Belichick on Raiders, Davis


Some great stuff from Patriots coach Bill Belichick today to New England reporters on his head coaching inteview with Al Davis before the 1998 season. As closed off as Belichick can be, occasionally he is expansive and illuminating. He’s said some of these things before, but they’re worth repeating:

Q: What do you remember from that meeting with Al Davis? What did you take away from that?

Belichick: I thought it was good. It was good. It was good experience for me. I went out there after the ’98 season. We had a good couple days of conversation. I told him when I got out there – it really seemed like a waste of time because I felt pretty certain that he wouldn’t hire a defensive coach, because he hasn’t since Eddie Erdelatz in (1960).

Note: Davis didn’t hire Erdelatz. He was working for Sid Gillman and the Los Angeles Chargers.

It’s a parade of offensive coaches out there. He’s really a defensive coordinator and has been. You know, it was good because we talked a lot about football and he’s very, very knowledgeable about the game, personnel, schemes, adjustments and so forth. He was asking a lot of questions about what we did defensively. You kind of don’t want to give too much information there because you know, he’s running the defense. He wasn’t really too interested in talking about offensive football – a little bit. He’s a great mind.

It was unlike any other interview I’ve ever had with an owner because he was so in-depth, his interview was so in-depth really about football, about ‘Xs’ and ‘Os’ and strategy and use of personnel and acquisition of – all the things really that a coach would talk about, that’s really what he talked about. That made it pretty unique. But he hired a good coach, [Jon] Gruden. Which is again, in all honesty, the way that I expected it to go because that’s been all the Oakland coaches from Art Shell to Mike White, Joe Bugel, [Mike] Shanahan, you know right down the line, Lane Kiffin, they’re all offensive coaches.

They have their own way of doing things which is interesting but certainly well thought-out and well planned. I’m not saying that in a negative way at all, they just have their own of doing it – they’ve had a lot of success. It was a great experience for me to have those couple days of conversations with him and also some other members of his organization relative, again, to the overall way of doing things.

Q: You’re obviously someone who has taken things from other great coaches and coordinators in the past. What mark did Al Davis leave on you defensively when you look back at his Raiders teams from the ‘60s and ‘70s?

Belichick: Well, you look at the same thing today, there’s not a lot of difference. Like I said, he’s really run the defense and to a large extent the kicking game out there for the ‘60s, ‘70s, 80’s, 90’s – 40 years, maybe more than that, I don’t know. But he’s, again they have their style of play, they have their way of doing things. As much as you can say this is a copycat league and things like that, you can’t really say that about them because they’ve done the same thing now for decades defensively and to a certain extent, offensively.

Through the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity, just as luck would have it really, that some people that I was very close to in coaching were in that organization. In talking football, I feel like I know a lot about what they do, how they do it, again through third parties now, not directly, but through third parties. It makes a lot of sense. They definitely have a plan. I think I understand basically what they’re trying to do and how they’re trying to do it. I think it’s consistent and I’ve taken a lot from that.

The personnel side of it, the way they look at certain things in the game and what their priorities are. I definitely have tried to look at those and incorporate some of them into what we do. We do things a little bit differently than they do, but that’s okay. You just want it to be consistent and you want it to finish at the end game – where you want to be. That’s what everybody is trying to do. It’s well thought-out. I don’t think it’s a trial-and-error system. It’s a proven system, they believe in it and they’re going to follow it.

Q: You mentioned the Raiders way of doing things. Hue Jackson seems to have really taken on the Raiders persona and he’s talked about wanting to instill that Raiders and ‘Black Hole’ culture into the team. Have you noticed them transitioning back to the way things were when they were in the height of their organization?

Belichick: Again, I don’t know that that’s ever totally left. I definitely think he’s done a good job of building on the Raider pride and their historical success. Again, they played well last year, won every game in their division, which as we know is hard to do and [they] are off to a good start this year. He’s done a good job with the team – the team is playing well.

They were a good football team last year and they’ve been a good football team. I’m not saying their record has always reflected that. We’ve never played the Raiders or prepared to play the Raiders and not recognized the strengths that they had and what they’re capable of doing. I can’t speak to all the other games and so forth, but just watching them, they do a lot of things. They have a good team, they have a good program in place and its showing up in the win column so far this year and it did last year in their division. You have to recognize that.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • LA to TheBay

    Houston’s been moved inside several times in passing situations with Wimbley in a 3 point stance.

  • inonewordraider

    you think that the Pats will try to establish the run instead of do what they do best (Brady to Welker, Branch & Gronkowski) you’re sadly mistaken.
    He knows Bills ran for over 300 yards on us, gotta coninue to rotate big john in the lineup

  • bcz24

    Houston is legit but not strong enough to play dt(I know he played that in college)
    Houston has been more effective when playing DT this year then has playing DE.

