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Oakland Raiders History and Info.
Raiders Owner Al Davis Answers
After the practice session of Wednesday morning at the Oakland Raiders’ Napa Valley Training Complex, Owner Al Davis talked to the media and discussed numerous topics including the passing of coaching legend Bill Walsh and the current state of the Silver and Black. A question and answer session was made for the updates of the management as well as of the Oakland Raiders team.
When Al Davis was asked if he went to Bill Walsh’s house, he said, “Yes, we went down to see him [and] spent about an hour to an hour and a half with him, John Madden and I.”
he also added, that if he was coaching, he may have problems like signing players or taking players. He thinks of it as if he was coaching what he would do with them. He also added that the slants and the crossing patterns and all of those things that were newer to professional football. He believed in the vertical strike. For him, it’s quick but it’s deep. They would have to prove to him that they can stop the team or management from going deep. And when asked if Bill Walsh did retire early, “Oh, yeah, he made a mistake. In my opinion? Oh, he knew he did. He retired too early. He didn't need to retire. He still would have left a tremendous mark. He didn't have to retire. But everyone goes to their own drummer. Everyone goes at it their own way.” He said that Walsh had been around quite a bit at Cal and Stanford, and Davis was well aware of what those schools were doing. Al Davis used to go up every Saturday when they’d play at home, and sit up in the end zone and watch who they were playing and even when he was coaching.
He also added that, “He was quiet. He was learning, and he was a good guy. He coached Tom Flores. I think Tom would give you great perspective; he was the quarterback and Bill was the backfield coach. But we had a great cornerback who’s one of our scouts, Kent McCloughan, and Kent said to me the other day, ‘I’d say hello to Bill, and he'd say hello to me. But I'm not sure Bill really knew who I was.’ Bill was quiet in the beginning. He was feeling his way. But he was good. He was a bright guy.”
And regarding the acquisition of QB Daunte Culpepper, he said that Lane has done an excellent job of getting the team to a point. But they expect it, that’s what they hired him for. Lane is just doing his job. The biggest thing Davis worries about is injuries. They got a chance, they have got some good players and they got an opportunity to show something, but he really worries about injuries. “Daunte Culpepper, the only thing I’d say about Culpepper right now is he takes me back several years, we’ve had great success through the years with guys like Culpepper, of giving him a little time to heal, a little time to get back in stride, not pushing him, not rushing him into something. One of our greatest players, one of the great players of the National Football League, should be in the Hall of Fame, again I say - but Jim Plunkett won two Super Bowls. I don't know how much more you can do in football.”
Jim Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy as well as the Rose Bowl. The Oakland Raiders had great success with Jim, they had excellent success with Rich Gannon, though the team did not win a Super Bowl. The Raiders have always had a lot of quarterbacks around. “And then the minute somebody gets hurt, we've found ourselves in trouble. If you remember, Gannon got hurt, we went to [Marques] Tuiasosopo up in Detroit. In a short period of time in Detroit, he got hurt in the first quarter. And there we are with [Rick Mirer] playing quarterback, our third quarterback.”
Culpepper is going have to take a little time, the team’s going to go slow with him. But he was a great talent. Whether they can get it back or not, it's worth the chance. Davis said they don’t think that you judge a quarterback the way he practices every day. Actually what you’re finding out a lot of times is what he can do and what he can’t do. “So, you don't ask him to do that at some other time where he can become error-prone. The idea is to find out about everything. Let him try everything right now and let's see what they can do, relative to the future. And we don't judge him every day. Maybe the coach does from time to time, cause coaches live in a different pressure-cooker than I do. But I think you stop and watch and you wait and you see who can win for you, who can help you win some games.”
Whatever happens and whatever they would get on their way, the team will continue to fight for victory and to strive for more and do their best to be able to achieve what they have to achieve, what they dream about…
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