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Bill Parcells speaks about long-time friend Al Davis

Long-time coach and general manager Bill Parcells enjoyed a 48-year relationship with Raiders managing general partner Al Davis. On Wednesday, he spoke with ESPN Radio about Davis at length. Here is the transcript, courtest of ESPN:

On his relationship with Al Davis:

“Without question. I met Al coincidentally right at the end of his first season as the coach of the Raiders, which was 1963. And it was the end ‘ 63 which was my senior year in college, there was a all-star game in Texas that I was asked to play in, and he happened to be the coach of our team. Coincidentally, Max Snell, the Jets fullback of some notoriety, was on the team with us, and that’s where I first met Al. We spent some time at night in the hotel lobby talking, and it really was the beginning of a 48-year friendship. He was just great to me, and why we hit it off, we did, and I think he maybe gained a sense that I liked football as much as he did. And that was kind of the key common denominator that we always had, and we wound up spending an awful lot of time together. Thousands of hours.”

On the stories of how he and Davis used to sit next to each other in the same spot at each year’s Scouting Combine:

“That’s absolutely correct. Ron Wolf and myself, we would sit right at the start of the 40-yard dash. And we could see visually, we were very close to the players, so you got a good look at their physical make up, the size of their hands, you know, whether they were nervous or not, you got a little idea about their quickness as they burst off the line in the 40-yard sprint. Year after year, that’s exactly right, we would sit there all day long. And coincidentally, we would talk about football players and baseball in New York City and all sorts of things. He was just a great guy and also a very important adviser to me at critical times in my coaching career.”

How Davis’ mantra of personal accountability was something he took with him throughout his Hall of Fame coaching career:

“You know, there was a time early in my career when job security was certainly in question, and I think he was the one who got me really back on track in terms of being able to give me a general manager’s point of view as well as an owner’s point of view. And also he was very adamant about me about just doing your job — ‘Just do the job that they hired you to do, and don’t be distracted by other things around you that you have no control over.’ And you know, it kind of put me back on track — and just in the nick of time by the way — and it was something that I tried to pass forward to all the guys I worked with. Just do your job — players and coaches — and quit worrying about what other people are doing. Just get yours done. And if you’ve got a good team concept, eventually it will come together.”

On all the detractors and enemies that Davis accumulated over the years:

“Let me tell you — I found him to be a very benevolent…I’m going to use some words that the public would not readily attach to Al Davis, but I found him to be a very benevolent and a very caring human being. And also one. — and I can only tell you on the dealings I had with him — but his word was absolutely good for the entire time that I knew him. I can’t really say that about everybody that I know.”

Whether he ever came close to being the Raiders coach:

“You know, one time he inquired about that. And I said ‘you know Coach, that might be the end of a real nice friendship.’ I said ‘we’d be like Grumpy Old Men, Water Matthau and Jack Lemmon.’ He started laughing, so I said ‘why don’t we pass on that right now.’ And he said ‘okay.’ And we did.”

How sad is he that so many fans only know Davis for his mismanagement of the team in the final years of his life:

“You know, when I was with Miami, we played the Raiders, and the Raiders came down. And Al was on a walker, he could hardly walk, and I went over to the visiting owners box prior to the game and he had kind of settled in up there. And I was able to sit with him and talk for maybe 30 or 40 minutes. And my last dealings with him — I’m not trying to get sentimental, this is actually what happened — I get up, and I don’t know why, but I just kissed him on the cheek. And I said ‘I’ll see you later.’ And he said ‘thank you.’ And that was the last words that we ever spoke in person together.”

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • ArmChair GM

    I’m gonna admit I don’t know much about Millen.

    Can somebody please explain to me why a dude that went 0-16 should even be considered as our GM?

    I really want to be educated about this, seriously.

  • Raiders_83

    #Browns HC Pat Shurmur: CB Joe Haden (knee) not expected to practice today; C Alex Mack (appendectomy) to watch today. Neither ruled out yet

    2 hours agovia web

    Good news

    ——————————————————————————–

    Retweeted by VittorioTafur and 3 others

  • ArmChair GM

    Really touching words by Bill Parcells by the way.

