Tag:Al Davis
Posted on: October 8, 2011 11:05 am

League loses good football man

I was getting on a plane when I saw the news:

Raiders owner Al Davis was dead.

I didn't know Davis very well, only dealing with him occasionally at league meetings, but I always found him fascinating.

He knew football.

I loved that about him.

Yes, he had his faults. And, yes, there are still questions about how he finagled ownership of the Raiders, but Davis was a football man turned owner.

That made him intriguing to me.

I've read countless books about the Raiders and their mystique. I loved the "Just Win, Baby" approach.

In recent years, it's been far from that for the franchise. Did Davis mettle too much? You bet. But remember he was a football man through and through. There are some who insist Davis ran the defense for years after he left coaching.

He couldn't get away.

We lost a big piece of NFL history Saturday.

Just Sad, Baby.

Category: NFL
Tags: Al Davis
Posted on: October 1, 2008 1:15 pm

Prisco Rants

---Why is it that after most NFL teams throw incomplete passes on first down they must run it on second down? I call it the "obligatory" run. They say they want to get it back to a reasonable down-and-distance situation. But does getting 2 yards on a running play really make it more manageable? Throw it again once in a while. You'd be surprised how many times you get 10 yards and a first down and then the manageable situation won't matter.

---There is no better play-caller in the NFL than New Orleans coach Sean Payton. He is leading an offense that lost leading receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jeremy Shockey to injuries. All they've done is lead the league in passing yards. Payton is the best at creating match-up problems for opposing defenses. It helps to have a smart passer in Drew Brees.

---If Marc Bulger wants to be a better quarterback, he might want to go back to the work-ethic ways he had before he signed a $65-million contract two years ago. Bulger, according to team sources, only took part in six of the Rams' off-season workouts this year, other than the mandatory days. That's inexcusable. He needs to get in the weight room. He's frail. That could be why he looks like he's going to stay down every time he gets hit. Golf can wait, Marc. Take care of your body.

---So Terrell Owens wants the ball more and he's again a bad guy? Show me a receiver who doesn't want the ball more and I show you a guy I don't want on my team. Owens is wrong that he didn't get it enough last Sunday against the Redskins, but talking about it doesn't make him a bad guy. I'll take him on my team any day and deal with that mouth. He practices hard and he plays hard.

---When the Jaguars were blistered by the New England Patriots offense in last January's playoff loss, it led to many fans in the Jacksonville area to rip former defensive coordinator Mike Smith for his lack of aggression on defense. So when Smith left to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Gregg Williams, a blitz-heavy coordinator, replaced him, the fans were thrilled. After four games, the Jaguars have five sacks with Williams. Message here: Be careful what you wish for.

---Once again now: Can we please give Green Bay Packers corner Charles Woodson some love. He is playing at a high level again and yet nobody talks about him. A year ago, he was a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year honors, but didn't even go to the Pro Bowl. Teammate Al Harris did.  Woodson has two picks for touchdowns this season. But it's more than that. He can play man defense on anybody. There are few who can do that. "He hasn't slowed down a bit," said a coach from another NFC team.

---I'm all for player safety. But the one-game suspension and $50,000 fine the league hit Jets safety Eric Smith with for the hit on Anquan Boldin was a bit much. Smith didn't intend to injure Boldin and was trying to make a play. It appeared that Boldin being hit by another player as he went to catch the ball made it so it was a helmet-to-helmet hit. It was a scary moment indeed, but $50,000 is way too much.

---Want more proof that Falcons rookie quarterback Matt Ryan will be a good one? On Tuesdays, the team's day off, he comes to the facility to work out. That's fine. A lot of players do that. But he also goes out on the field and works on his drops. That's dedication, especially for a young player. Ryan has that Peyton Manning work ethic.

---I hate horizontal passing games. Hear me, Jon Gruden. Throw the damn ball down the field once in a while.

---It's great to see Saints running back Deuce McAllister back playing again. McAllister ran for 73 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown last week. He hardly looked like a guy coming off his second major knee surgery. McAllister is one of the league's good guys, a class act. He's battled through a lot to get back on the field. When I saw him in camp, I told him he looked sleeker. "Trying to look like a rookie again," he said. The Saints can only hope.

---You have to give to Al Davis. When he wants to avoid paying out money, he will go to any level to do so. Like I've said, he loves money more than winning.  His whitewash of Lane Kiffin during his Tuesday news conference was all about money. He doesn't want to pay him. Why would anybody take a job with Davis when the contract isn't valid? If the league allows him to get away with not paying Kiffin, than he can fire any coach after a season and not pay them, too. He's already done it to Mike Shanahan.  No wonder the Raiders slogan is now Commitment to Excrement.

---Byron Leftwich, who was dumped as the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars nine days before the open of the 2007 season, will be back in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Sunday night as a backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Leftwich was dumped last year in large part because he had a personality conflict with Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio. So I asked him this week if he would shake hands with Del Rio? He said they never shook hands when he was there, so why do it now? It will be interesting to watch pre-game warm-ups to see if those two come within 15 yards of each other.

---So former NFL bust Tony Mandarich did steroids? Big shock, right? Mandarich, who has a book coming out in March, obviously is trying to drum up interest in his book. So he admitted this week that he used steroids and was an addict and alcoholic during his playing days. Why didn't he come forward when he was playing? Why now? To sell books. It's all about the money. We're not stupid, Tony.



Category: NFL
Tags: Al Davis
Posted on: October 1, 2008 1:14 pm
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