  • Davy Jones

    Actually, I looked it up and that was the pick that was traded for Wimbley.

    Still a win for Al Davis in trading vs. Belicheck.

  • VittorioTafur @doubledee229 as Hue says, “Next man up” — that’s Moss at DE, Giordano at S, the rookies at CB and Gordon at FB for a few plays
    5 minutes ago

  • LA to TheBay

    bcz24 Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    92.LA to TheBay Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:46 pm
    RRS, we traded down with NE before getting Houston with that 2nd. Got an extra pick from NE out of it. So I think we actually got Ford out of it.
    We got Ford with the 4th from Jacksonville for Morrison.


    Gotcha. We got rid of the 3rd from NE for Wimbley, than used our 3rd on Veldheer. We traded down in the second and got the pick we used on Campbell. The 4th we got from JAX was Ford.

    So, from NE, we got Wimbley and Campbell.

    I think.


  • bcz24

    He knows Bills ran for over 300 yards on us, gotta coninue to rotate big john in the lineup
    217 actually. You don’t watch the pats much if you think they care what others do. They wont be running the ball. They had a 2 score lead in Miami and were STILL throwing the ball around.

  • Carl Weathers

    Is it just me or has Bryant been wearing a cast since the beginning of LAST year?

  • LA to TheBay

    Think Bryant just like clubbing people.

  • Thec07

    Chimdi Checkwa balled out against the jest…
    He is hard…

  • DeuceDeuce

    Carl Weathers Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    Is it just me or has Bryant been wearing a cast since the beginning of LAST year?

    He didnt have it on against the Jets.

  • LA to TheBay

    Always liked Chimdi at the OSU.

    Tough guy, team leader, fast and played lots of man cov.

  • DocPorter11

    Ford was selected with the 4th round pick we got from Jacksonville for Kirk Morrison. Talk about a fleecing.

  • VittorioTafur When asked about Chekwa or Van Dyke starting in place of CB Chris Johnson, Hue Jackson said he will decide over an Irish Coffee tonight
    13 minutes ago
    Bushmill’s or Jameson?….

  • Carl Weathers

    I swear he did.

    DeuceDeuce Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Carl Weathers Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    Is it just me or has Bryant been wearing a cast since the beginning of LAST year?

    He didnt have it on against the Jets.

  • realtruraider

    I love this, I really got to make it to the O for a game. F’k Sanchez

  • HueKnows

    We traded our second pick with Tampa then traded it w/ Ne then picked up Houston and Goethe.l

  • LA to TheBay

    It hasn’t been a great month for Seahawks line coach Tom Cable.

    He’s watched his old team in Oakland look better without him, especially on the offensive line. He’s watched his new team in Seattle rank near the bottom in nearly every noteworthy offensive stat.


  • I don’t trust Belicheat. I guess he has opened up to the media because NFL Network did a documentary about him and he probably was thrilled them not mentioning anything about him cheating in 2008. For all we know, Belicheat could still be cheating. In my opinion, Belicheat is very arrogant. Our Raiders really, really need to defeat the Patriots come Sunday evening. I also wish ESPN’s Trey Wingo would stop worshiping the Pats…sometimes I think Wingo has a man crush on Tom Brady. Just saying

  • HairyBush

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    New England got NOTHING out of Derrick Burgess, and the Raiders got . . . LaMarr Houston.



    perhaps I’m missing some draft day trades or something, but Houston was a 2nd rounder

    we got two 3rd’s for Burgess

    I thought it was a 3rd and 5th for Burgess?


    If you’re looking for a formula to slow down Brady and company, the best place to start is by looking at what has worked in the playoffs.

    You’d want to look at their SB loss to the Giants, demolition at home vs the Ravens, and last year’s loss to the Jets.

    Then you’d want to consider which elements of those approaches can be implemented effectively with our current personnel. You’d also want to consider how their offense has evolved into a more TE oriented approach.

    I’d say the Raiders have a better offense at this point in time than any of the 3 aforementioned teams that took the Patsies out.

    The Raider defense is another story entirely.

    I believe the Jets threw a lot of zone at Brady and actually confused and rattled him. Not sure that’s an approach that would work with our personnel.

    The Ravens were physically dominating and used a punishing LMclain to annihilate them. You know we’ll want to pound the rock and try to bring some pain on D.

    The Giants used an extremely athletic and versatile DLine to harry Brady. He’s far from Superman when he’s forced to move his feet and unable to step up into a pocket. It’s essential to hit him a few times early and make him as uncomfortable as possible. We’ve got the horses to do this and we’ve got the DLine coach that knows how to get the job done.

