By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 6:14 pm in Oakland Raiders.
A few more observations from Raiders’ present and past about Jack Tatum, the former Raiders safety who died of heart failure Tuesday at age 61.
– “Seeing him the last two years, it was a blessing to me to know that was what the Raiders were all about. To hear he passed _ bless his family, and God’s going to be with him. It’s not a timetable when the Lord calls you home. It was just his time to go. This day and time, the Raider Nation did take a downfall from one of their soldiers,’’ _ Raiders cornerback Chris Johnson
– “He was all about big hits. Wouldn’t nobody come across the middle. That’s what we’ve got to bring to the secondary. We’ve got to bring that back. We can’t do it exactly like he did because we’d get fined now, but we still have that mentality as he had just be under the rules,’’ _ Johnson on Tatum’s playing style.
– “You try to but you can’t duplicate some of the things he did on the field. The way he hit people, he was a pure intimidator out there,’’ Raiders safety Tyvon Branch.
– “Everybody’s heard of Jack Tatum. (Others), you never hear about them. It’s because of the way he played the game. He leaves behind that legacy of being the assassin. I was watching ESPN Classic one day and they were showing the old hits. You see him popping people’s helmets off. Everybody’s got short arms when they were going across the middle because they knew he was there,’’ Branch on Tatum’s name recognition among young players and playing style.
– “I got to know Jack during my time with the Raiders. Just one of the all-time greats. A very good football player on a lot of those great Raiders teams. He’d come around and watch practice and talk to the young players and was always a sounding board, particularly for the young defensive players. He played the game with a little chip on his shoulder, very physical. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame. It’s really a sad day for all Raiders and for all Raider fans across the country,’’ former Raiders quarterback and Sirius Satellite Radio host Rich Gannon.