Working on an obituary story for the paper on the passing of former Raiders defensive tackle Chester McGlockton, so I won’t be able to post something off today’s practice proceedings and interviews until later this afternoon.
In the interim, here is what former Raiders All-Pro guard Steve Wisniewski and coach Hue Jackson had to say about McGlockton’s passing at the age of 42:
Q: How did the news hit you this morning?
A: “It’s just a tragic loss. Chester was a dear friend, a teammate, a neighbor, a golf buddy, we coached together at Stanford. For people who don’t know, he had such a big, big heart. He did a phenomenal job over at Stanford coaching. He was really kind of putting his life back on a new track in the coaching field and he was just fabulous at it. So, our whole heart, my heart and the heart of the Raiders family goes out to his wife Zina and his two young girls. It’s just really sad to see.”
Q: How do you reconcile a pro athlete, in such great shape, dying at such a young age?
A: “Yeah, I can’t guess at the cause of death for Chester, but he had lost a good bit of weight. We had done walks together, we played racquetball together quite a bit the last year, he was in very good shape for being a big man. It’s just an absolutely tragic loss to the whole Raiders family.”
Q: Did you see any signs of this coming on?
A: “No, absolutely not. I spoke to Chester yesterday, as a matter of fact. He had a great day with his girls and was looking forward to kind of a few slow weeks as Stanford prepares for a bowl (game), so he could have some more family time. Anybody who knows Chester, he loved his wife and girls to the moon. Again, I just can’t express how tragic it is lose someone like that at 42.”
Q: You lined up against him in practice, tell us just how talented he was?
A: “Yeah, there was no one in the NFL who could block Chester if he didn’t want to be blocked. He had that ability to be a dominant force like a Mean Joe Greene. He was as good as they come. We talked a lot about it. He matured in his years beyond football and looked back with a sense that he could have done more at times. He was hampered by injuries and contract issues. But when he wanted to play, no one could block him.”
Q: How was he off the field after football?
A: “I was just so proud of him because, here in these last few years, he really found something he enjoyed. He was really passionate about coaching. I used to even tease him, if the kids could have seen him back when he was a player, they would laugh because he was now chasing them up and down the field, screaming to ‘hustle,’ do extra and give their best effort. He was a phenomenal coach and a great man.”
COACH HUE JACKSON
“Before I start off talking about our football team and what we need to do I think I need to say a couple of words about Chester McGlockton.
Obviously we lost another great Raider today in my opinion. I got to know Chester myself personally since my time here. I’d like to give I’m sure from the team, the organization and myself, I’d like to give our blessings, our prayers, to his wife Zina and their two beautiful kids.
I got to know the young man in church at the Well where pastor Napoleon Kauffman is the pastor. This morning when I found out the news, it was tough, There’s some guys here on this staff that obviously played with him and there’s players here that know him but I think it kind of hit them pretty hard.
A young man who was just starting to do so many other great things in his life and then all of a sudden life is taken away. But obviously God has a bigger plan for him. One thing I do know about him was he was a god-fearing man who spent his time at church and with his family. We’re going to miss him. It’s tough. But that’s a part of this thing.
I talked to the team about it today. Just the opportunities you get in this life, you never know when it’s going to be over but those things happen He’ll always be in our thoughts and our prayers and we’ll miss him tremendously. Again, our thoughts go out to his family.”
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