By Steve Corkran
Saturday, October 8th, 2011 at 2:01 pm in Oakland Raiders.
• “What a great opportunity he gave me, as he’s done over the years with so many young coaches, so many minorities, so many players with second chances that had retired and were coming back. He gave a lot of people great opportunities and I happened to be one of those. And myself and my family are extremely grateful to him and his family for that opportunity, even though it didn’t end up well, it was pretty neat at first. It was just one of those deals that didn’t go well at the end, but that has nothing to do with today and what this man has meant to so many people and to the NFL. … He was so far ahead when it came to scouting, when it came to contracts, to going out on the road and finding players. He changed everything.” –- former Raiders coach, and current Southern Cal coach, Lane Kiffin
• My sincerest condolences go out to the Davis family, Raiders organization and Raiders fans on the passing of Al Davis, one of the true NFL icons. A visionary who was ahead of the curve in so many ways, Coach Davis had a great grasp of personnel, schemes and strategy. I learned a tremendous amount of football during my six years with his organization. His sole focus and passion in life was the Raiders. He was at practice every day and very aware of what was going on organizationally. He challenged you to be your best and I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me as a head coach.
– Jets assistant head coach/offensive line Bill Callahan, who coached the offensive line and was the head coach for the Raiders
• I am deeply saddened with the news of the passing of Al Davis. Al and I were very good friends for many years and I admired his innovative approach to the game of football. Al had a great impact on the American Football League that carried over to the National Football League after the merger and his competitive spirit embodied our sport. Al’s Raiders may not have won every game, but you knew that you were in for a tough, hard-fought contest every time you played them, regardless of the score. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Al’s family, friends, the Raiders organization and Raiders fans everywhere.
– Bills owner and president Ralph Wilson Jr.
• Al was a pioneer whose passion was deeply rooted in the game of professional football that he helped to shape at every level. A unique man of conviction, Al had a profound impact on the National Football League as we know it today and will forever be identified with the team he loved so much — the Raiders.
– Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson
• Our condolences go out to the Davis family. Al Davis has long been a pillar of professional football and a leader of one of our most legendary franchises. His contributions, dedication and foresight changed the game for the better. The league has lost one of its all-time greats.
– Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay
• In my eyes, so much of his legacy will be defined by the loyalty he had for the men who played for the Raiders and the love that they had for him. That was a bond that extended beyond the playing years and lasted lifetimes. His contributions and expertise were inspiring at every level–coach, general manager, owner and commissioner. There was no element of the game of professional football for which Al did not enjoy a thorough and complete level of knowledge and passion. He welcomed me and my family to the NFL 23 years ago and was a trusted friend for all of our time in professional football. We will miss him deeply and we are thinking of Mark and Carol at this difficult time.
– Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
• While I am saddened by the news of Mr. Davis’ passing, I will forever be heartened and enriched by the many personal interactions I had with him over the years. His winning, his football knowledge, his passion for his team and contributions to the league made him one of the all-time greats. By striving for the highest level of excellence with our respective teams and the game itself, we will be honoring the memory of Al Davis.
– Patriots coach Bill Belichick
• Al Davis was a pioneer in the American Football League and National Football League. He was a dynamic force in merging the National Football League and American Football League. He built a great tradition with the Raiders. We are going to miss his innovative thinking. Our condolences go to his family and the Raiders organization.
– Texans founder, chairman and CEO Bob McNair
• Al was a fiery individualist, an important part of pro football — the AFL and NFL –for almost 50 years. His teams had times of great success, and he was heavily involved both on and off the field. I admired the achievements the Raiders attained under Al. Personally, I was fond of him. He battled with the NFL, and a lot of us wished that had not been where things went, but under all that was a person I respected. It saddens me to hear that he is gone.
– Bengals president Mike Brown
• He was an icon, a legend, a pioneer. I’m honored that he chose to draft me. It was a great pleasure being a part of Raider Nation, part of all the great teams and players that put on that Silver and Black. You don’t know what it means to be a Raider until you are a Raider, and that was his team. He spoke to you not just as an owner but as a coach. He was very hands-on. You felt his presence, and he really cared for you and your family.
– Bengals linebacker Thomas Howard, who was drafted by the Raiders
• This is a sad day for Raider Nation and the NFL. But it’s a day to think about all Mr. Davis did for football. He was truly one of a kind. I respect him for the way he approached the game, for how much he loved it. I’m fortunate to have worked with Mr. Davis for a short period, and I thank him for giving me the opportunity. Playing in Oakland was a great experience for me, something I’ll always remember.
– Bengals quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who played for the Raiders the past two seasons
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