    Brady is so hard to stop not only because of his accuracy but also because of his smarts. The guy is one of the best at pre-snap reads. It’s very hard to out scheme him on defense simply because he’s so good at sitting in the gun and determining what he’s looking at and where he wants to go. With our deficiencies in zone and inability to conceal or time blitzes very well, don’t want to get into a chess match with Brady anyway.

    This one is going to be mainly on the DLine. Hit Tommy boy a few times and stay in his face all day. The formula is there. If we get pressure up front, we can outscore these guys.

  • 37-34 Raiders.

    Bet AD is mad Bellecheat confirmed that he is the Def. Coord.

  • Kirk

    Davis has used the same schemes for decades.

    That’s why we have s#cked for decades.

    We went zone in the second half on Sunday and won.

    Don’t tell Al!

  • JLofty

    Bilicheat. No me gusta….

  • dvrick

    # Method To My Madness Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    OK all,I admit I am MR!!!

  • dvrick

    # DMAC Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I know MR hasn’t played or practiced at all, but we could really use him this week end to help contain us fools. Wonder how much press MR will get?

  • dvrick

    # 909RaiderLifer Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 11:29 am


  • gardunovich

    What the hell is Bellechek talking about??? Hall of Fame Raiders Coach John Madden was the DC at San Diego State from 1964-1966. He also coached linebackers for the Raiders as an assistant under John Rauch. Also seems to me Bellechek is lobbing a few scuds at any DC who has worked for the Raiders. The Raiders rushed for 200 yards on 1st and 2nd down against the Jets. The Patriots are nowhere near as capable of stopping the run as the Jets. My guess is that both teams will try to run the ball. The Raiders will do it succesfully to keep Brady off the field, and Bellechek will attempt do so to keep his defense off the field. This is gonna be a good game with plenty of big plays. The Patriots are going to get steamrolled by the Raiders this weekend.

  • qodrn

    Week One: Ghost – exact score
    Week Two: Sullivan – closest
    Week Three: Pretty Rick – closest

    860Todd Christensen Raiders 34…….Pats 28……..
    909RaiderLifer RAIDERS–35 CHEATRIOTS–27
    /Breaking News/ Raiders 41 NE 31
    Big Banana Raiders 31 Pats 28*
    Carl Weathers Raiders 47 – patsies 20
    Dakota Raiders 28 Pats 27
    Datruth Score: Raiders 42 Pats 35
    Dhedee98 Raiders 42 Pats 34
    DMAC Raiders 34 Patsies 28
    DonManokiansNeighbor Raiders 42 Pats 34
    dvrick RAIDERS–3 CHEATRIOTS–27
    EMRaider NE 35 OAK 41
    exlaraiderseasonticketholder 37-34 Raiders
    Fingers Raiders 35…. Patsies 30….
    GG Raiders 41 Patriots 21
    Ghostraiders Raiders 40 patsies 35 a Classic win!!
    Guest123 Raider 49 Pats 38
    Hairybrush Raiders 34 Pats 30
    Hendu Raiders 23-ne 17
    JLofty Raiders 41 Pasties 34
    Lowdown_in_Beijing Says: Raiders 24 Pats: 6
    mikedlopes 38 – 27 Raiders
    Method to My Madness Raiders 30 Pats 21
    O Raiders 45 Butt-Pats 35
    oldschoolraider Raiders 29 Patriots 14
    PlunketforHOF Raiders 34 Cheatriots 14 After Goldilocks knocked out of the game before the half
    Pretty Rick Raiders-38 Pats-34
    qodrn Raiders 35 Patriots 32
    R8derCain Raiders 31 Pats 28
    R8derRay 41-38 Raiders
    Raider510 Raiders 31 Patriots 28
    Raiderjhawk 37 Raiders – 35 Patsies
    RaiderLen Raiders 38 Patsies 27
    RaiderMarty RAIDERS 41 patriots 24
    RaiderRockstar Oakland 38 Gisele Bündchen 34
    Raiders_83 Raiders 34 Pats 31
    Raiderzmaverick Raiders 34, Pats 28
    The Realist Dirty Raccoon Raiders 31 Cheatriots 20
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:10 pm
    Reallionreb 38-28 Raiders
    Redneck Raider 35-31 RAIDERS
    RobRaider raiders 27 pats 20
    Ryan Raiders – 45 Pats – 38
    Severeraiderz Raiders 35 Pats 31
    Silverandblack666 Raiders 41 Pats 38
    SilverAndBlackBleeder Raiders 33 Pats 30

  • Just Win Baby

    Raiders 38 Patriots 28