    He’s alright in my book.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Interesting facts

    phillip rivers 125/186 67.2 cmp %1536 yards 8.26 yard per att 6td 7int 4 fumbles rating of 87.6

    orton 91/155 58.7 cmp% 979 yards 6.32 yard per att
    8td 7int 2 fumbles rating 75.7

    cassel 93/140 66.4cmp% 945 yards 6.7 yards per att
    8td 5int 2 fumbles rating of 89.7

    Jc 94/156 60.3 1118 yards 7.17 yards per att
    6td ( 2 rushing td 8 total) 4int 1 fumble 84.3 rating

    Looks like Jc is on par with any qb in our division.
    he only trails rivers in cmp % yards and rating, but he has less turnovers, and throws the ball down field more than rivers.

    In fact “captain check down” is leading the afc west in throwing down field, and turns the ball over less than any qb in the division.

    Jc has the best td to turn over ratio in the division as well. rivers is the only other qb to have a rushing td giving him 7td / 11 turnovers. Jc has 8td/ 5 turnovers.

    Dont look now but at this moment we are being treated to the best qb play in the afc west!
    =====

    repost

  • Method To My Madness

    “I’m in my sneaks with freaks on the beach was shallow
    Bossed up drinkin Ernest and Julio Gallo
    I got my rallo?? My butterfly knife
    I’m nothin nice
    I cut a guy twice(MR)”

  • HairyBush

    Parcells, class act

  • personal foul

    My opinion of Parcells has always been “middle-of-the-road”, but I have to give him huge points for the respect he had for AD and the friendship they shared. You’re OK, Tuna.

  • LA to TheBay

    Banana:

    “Puhlease. Grow some nuts, LA”

    Come on, dog, that’s BS. I have been critical of JC. I am starting to come around, but he has a way to go. Not annointing him like Mistic has.

    Just cause you got a problem ol boy him don’t mean you gotta tell me to grow a pair.

    I’m not taking his side in your little trist, either. I think Mistic has colorful posts and I did my little take on Mistic (IE: Imposter Fans beware, the ghost of Al Davis.. etc.), which isn’t the first time I’ve done it.

    Chill.

  • Raiders_83

    Dang!! we need them both

    #######################

    @VittorioTafurVittorio Tafur

    No sign of Shaughnessy or Reece

    39 minutes agovia

  • Method To My Madness

    Parcells was always a guy I liked

  • Raiderbenz

    My guess is we’ll be having 12 men on the field for every snap for the foreseeable future and nobody will be the wiser…Book It!

  • hwnrdr

    Tuna was a great coach at the time…one of few who took 2 different teams to the Big Dance. He didn’t win with NE, but damn near came close that year!

  • JB

    My Post to Tim Kawakami’s article about a joint Stadium in Santa Clara:

    JB says:
    October 12th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    It’s the “Oakland” Raiders & the “San Francisco” 49ers NOT the Santa Clara whatevers. If there is to be a jointly used stadium there is only one logical location – Treasure Island (the mid-point between Oakland & San Francisco). Short of that, the Raiders stay in Oakland, PERIOD!

  • http://InsidetheOaklandRaiders Goldie7

    Thanks Steve! Another great read.

  • John Tweedy

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    October 12th, 2011 at 11:11 am
    Interesting facts

    phillip rivers 125/186 67.2 cmp %1536 yards 8.26 yard per att 6td 7int 4 fumbles rating of 87.6

    orton 91/155 58.7 cmp% 979 yards 6.32 yard per att
    8td 7int 2 fumbles rating 75.7

    cassel 93/140 66.4cmp% 945 yards 6.7 yards per att
    8td 5int 2 fumbles rating of 89.7

    Jc 94/156 60.3 1118 yards 7.17 yards per att
    6td ( 2 rushing td 8 total) 4int 1 fumble 84.3 rating

    Looks like Jc is on par with any qb in our division.
    he only trails rivers in cmp % yards and rating, but he has less turnovers, and throws the ball down field more than rivers.

    In fact “captain check down” is leading the afc west in throwing down field, and turns the ball over less than any qb in the division.

    Jc has the best td to turn over ratio in the division as well. rivers is the only other qb to have a rushing td giving him 7td / 11 turnovers. Jc has 8td/ 5 turnovers.

    Dont look now but at this moment we are being treated to the best qb play in the afc west!
    =====

    Looks like he is the worst of a not so good bunch. Hot horrible, but not very great either.

  • John Tweedy

    No, orton is playing the worst of the bunch.

  • TheToozFan55

    Way to go Parcells. i always liked him (except when we were playing him).

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