By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, August 9th, 2009 at 9:38 am in Oakland Raiders.
Check out Monte Poole’s assessment of the top 50 Raiders of all time at the following links:
And no, Al Davis isn’t on it because it’s a player’s only list.
A few first impressions:
– Offensive linemen rank 1-2-3 (Jim Otto, Art Shell and Gene Upshaw) and that sounds about right, because great Raiders teams were all about the offensive line. All were Hall of Famers, and although Otto may not have been as accomplished as Shell or Upshaw, he represents Raiders toughness.
– Jim Plunkett is No. 5, Ken Stabler No. 9. Plunkett was a great story and a great leader, but I’m a Stabler man from way back. Built-in bias from seeing so many of his games as a teenager.
– Cliff Branch No. 10, Tim Brown No. 25. Absolutely right. Branch, as Monte notes, somehow got underrated nationally. The classic Raider deep threat was easily the equal or superior of John Stallworth and Lynn Swann.
– Marcus Allen at No. 17? Hardly seems possible, but look at the list, factor in the fact that his Hall of Fame credentials weren’t cemented until he finished up at Kansas City, and maybe it’s about right.
– George Atkinson was a smallish strong safety who backed down to no one and delivered more than he took (ask Russ Francis), but No. 22 seems high.
– Chester McGlockton at No. 49. Realize there were some good L.A. years before he got to Oakland and went in the tank over his contract, but my sentimental pick to squeeze in at the end of the list is Tyrone Wheatley, whose unforgettable touchdown in Kansas City to close out the 1999 season served as a springboard to three division titles.
Any problems, Monte anxiously awaits your e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Players had last night off and had their annual dinner with their respective position group coach. Single practice at 3:30 p.m. I’ll post Twitter updates and a post following practice.