensive backfield.

The Raiders hoped that the 22-year-old Williams, at 6’6″ and 270 pounds, would provide more size and strength to a unit that was badly overmatched at times last season. He played his college ball at Sacramento City College.

Fresno Bee-Republican
Oakland Tribune